In an unprecedented move, Fisker Automotive recently hired Joel Ewanick. Ewanick was the former head of marketing at General Motors. His new position with Fisker is Chief of Global Sales and Marketing. The new hire was announced by Richard Beattie, who was the retiring Chief Commercial Officer.
One of the first tasks of Ewanick is to resuscitate the image of Fisker and its U.S. $103,000 luxury plug in hybrid named the Karma. Since last December 2011, issues and incidents have plagued the car and the company, leading to a less than favorable outlook for their product.
When Rusell Datz, spokesperson for Fisker was quizzed on the new appointment, the reply was, “Anytime you start a car company, you’re in for challenge after challenge.”
Before accepting the Fisker post, Ewanick had previous marketing positions at General Motors and Hyundai. His last posting was a bit controversial, as he was ousted last July from GM after he failed to disclose the full cost of the multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with Premiere League club Manchester United. Prior to GM, he held the position of Head of Marketing at Nissan North America for just six short weeks.
In the weeks prior to the announcement, Ewanick was already a consultant to Fisker and will hold the position on an interim basis until a permanent one is found. Ewanick would be directly reporting to Tony Posawatz, the CEO of Fisker. Similarly, Posawatz and Ewanick came fromGM after the former was chief engineer for the iconic Chevrolet Volt. Both the Volt and the Karma are plug in hybrids, where both operate as electric cars that have engines as range extenders for greater distance travelling.
On other related Karma news, Datz further confirmed the recall of the Karma again, but reiterated that the issues “were small compared to other things that could have happened.” He pointed out that Tesla had also been recalled several times over and even had lawsuits with suppliers. In the end he said, “these problems are nothing new.”
In a formal statement, Posawatz hailed Ewanick’s “wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period.” The statement further added that the previous experience in marketing the Volt would prove very helpful in allowing Fisker to gain a better foothold in the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Amongst the plans of the company is to build an affordable family oriented vehicle, but this may take some time as the company is seeking additional funds and are sourcing for investments.