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Former Chevrolet Volt chief takes helm at Fisker

Tue, 14 Aug 2012

One of the key architects of the Chevrolet Volt is taking the helm of Fisker Automotive.

Tony Posawatz, a veteran General Motors executive, has replaced former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda as chief executive of Fisker. LaSorda had just taken over as CEO in February, after joining the company in late 2011.

Posawatz, 52, spent more than 30 years at GM, culminating with a stint as vehicle line director for the Volt. He also oversaw electric-vehicle development for the Detroit automaker, which he retired from this summer.

General Motors
Tony Posawatz is the new CEO of Fisker. He's shown in front of the Chevy Volt, his previous creation.

“Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker,” LaSorda said in a statement. “He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production.”

While LaSorda's tenure as CEO was brief, he said his duties included recruiting a long-term CEO for Fisker and will remain as an adviser. LaSorda, who held high-ranking positions at Chrysler and GM, succeeded Fisker founder and namesake Henrik Fisker as chief executive. Fisker remains with the firm as executive chairman and steers design.

Fisker Automotive
The Fisker Karma has experienced some turbulence during its launch.

The company also announced veteran executives Joe Chao (China and Asia responsibilities) and Alberto Gonzalez (manufacturing) will join Fisker.

The moves come in the wake of another fire involving a Karma last week. Fisker said it is looking into the incident in Woodside, Calif., and is working with a team of independent investigators. In a statement, the firm said the Karma's fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or exhaust routing.

That was the second Karma fire in the past several months, as one an incident destroyed a garage in Sugar Land, Texas, in May.

Posawatz will also oversee efforts to bring the Atlantic, a smaller, more affordable sedan, to market. The striking, swoopy four-door was revealed this spring in New York.

By Greg Migliore