It isn’t easy starting a car company, a lesson Fisker learned that the hard way firsthand earlier this week. Unfortunately for the Southern California-based electric vehicle maker, after a series of recent events, it looks like there’s no going back and its doors will likely be shutting shortly. It wasn’t all doom and gloom in the automotive world this week though. Ford hinted at the possibility of a compact pickup truck making its triumphant return to North America. More good news arrived at the end of the week too when word spread that the United States is looking to eliminate the tariff on vehicles imported from Japan. Check out our complete rundown of this week’s biggest automotive news below.
Monday, April 8
In case you missed it, Fisker Automotive’s figurative ship has taken on so much water over the past two weeks that it should be capsizing at any minute. First, Henrik Fisker resigned as the company’s CEO and then, the automaker furloughed 75 percent of its workforce. Earlier this week, the first of what’s expected to be many repercussions from this lay-off showed up in the form of a lawsuit. Fisker has been slapped with a federal lawsuit for not giving its employees a 60 day notice as well as violating the U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Some have been rooting for the electric automaker to succeed while others feel Fisker is a complete waste of time and government funding. No matter what side of the fence you stand on, one thing remains certain: It isn’t easy being an automaker in its infancy.
Tuesday, April 9
The first bright spot of automotive news rolled in on Tuesday in the form of a tease. In the “no surprise here, move along” department, Ford announced that there was room for a smaller pickup truck to sit below the F-150. In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 30 years, we’ll remind you that Ford used to produce the Ranger, a compact pickup that slotted right below the F-150, but was killed off last year. The Blue Oval boys’ reason behind letting the Ranger leave the North American market was that they felt current owners would just seamlessly step into the full-size F-150. That hasn’t happened, and now Ford is waiting to see how Chevrolet fairs once it releases a revised version of the Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Wednesday, April 10
Like the tow ratings war that never stops in the full-size pickup truck segment, supercars love being the fastest of them all. Earlier this week, the Guinness Book of World Records took the title of “fastest production vehicle” away from the Bugatti Super Sport and bestowed it (unofficially) upon the Hennessey Venom GT. Bugatti returned fire by promptly taking the title for “fastest production convertible vehicle” thanks to the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse cracking 254 mph. The good news is about all of this is that you can go over 200 mph consistently in a vehicle available to the public. The bad news about all of this is that only 0.01 percent of the “one-percent” all of the masses can actually afford one.
Thursday, April 11
The plan from the beginning when Fiat bailed Chrysler out of bankruptcy back in 2009 was for the Italian automaker to buy the Detroit-based automaker outright. Slowly but surely, Fiat acquired bits and pieces of Chrysler and now has a controlling stake in the manufacturer. Fiat is claiming it has enough cash in its pocket to buy Chrysler out completely but one problem remains: how much it should pay for the 42.5 percent. That share currently resides in the hands of the United Auto Workers VEBA trust fund and a decision on the value of these stocks is expected to arrive by the end of June.
Friday, April 12
Good news for those wanting a Toyota Land Cruiser but could never afford one came at the very end of the week. News broke that the United States and Japan will begin discussing the possibility of eliminating all import tariffs that are attached to cars and trucks made in Japan. As it stands now, every car coming from Japan into the U.S. is subjected to a 2.5-percent tariff while trucks come with a whopping 25-percent tariff. The Big Three is already unhappy with this news, and you can expect its distaste to only get worse if the agreement goes into effect. The good news for the rest of us though is that vehicles that have never been allowed in the United States could finally become available. This situation is a fluid one so be sure to check back soon.