Former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda to head Fisker Autos

@PeterDrives February 28, 2012: 1:23 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Tom LaSorda, the former chief executive of Chrysler, has been named CEO of Fisker Automotive, the California-based maker of luxury electric cars confirmed Tuesday.

LaSorda has been with Fisker since December when he was named vice chairman. LaSorda joined Chrysler in 2000 and became CEO in 2005 before being replaced by former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli in 2007. He retired from Chrysler in 2009.

Fisker's current CEO is co-founder Henrik Fisker. Henrik Fisker, in the past, designed cars for Aston Martin and BMW. He will now take the title of Executive Chairman of Fisker.

Henrik Fisker said in a conference call that he wanted to focus on the design of the company's products and to prepare Fisker to begin selling cars in the Middle East and China.

After missing some production deadlines, Fisker has been working to restore access to Department of Energy Loans. The automaker had also said it it is looking for other avenues of funding.

Fisker currently sells the Fisker Karma, a roughly $100,000 "range extended" plug-in luxury sedan.

The DOE had agreed to lend Fisker $529 million, and the carmaker had gotten $193 million of that before funding was cut off in May.

The company said it was cut off because it failed to meet production milestones for the Karma. Production of the car is now underway.

Fisker's next big project is a more affordable car -- about half the price of the Karma -- code-named Nina. It was to be built in a former General Motors factory in Delaware in which Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Vue and Opel GT sports cars used to be built.

That plant had been on schedule to begin producing the new cars in late 2012 with deliveries to customers expected in mid-2013, a Fisker spokesman said, but now that car may be subject to delays, too, as Fisker works to renegotiate its loans with the DOE or to find new financing sources.

The Nina has not been unveiled yet, but LaSorda called the car "drop dead gorgeous" in a conference call. To top of page

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