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Why America Needs Fisker

Looking back on history, innovation and mass change can often be attributed to scrappy individuals, companies and startups who aren’t bound by the conventions of their given industry. Asking new questions leads to new answers, that’s why we need to appreciate and protect companies like Fisker. Fisker has made it to market and have put 2500 or so cars on the road. That’s no small achievement. They’re not one of the many hundreds of failed automakers of the 20th century. However, even those companies produced innovations that made it to mass market. Ever heard of a panhard bar? Well, that started on a French brand Panhard car a very long time ago.

It is hard for Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Honda or any other large manufacturer to make a radical change, or commit to a new method of thinking. While the social and environmental impact of making a change can be a big win, it can also be a big failure. I recently spoke with someone who works in a division of a large bank. His group looks at the impact of product and business changes. They test market things and see how they work, before they’re ever rolled out to the company. Most ideas don’t make it past that point. He told me that he learned the difference between being sure about something and being damn sure about something. Also he expressed that careers are made and lost by committing your heart to a change that ultimately fails or succeeds. It is often safer to not make a change.

Fisker isn’t perfect. It needs some help to start making cars that average Americans can buy and love. Let’s not worry about the government loans. They’re a drop in the bucket in our national budget. The value of their success will outweigh any short-term losses.

Aside from their bold upmarket approach and some forgivable quality issues, they make a great car that people enjoy looking at. It is a beautiful car. It has curves that no other production car can match. It is truly a sexy modern car design. Aside from a stunning design, it is packed with technology that proves that extended range electrics can be fun and fast.

America needs to see Fisker survive, and not be sold off to a company that plans to cannibalize the car to make another high performance, luxury car that will ultimately have an even smaller target market. VL Automotive plans to yank out the heart of the car and replace it with that of a Cadillac CTS-V. It will be fun, it will be fast, but it won’t be innovative or show that America can change the game. I personally love the Cadillac CTS-V. It is one of the world’s best performance sedans. It can compete with the best that Germany has to offer. Cadillac has come full circle and I’m proud of their achievements. However, let’s keep that engine where it belongs, in a CTS-V and help Fisker to get out of its rut. We don’t need to see door sill placards that say, “Body by Fisker”.

If Fisker fails, we all lose.

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