Henrik Fisker's congressional testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will paint the automaker he founded as a victim of "a confluence of events" and as a still-salvageable enterprise.
Fisker, who resigned from Fisker Automotive on March 13, is among the automaker and government representatives scheduled to appear before Congress to answer questions regarding $193 million in Department of Energy loans made to the company.
Fisker Automotive has appeared to be on the brink of filing for bankruptcy for the past few weeks. The company dismissed 75 percent of its employees on April 5. The automaker also has been consulting with bankruptcy firm Kirkland & Ellis. Negotiations with two Chinese automakers to possibly invest in Fisker have fallen through.
Henrik Fisker's personal representative, Tim Burt, said the company founder will testify that Fisker Automotive "can survive and move forward if it can secure financial and strategic resources, to build on its achievements so far."
Henrik Fisker will focus his testimony on the events that were out of the company's control. Among them was adverse publicity surrounding the company's two recalls and suspicious fires, which were a function of "parts sourced from outside suppliers having nothing to do with the technology," said Burt, managing partner at StockWell Group, a communications firm in London.
Those events combined with the bankruptcy of key battery supplier A123 Systems -- suspending production of the Fisker Karma -- and the wipeout of Fisker's port stock of finished cars by Superstorm Sandy "led to a drastic loss of revenue," Burt said.
Tony Knight, of crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co., said it is his understanding that current Fisker Automotive CEO Tony Posawatz will not appear before Congress because he was not employed by Fisker when the DOE loan was offered or drawn down. Fisker co-founder Bernhard Koehler will be the automaker's representative, Knight said.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who chairs the Oversight Committee panel on economic growth, job creation and regulatory affairs, will run the questioning session.
Jordan is investigating whether there were improper connections used to generate the DOE loan to Fisker.
Burt said: "No improper political influence was used in connection with the loan application or subsequent negotiations with the Department of Energy. It was the Department of Energy who approached Fisker Automotive with the offer of finance."
The DOE loan program was initiated under the Bush White House, but the $529 million line of credit was offered to Fisker Automotive under the Obama administration.
Burt called Henrik Fisker's testimony "a chance to set the record straight."