Fisker Automotive has hired Joel Ewanick, the former head of marketing at General Motors, as its interim chief of global sales and marketing, the company said on Monday. Fisker informed its retailers on Monday that Richard Beattie, who had been the company’s chief commercial officer, was retiring.
Mr. Ewanick will face the daunting task of building a positive image for Fisker, the maker of the $103,000 Karma luxury plug-in hybrid. The company has sustained a sequence of mishaps since the cars were first delivered to customers last December.
Russell Datz, a spokesman for Fisker, declined to comment on what Mr. Ewanick would encounter. “Anytime you start a car company, you’re in for challenge after challenge,” Mr. Datz said Tuesday.
Mr. Ewanick is a seasoned auto industry executive who has held top marketing positions at G.M. and Hyundai. He is a somewhat controversial figure: G.M. ousted him in July after he reportedly failed to disclose the full cost of a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the English soccer team Manchester United. Mr. Ewanick’s hiring by G.M. in May 2010 was also considered unusual, because he took the position only six weeks after being hired by Nissan North America to head its marketing efforts.
Maybe Fisker can ask for more bailout money so Ewanick can financially support a sports league here in America?