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    Fisker Announces New CEO, Former Volt Boss



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 14, 2012

    Almost two months ago, the vehicle line director for the Chevy Volt, Tony Posawatz announced his retirement. Posawatz worked at GM for more than 30 years at GM. Posawatz was one of the key people overseeing the Volt. Few people at the time expected him to jump back into the industry.

    Fast forward to today and Tony Posawatz is now the new CEO of Fisker Automotive. He takes over from current CEO, Tom Lasorda who only became Fisker's CEO back in February.

    "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker. He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," said LaSorda in a press release.

    The announce of Posawatz as the new CEO comes a few days after a another Fisker Karma caught on fire. Fisker said in a statement the fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or the routing of exhaust. Fisker also said that they're working together with investigators.

    That's not the only item on Poswatz's plate. He will be also overseeing the development of the Fisker Atlantic.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    FISKER AUTOMOTIVE STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM

    Carmaker Appoints New Chief Executive and Expands Global Management with Asia and Manufacturing roles

    • Tony Posawatz becomes CEO as Tom LaSorda finds successor

    • Joe Chao to lead expansion in China and Asia

    • Alberto Gonzalez named VP of Manufacturing

    Anaheim, California, USA – August 14, 2012: Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today named Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors as its new Chief Executive Officer.

    A well-known automotive industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in product development, strategy, program management, manufacturing and quality at General Motors, Posawatz's last role was as GM's Vehicle Line Director and key leader of Global Electric Vehicle development, where he was responsible for the award-winning Chevrolet Volt – bringing the car from concept to production.

    "We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony's caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team," said Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. "His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market."

    Posawatz has consistently been recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles and served as Chairman of the Board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition he led GM's initial efforts on hybrid programs and related technology development and was "employee number one" and founding member of the Chevrolet Volt program back in 2006.

    "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said Tom LaSorda. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production.

    "Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," added LaSorda

    Said Henrik Fisker, "Ultimately, Fisker Automotive is all about products that challenge the way that we think about cars for the next generation. Tony's expertise will guarantee that Fisker leads the way with its second-generation powertrain technology for the Atlantic and other future Fisker products."

    Fisker Automotive is also pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Chao as Executive Vice

    President and CEO of China and Asia.

    Chao brings more than 30 years of engineering, manufacturing and international business operations knowledge from GM, Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler where he served as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Ltd. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of SG Automotive in China and will now pave the way for Fisker's entry into the Chinese market later in 2012.

    "Joe is a seasoned veteran and someone that I have worked with for more than 20 years," said Tom LaSorda. "He has outstanding experience in China and will be a great leader to launch the Fisker brand in both China and the rest of Asia."

    Fisker is also pleased to announce the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez as Vice President of Manufacturing. Gonzalez also brings more than 30 years of global automotive manufacturing and assembly experience from Chrysler where he operated high-volume assembly plants in the US, Mexico and Canada.

    Adds Henrik Fisker, "With these new appointments, we are sending a strong signal about Fisker Automotive and our future plans to develop the next generation of powertrain technology, bring more new Fisker products to market and expand our global sales footprint.

    "Since the turn of the year we have strengthened our core executive leadership team with experienced industry professionals who will take Fisker to the next level. With Tony Posawatz as CEO, Jim Yost as CFO, Barny Koehler as Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Richard Beattie as Chief Commercial Officer and Joe Chao as CEO of China and Asia I believe we have an unbeatable team that can establish Fisker as a true global force and bring the highly anticipated Fisker Atlantic to market."

    Comments Fisker Automotive's lead Board Director and largest investor, Ray Lane: "Fisker Automotive continues to build an amazing portfolio of talent that will truly establish the company as the leader in next-generation automotive technology. Tony's vast experience in this field makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into this exciting new future. To have such a globally recognized product leader is a huge coup for the company."

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    pump up the company with more execs......

    their new marketing tagline, straight from billy joel

    "we didn't start the fire"

    i would guess the dude was sick of GM after 30 years anyways.

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    Fisker is looking to protect themselves with all the investors money they took, so now is the time to bring in new mgmt to fix the issues.

    Saw the new Fisker auto store in Bellevue washington yesterday and have to say it was freaking brown box ugly with just one fisker on the show room floor and two out front but a few Porsche's and a Maserati on the show room floor.

    Still get a feeling this is a fly by night operation.

    But after 30 years guess the guy figures he could leave GM and retire and then 60 days later take up a hobby.

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    Seriously, he probably has a great retirement package from GM, AND probably had the knowledge he could take the position at Fisker before he left GM...that is how these guys work. He takes over a position the LAST guy had for 6 months? Will this really help them sell a 96,000 dollar car that only brain surgeons, share partners & Hollywood movie stars can afford? I can only imagine the dollar amounts involved in this turnaround...enough

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    Seriously, he probably has a great retirement package from GM, AND probably had the knowledge he could take the position at Fisker before he left GM...that is how these guys work. He takes over a position the LAST guy had for 6 months? Will this really help them sell a 96,000 dollar car that only brain surgeons, share partners & Hollywood movie stars can afford? I can only imagine the dollar amounts involved in this turnaround...enough

    Well remember, they have the Fisker Atlantic coming too. Much lower price point.

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    Yep, I'll rush out & get one of those babies when they arrive...! Been GM/Chevrolet my whole life...I'll leave the exotics to the dot.com folks. It's fun to follow all of the cars, but I always gravitate towards GM first

    I'm drooling over a 2012 1500 Express Van in Wheatland Yellow right now...

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    I'm drooling over a 2012 1500 Express Van in Wheatland Yellow right now...

    .... said no one else ever... :neenerneener:

    LOL Yeah that has got to be a first, huh? :stupid:

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    Though I will admit a new '12 GMC Sierra 2500HD pickup in Wheatland Yellow, nicknamed "Tonka", would be one helluva cool ride for me:

    9W3.jpg

    Edited by GMTruckGuy74
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    I think it's humorous how in the renderings, GM trucks are wicked cool level, but in person, they have their asses in the air like a bitch in heat.

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    I think it's humorous how in the renderings, GM trucks are wicked cool level, but in person, they have their asses in the air like a bitch in heat.

    Got to have the clearance for snow chains, I've read.

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    Though I will admit a new '12 GMC Sierra 2500HD pickup in Wheatland Yellow, nicknamed "Tonka", would be one helluva cool ride for me:

    9W3.jpg

    This is sharp in this color I think.

    Back on topic, I am having a hard time seeing this company around by 2015. I think this will be another DeLorian mess.

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    • By William Maley
      It was three years ago that Chevrolet showed off the Colorado ZR2 concept at the LA Auto Show. It was a mean looker with an aggressive look, raised suspension, and meaty off-road tires. Imagine our surprise when Chevrolet revealed the production version tonight in Los Angeles.
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      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New Colorado ZR2 A "Segment of One" Among Off-Road Pickups
      New performance variant of the Chevrolet Colorado excels in tight two-tracks, technical rock-crawling, fast desert running and on pavement LOS ANGELES — Just as introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado reset the bar for mid-size trucks, the new Colorado ZR2 is poised to reset expectations for off-road trucks. Chevy’s new performance halo for the Colorado lineup will feature more off-road technology than any other mid-size pickup when it goes on sale.
      The ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.
      Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features a much wider track and a lifted suspension. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.
      Class-exclusive features include front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine, and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.
      As a result, the Colorado ZR2 delivers exceptional performance in a variety of scenarios – from technical rock crawling to tight two-track trails to high-speed desert running to daily driving.
      “Our engineers have been incredibly successful developing Corvette and Camaro performance variants with broad performance envelopes,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The ZR2 applies that same philosophy to off-road performance. You can go rock crawling on Saturday, desert running on Sunday, and comfortably drive to work on Monday. This truck can do it all, and do it all well.”
      First off-road application of Multimatic DSSV dampers
      To achieve this unprecedented balance of on- and off-road performance, the Chevy engineering team turned to a surprising partner in creating the ZR2’s dampers, which are the heart of any off-road truck.
      Multimatic Inc., based in Markham, Ontario, is a renowned maker of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in championship-winning motorsport vehicles, including recent Formula One winners.
      The first volume production vehicle to use DSSV dampers was the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be the first application of Multimatic DSSV damper technology to an off-road vehicle.
      “From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers, “ said Mark Dickens, executive director, Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering, Chevrolet. “We also know that Multimatic’s motorsport development mentality would allow us to bring a uniquely precise and repeatable custom damper to market even more quickly than a traditional damper system.”
      Compared to deflected-disk valving common on most dampers, the ZR2 employs spool valves that offer increased precision and manufacturing repeatability along with enhanced ride and handling performance both on- and off-road.
      The Colorado ZR2’s DSSV dampers are position-sensitive. Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.
      “A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning,” Dickens said. “The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences.”
      Design meets mud, sand and rock
      Visually, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumer response to that concept was so overwhelming, the team knew they needed to carry as much of the original design into production as possible.
      “For both the concept and the production versions of ZR2, the exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock,” said Rich Scheer, director of design for Chevrolet Truck. “The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and even the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.”
      Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors will be standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.
      The ZR2 also features 17 x 8 inch aluminum wheels, in a pattern exclusive to the ZR2, wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction. 
      The front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches, with new cast-iron control arms for greater durability in off-road situations. As a result, the ZR2 offers greater wheel travel and stability while traversing steep grades.
      The front bumper of the ZR2 has tapered ends, to increase the tire clearance when approaching obstacles. The bumper also integrates a thick, aluminum skid plate protecting the radiator and engine oil pan, while the transfer case is protected by an additional shield. Above the bumper, the ZR2 features a more aggressive grille and hood – with black insert – to complement the other exterior changes.
      A bed-mounted spare tire carrier, seen on reveal vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be available as an accessory. “The bed-mounted spare tire adds a rugged look to ZR2, and serves a functional purpose. By relocating the spare to the bed, ZR2’s departure is improved and prevents any damage to the spare when you’re crawling over obstacles,” said Scheer.
      Class-exclusive electronic lockers, available diesel engine
      The ZR2 also features the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the segment. With class-exclusive, electronic-locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations:
      2WD 2WD, locked rear differential Auto 4WD Auto 4WD, locked rear differential 4WD Hi, locked transfer case 4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case 4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials Extensive work was done to integrate the electronic lockers and allow them to seamlessly interact with the traction control, stability control, and hill-descent control. In addition, a new “Off-Road Mode” button, in combination with the traction control switch, allows the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control calibrations to be tailored to different driving conditions. Off-road Mode also alters the throttle progression and shifts calibrations to give the driver better control and responsiveness.
      The ZR2 shares its powertrains with the 2017 Colorado, and it will be the only extreme production off-road truck to offer the choice of gas or diesel engines.
      The all-new 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and will provide excellent range to overland drivers.
      Even with all of the off-roading upgrades over the base truck, the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 lbs. – enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys – or carry 1,100 lbs. of payload.
      As such, the Colorado ZR2 offers a distinct position in the market: Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado offers an unrivaled suite of powertrain technologies; compared to full-size off-road trucks, the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter, enabling greater agility over obstacles and better trail access.
      “It’s amazing what a difference a foot of width makes off road,” said Dickens. “The smaller size of the Colorado is a huge enabler for taking the ZR2 more places, and getting it through tighter spots than you could access with a full-size truck.”
      New, off-road development track at GM’s Yuma Proving Ground
      For the development of the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet developed new off-road test areas at General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground.
      The Yuma Proving Ground is located on 2,400 acres of land in southeastern Arizona. Opened in 2009, Yuma features a range of tracks, laboratories and courses. 
      The new off-road facility features a multitude of off-road simulations, including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.
      Yuma Proving Ground’s new off-road course allowed the team to test multiple iterations of components on the ZR2 is a single day. These components were then tested a real-world facilities like Moab, Johnson Valley, and Rubicon to ensure the ZR2 is trail-ready right from the factory.
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