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Fisker hires third CEO in 12 months

Fisker Automo-tive Inc., the Anaheim, California, maker of luxury hybrid vehicles, has hired its third chief executive in a year.

Fisker Automo-tive Inc., the Anaheim, California, maker of luxury hybrid vehicles, has hired its third chief executive in a year.

Fisker said this week that it had tapped Tony Posawatz, who helped lead development of Chevrolet's Volt plug-in hybrid for six years before retiring from General Motors Co. in July.

The maker of pricey, sporty plug-ins - such as the Karma favoured by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber - has been racked recently by stalled model development, recalls, missed deadlines and layoffs.

Last week, one of its $100,000 Karma models caught fire in a Woodside, California, parking lot, the company said.

No one was hurt in the incident, which Fisker said had nothing to do with the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack.

The company has also tried to plug holes from the $529-million government loan that was partially withheld this year after the company lagged on Karma development.

Posawatz succeeds Tom LaSorda, a former Chrysler executive who in February took over the CEO role from company co-founder Henrik Fisker.

LaSorda said in a statement that Posawatz was "the perfect CEO for Fisker," calling him "a real product guy for a productdriven company."

Fisker, now executive chairman, said Posawatz's skills will be key to maximizing the Karma's potential and also bringing future models, such as the Atlantic, to market.

"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," Fisker said in a statement.