Fisker Automotive Inc. said Joel Ewanick, the maverick marketer ousted by General Motors Co. in July, is joining the maker of luxury plug-in hybrid cars as interim chief commercial officer.
Ewanick, 52, replaces Richard Beattie, 57, who is retiring, Anaheim, California-based Fisker said in an e-mailed statement today.
Ewanick was pushed out as GM marketing chief after the carmaker determined he had failed to properly disclose about a third of the cost of a $559 million sponsorship arrangement with English soccer team Manchester United, according to people familiar with the matter. He’s since been working as a consultant for Fisker, where Chief Executive Officer Tony Posawatz, himself a former GM executive, took over in August.
“As we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period,” Posawatz said in the statement. The company didn’t provide further details on Beattie’s departure.
Closely held Fisker is trying to boost sales of its $103,000 Karma and work out a plan to produce a second model, the lower-priced Atlantic, at a Wilmington, Delaware, factory the company acquired in 2010. In February, it suspended work on the Wilmington factory, which GM shed in its 2009 bankruptcy.
Fisker’s access to a portion of federal loans received for the project was cut off last year after the company failed to meet production and sales goals for the Karma.
Posawatz was vehicle line director for GM’s Volt from 2006 until July before joining Fisker.
Fisker’s hiring of Ewanick, who also previously led marketing efforts for Hyundai Motor Co.’s U.S. unit, was reported earlier by Automotive News and the Wall Street Journal.