It is just a matter of time and two inevitable things will happen: both critically acclaimed actress Betty White and technological wonder, Fisker Automotive will die.
Betty is the only member of the Golden Girls left and has embraced a whole new aspect of stardom. She has single-handedly paved the way for a surprisingly large number of golden–era actors and actresses left. With her recent runaway hit “Hot In Cleveland” showcasing the aged diva’s wit and comedic timing, I can’t help but think that somewhere in a small room or after hours in a dark corner of a bar, there are writers and producers ominously strategizing about what to do should Betty close her eyes for the last time. What if it’s the middle of the season? What if it’s the middle of a scene? Regretfully, we must decide how we’re going to write ourselves out of this. Admittedly, despite all the depth within the remaining cast, White makes the show and without her, we could only watch a couple of tribute episodes before someone has to embrace reality and pull the plug.
Funny thing, Fisker cars is the same way. Its designer, namesake and creator, Henrik Fisker walks away. Now we are left to watch a few more episodes where they do flashbacks of the glory days of magazine covers, TV appearances and favorable press.
Betty can diet, rest and follow her doctor’s orders to the letter. Regardless, she is 91 years old and will inevitably leave us. There is nothing we can do about that. However, we can save Fisker…maybe.
Truth be told, we don’t really know how deep in the red Fisker is. What we do know is that it won’t survive long without a transfusion of cash and some good publicity. The fire scandal needs to be put out, the quality control needs to be addressed and the complexity of the batteries is beyond even the minds of its rich owners. There have been several prescriptions written to keep ol’ Fisker alive – mostly by auto journalists and enthusiasts who just can’t bear to see yet another marque disappear within the decade. Some say dump the batteries for a powerful, fuel efficient (maybe diesel) fuel-burner. Others say since Bob Lutz is building another Fisker anyway, sell him the company cheap, ask Henrik to come back for public image and let master Lutz do his work. The guy who sold Holdens in Texas for GM can’t be too bad of a salesman. There is yet another school of thought that gives Ford the keys to the factory and sells them as Lincolns. Hey, at this point in Lincoln’s life, a Lincoln Town Kar-ma doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea.
The bottom line is this: We have to prepare for Betty’s untimely demise and every other cast member had better start tweaking his or her resume. Other than the design, chassis and a few innovative features, Fisker has nothing to sell itself with. Fisker has seemingly gone from well-written sitcom to poorly staged reality show. Just like “Hot In Cleveland”, we watch because we are enamored by the Midwesterner’s spunk and vitality. In the automotive case, we keep watching hoping not to lose our star. I sincerely hope that Fisker can be saved. If not, I don’t know that the reruns will be that good.
(Note: a whole article about a failing car company with absolutely no reference to Saab whatsoever. I am proud of myself)