Fisker Automotive reportedly has agreed to hire former Chrysler LLC chief executive, Tom Lasorda, in a newly created role to advise the green car maker on strategy and work with its board of directors.

Fisker recently received US$529m in loan guarantees from the USDepartment of Energy and purchased a former General Motors plant in Delaware. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is among Fisker's investors.

Unnamed sources told the news agency of the appointment of Lasorda, 57, who joins the company at a time when electrified vehicles are under scrutiny after reports of battery fires related to GM's high-profile Chevrolet Volt.

He was well known as a key manufacturing executive at GM before going to rival Chrysler in the 1990s, where he steadily moved up the ranks. Lasorda was influential in Daimler AG's sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 and also was a prominent figure when Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was eventually taken over by Fiat.

Reuters said the appointment gives Fisker an executive with considerable manufacturing and labour experience and someone also with recent experience in a variety of electric vehicle ventures. Since leaving Chrysler a couple of years ago, Lasorda has joined various boards of start-up companies with an interest in the battery-powered vehicle industry.

Fisker said recently it would produce 15,000 of its electric sports cars in 2012 despite production delays that have sharply reduced the start-up carmaker's projected deliveries in 2011 to 1,500 cars.

Production of its first vehicle, the US$96,000 plug-in hybrid Karma, was held up by faulty electrical harnesses and headlights, topped off by a flood that damaged the leather for its interior.

Fisker plans to eventually expand its lineup beyond the sporty Karma by offering a sedan and other body styles.

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