Auto designer Henrik Fisker filed a lawsuit against British automaker Aston Martin this week, accusing the company of civil extortion (PDF). Fisker says Aston Martin threatened to sue the designer if he showed off his new Force 1 luxury sports car at the Detroit Auto Show in mid-January.
Fisker is well-known in the auto design world. He served as the president of BMW’s DesignWorks before he was brought on at Aston Martin. According to Fisker’s complaint, Aston Martin sold only 400 vehicles per year in the mid-ninties, but by the time the two cars Fisker developed for Aston Martin were in production, global sales had grown to more than 7,000 cars sold worldwide.
Fisker later went on to do entrepreneurial work. Fisker Automotive, which was supposed to deliver a plug-in electric hybrid car, went bankrupt and was purchased by China’s Wanxiang Group Corp. in 2014. Today, Fisker is set to release a new car he designed, called the Force 1, which will go into production later this spring. The Wall Street Journal notes that it is still unclear which company will manufacture the 745 horsepower, $300,000 vehicle that Fisker has designed.