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Fisker Karma  (Source: jalopnik.com)
A total of 26 employees were laid off

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) pulled the plug on a federal loan it provided to Fisker Automotive, forcing the automaker to stop work on a Delaware factory.

California-based Fisker Automotive, known for the $102,000 Karma plug-in and the Nina midsize sedan, received a total of $529 million in loans from DOE in April 2010. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where Fisker received $169 million for Karma engineering and $359 million for Nina production. The loans were also meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker auto production. So far, Fisker has drawn down $193 million from its loans.

Fisker has been behind schedule on selling its first auto here in the U.S., and in May 2011, DOE blocked the loans previously provided to the automaker due to "unmet milestones." According to Damien LaVera, DOE only allows Fisker to use the loan if the auto company upholds its end of the deal and shows results. However, Fisker has been a little behind.

The lack of access to loans has affected work on the Delaware factory. In fact, work on the auto factory has now been halted, and 26 people were laid off.

"It's been frustrating that Fisker and the Department of Energy weren't able to come to terms on the revisions to the loan in time to avoid this," said Brian Selander, a spokesman for Delaware Governor Jack Markell. "I'd say the project is on hold while the two sides try to get things sorted out."

DOE seems to be a bit more cautious of who it provides its financial offerings to after the series of alternative energy failures through 2011 and 2012. In September 2011, Silicon Valley-based solar panel company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan from DOE in 2009. Government officials reportedly warned the administration about Solyndra's viability back at that time, but these warnings were set aside to meet political deadlines.

In November 2011, Beacon Power, a company that creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing blackouts, filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee from DOE in August 2010.

Just last month, auto electric battery maker Ener1, whose EnerDel subsidiary received a $118.5 million DOE grant in August 2009, filed for bankruptcy.

Electric vehicles haven't had a great year, either. Last year, General Motors' Chevrolet Volt was heavily criticized after three Volts sparked or caught fire in a series of side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fisker had some battery issues of its own as well back in December 2011, where over 200 Karma's were recalled.

Also, somewhat similar to Fisker's factory situation, an Indiana Think City EV plant has been sitting stagnant after failing to produce the Think City EVs, which are tiny two-seater EVs manufactured by Think Global.

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said the company sent 225 Karmas to dealers in December, with another 1,200 on the way.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek



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RE: In related news....
By Rukkian on 2/7/2012 1:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the volt is the devil! That story really had nothing to do with the volt, it was just a faux news story trying to find a way to take a jab at Obama, nothing more.

Yes there was a bailout, no I didn't agree with it, but move on already!

We need to find a way to get past all of the petty bickering between the 2 parties, and just do what is right for the country, not what will line their pockets the most.


RE: In related news....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
We need to find a way to get past all of the petty bickering between the 2 parties, and just do what is right for the country


Pretty sure taking $60 something billion dollars, in the middle of the recession, to bail out Chrysler (a company 60% owned by Fiat) and GM's UAW wasn't "right" for the country. Not at all.

quote:
That story really had nothing to do with the volt, it was just a faux news story trying to find a way to take a jab at Obama, nothing more.


Is that what you got? What I got from it was $47,000 for 25 miles of non-gasoline EV travel is an absurd compromise. But to each his own.

quote:
Yes there was a bailout, no I didn't agree with it, but move on already!


So when unconstitutional and illegal crony capitalism takes place, when corruption and conflict of interest takes place...just deal with it and move on? Never take a stand, never say what's right. Just roll over and die.

That's the American way?


RE: In related news....
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Typical reclaimer arguments, if GM had gone under, you'd be talking about how bad the Obama administration was for losing all the jobs.

Going bankrupt and restructuring was not an option for these companies because credit was completely frozen at the time or did you forget?


RE: In related news....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 1:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well never know because due-process never took place. People call me a partisan hack, but I was very vocal here against what Bush did. Our Congressmen are supposed to be our representatives. What Bush did was frankly suspending Democracy and taking the decision out of the peoples hands.

quote:
if GM had gone under, you'd be talking about how bad the Obama administration was for losing all the jobs.


No I wouldn't. I believe in Capitalism, that includes destructive capitalism.

Shig, demand for vehicles doesn't just stop and go away because GM "goes under". It would cause an increase in demand for other manufacturers cars, THUS, a huge surge in job openings would have taken place.

Had GM been forced to severely atrophy or liquidate, the other automakers would have had greater revenues, more market share, and probably higher profits. They would have been able to attract GM’s best engineers and line workers. They would have more money to invest in R&D and to lead the industry into the future. Instead, by keeping GM in the mix, some of those industry resources remain misallocated in a company that the evolutionary market process would have made smaller or extinct.

The auto industry wasn't rescued by GM. GM was "rescued", at the cost of other automakers and the taxpayers.


RE: In related news....
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
But their bailout was attached to TARP money, are you saying we shouldn't have passed TARP and let all the banks fail too?

It's not as though GM was making awful cars that no one wanted, GM got caught up in all the silly finance mess with all the other banks. A bulk of their profits were from their finance division and all the 'derivative' schemes, not cars.


RE: In related news....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 2:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Okay you really have no clue what you're talking about. Bush allocated $16 billion of TARP funds for GM and Chrysler. But he also opened the door for Obama to then go ahead and pile another $60+ billion on top of that. There were other key differences as well. As Bush's solution was more of a "blank check", while Obama's Administration took a much more on-hands, and widely illegal, approach.

Are you trying to pin me in a corner where if I don't support bailouts, I'm FOR the wholesale slaughter of businesses? That's a morally bankrupt position.

If the role of our Government is to permanently reside over all business and decide who fails and who doesn't, there's a word for that, fascism.

quote:
GM got caught up in all the silly finance mess with all the other banks.


That wasn't the banks fault. GM failed because of bad financial policies. Failure to be competitive, and others reasons. Just lots of bad decisions in general.

Here's a good summary if you care:
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/05/31/after-101-y...

Basically when a company does all of this, they really SHOULD fail.


RE: In related news....
By FITCamaro on 2/7/2012 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 1
This assumes GM would have tanked to begin with.

They could have gone into bankruptcy, reformed under a new organization (exactly what they did anyway), and kept going. Without the US tax payers writing off all the pension benefits that GM owed the UAW. The difference would have been that the law would have been followed. Preferred stock holders wouldn't have had what they were owed illegally seized. Dealerships wouldn't have been closed based on who the owners gave campaign contributions to.

All that's going to happen now is that in 15-20 years, the UAW will drive the company into the ground again with outrageous pay and benefit demands.


RE: In related news....
By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
Congrats Fit. You've identified the individuals we should actually blame for the auto bailout.

The establishment at the UAW. Our political leadership.

Blaming 1 out of dozens of products at a particular company is not only wrong but stupid. Worse, you waste alot of energy attacking something whose success and failure essentially make no difference to those actually to blame (I highly doubt the UAW cares what GM produces as long as they get paid).


RE: In related news....
By Dorkyman on 2/7/2012 8:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
Glad to see we can finally agree on something--the UAW and our political leadership are precisely where most of the blame lies.

And, by the way, GM has not been rescued, it has simply been given a transfusion so that it can live a little longer. I expect it to do the swan dive into an empty pool within the decade. THEN the best parts will come back as something else, something better. And pensions and pay will be cut back to reasonable levels.


RE: In related news....
By Keeir on 2/7/2012 8:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Glad to see we can finally agree on something--the UAW and our political leadership are precisely where most of the blame lies.


I think most people would be surprised.

I think a Serial Hybrid is by far the most promising piece of future automotive technology I have seen to date. It has the potential to be cost effective, resource effective, allow massive performance, allow massive range, and deployed to essentially any shape of car while allowing for easy integration of other future technology.

Yet I would never support a waste of government resources or the shenanigans that went on just to put a Serial Hybrid on the market.

But guess what? That ship has sailed. GM has gotten its bailout. I can rant about their products, etc. It won't change the fact that the deal is done. The best I can do is remember when I cast my ballot, contribute to a politician campaign or discuss politics with my friends and co-workers. And I do.

GM products ought to be viewed with an open frame of mind and assessed based on merits or lack there-of.


RE: In related news....
By Ringold on 2/7/2012 9:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM products ought to be viewed with an open frame of mind and assessed based on merits or lack there-of.


I think people are. If they made economic sense and were doing well, I don't think it'd hardly ever be brought up. Even the Republican party has an industrial policy branch not far removed from the Democrats; they'd probably of hailed it as a success.

But, the Volt doesn't make sense for most people, and due to the nature of the circumstances which gave it birth its therefore a symbol of all thats wrong with crony capitalism. So, it's an easy whipping boy.

Again, if it'd been a success and dealers were begging GM to send them more, I think it'd be a totally different situation.


RE: In related news....
By Spuke on 2/7/2012 3:09:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Going bankrupt and restructuring was not an option for these companies because credit was completely frozen at the time or did you forget?
Credit wasn't frozen. That was complete bullshit. We easily bought a truck and our credit scores are no where near 800. Hell, I know people that bought new homes while that was being reported. The real deal was that credit was "frozen" to all the people that shouldn't have had credit extended to them in the first place. But instead of saying that people with shitty credit won't get loans anymore, the media straight up lies and says EVERYONE'S credit is frozen.


RE: In related news....
By Ringold on 2/7/2012 3:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
Credit was frozen for banks, and there was no market for 'jumbo' mortgages. The mortgage part got played a lot because it largely meant rich people couldn't mortgage their homes, and the media is, despite its bias, made up of rich folk who talk to other rich folk and are therefore trapped in an echo chamber.

If those companies had gone belly up, someone somewhere would've stepped up with deep pockets and a willingness to buy good assets -- at the right price.


RE: In related news....
By Rukkian on 2/7/2012 2:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have no problem with somebody having a problem with the bailouts (I didn't agree either), I also have no problem with people that do not think we should be investing in companies, fine, that is your opinion. I am not trying to sway you (I don't think that would be possible) just getting sick of everybody posting on pretty much every single post that mentions a wheel that the Volt sucks, The volt explodes, The Volt is the death of the country.

What I was referring to in my post was that it keeps getting harped on that the Volt explodes!!!!!! news at eleven headlines. The article that was linked was from faux news obviously just trying to take a jab at obama indirectly.

If they wanted to be true journalists, they should have acted the same way on every other electric car and see if they lived up to the published mileage. They would not do it, because it would not be a slight on Obama (although I am sure they could find some way that is does). They would also then go out and take a gas-guzzler and stomp on the gas at every corner, ride the brakes, then show how well it does compared to the MPG that it is rated at.

The article posted was completely biased and not worthy of noting here in an article that had little to do with the Volt (other than a side note).


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