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Fisker burned through $1.3B in private and government funding

The latest massive failure in the automotive industry to take a huge chunk of taxpayer money with it is Fisker. The automaker has been struggling and earlier this month laid off 75% of its workers. The company is also expected to file bankruptcy, seeking protection from its creditors.

Through all of its troubles, Fisker has only produced 2,500 of its Karma plug-in hybrid sedans (it hasn’t even begun production of the smaller Atlantic plug-in hybrid sedan). When you consider the amount of investor and U.S. taxpayer money given to Fisker in the form of government-backed loans, each of those 2,500 Karma electric vehicles cost $660,000 to produce compared to a retail price of $103,000.

Fisker had planned to spend part of the $529 million loan from the U.S. government to reopen an old General Motors manufacturing factory in Delaware. Despite the fact that Fisker had violated loan terms for the use of government-backed funds from being Energy Department, it was allowed to continue using the money according to a report released last week by a company called PrivCo.


Fisker Karma

“They made a mistake” in awarding the loan, PrivCo Chief Executive Officer Sam Hamadeh said of the Energy Department in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg. “Should they have fought this sooner? Obviously -- as soon as it became evident that they had begun to default.”

However, the Energy Department takes issue with the PrivCo report stating that the report contained errors. The Energy Department says that it halted Fisker's funding in late June of 2011 after the company had used about $193 million from the government loan.

Overall, Fisker spent $1.3 billion in venture capital and taxpayer money according to the report. Fisker is supposed to make the first repayment of $20.2 million on the loan granted from the Energy Department today. It remains unclear whether or not that will happen. 

Source: Bloomberg





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