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Fisker woes deepen

Things aren't going well for electric automaker Fisker. The company was expected to file for bankruptcy protection this month and was forced to lay off 75% of its workforce. The unexpected slashing of its workforce led to a suit by former employees. Today we learned that Fisker has failed to make its first $10 million payment to the Energy Department to repay the massive federal loan it was given.

A spokesperson from the Energy Department named Aoife McCarthy said that the federal government earlier this month recouped $21 million of the $192 million it loaned Fisker.

"Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers," McCarthy said.

"Using the safeguards we write into our loan agreements, the department stopped disbursing on the loan in June 2011 after the company, taking a significant chunk of taxpayer money with it short of the aggressive milestones that we had established as a condition of the loan," she said. "As a result, while our original loan commitment was for $529 million, only $192 million was actually disbursed."

Fisker’s current and former CEOs are set to testify at House hearing this week about the struggles with the automotive manufacturer. Along with the automotive executives from Fisker, Energy Department supervisory senior investment officer for loans program office, Nicholas Whitcombe, will also be testifying.

The Obama administration approved Fisker for the $529 million federal loan in 2010. The automaker produced only 2,500 of its plug-in hybrid sedans at an estimated cost of $660,000 each when federal and private funds are considered.

Source: Wall Street Journal



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RE: Crony Capitalism
By foxalopex on 4/24/2013 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 1
Chevy Volt??

This is political bias if there was ever such. The Chevy Volt is a car NOT a company. Besides it's hardly failing or filed for bankruptcy. The Volt sells better than the Corvette last I heard.

I mean if you think this way you might as well list the Telsa Roadster? Nissan received a large amount of money for the Leaf, where are they? In 2012 Nissan sold fewer cars than the Volt did. Should they be considered a failure too?

Besides, the Volt was under development long before the Obama administration. The concept was revealed in 2007. Even if the volt doesn't sell huge numbers, the concept has proven to be solid for GM. They're putting the same technology into their other vehicles. Cadillac ELR, Spark EV. Owners haven't had any major issues with the Volt that would be considered showstoppers thanks to very paranoid testing by GM. The drivetrain was driven from Alaska to Arizona for years in modified Malibus. The roadster's battery pack would self-destruct if you over-discharged and the Leaf's pack dies in the heat of Arizona.

And yes I own one but guess what I'm Canadian. I am pleased to say that it can survive our brutal winters without much of an issue. I don't think a pure EV would work here. I got a $8,000 discount from our own government here to buy that car as a part of the electric car program here to try to clean up our cities. This discount applies to any electric car.

Your only valid argument is that the government bailed out GM which has nothing to do with this car. For that time will tell. Last I recall Canada even contributed a good chunk of money to GM because if they collapsed it would have seriously hurt our economy. (There's a few cities in Ontario who's primary employer is GM manufacturing.) The other choice would've been to let GM go bankrupt which I'm not sure would've been a good solution either. I saw Nortel collapse back in 2000 and I can definitely say the excess of IT workers totally messed up my job prospects for years.

The Fisker is a disaster. Even Consumer Reports broke theirs during testing and owners have reported problems with reliability and build. In comparison, nearly all of Volt's problems are by folks who don't own one or believe it has something to do with Obama. It doesn't. In the short-time I've owned it, it's done exactly as it's promised hence why it's loved by most owners. It's admittedly expensive but new tech always is.


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