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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Energy Department Defends Loan to Company Building Electric Cars in Finland

    The Department of Energy is standing by a $529 million loan guarantee to an electric car company that is outsourcing production to Finland.

    A department official, in a lengthy response posted on a government blog Thursday night, confirmed that the company Fisker is assembling its Karma electric car at its "overseas facility."

    The response comes after ABC News reported that the Obama administration gave the green light for the company to move the manufacturing to Finland two years after announcing the loan.

    Founder Henrik Fisker reportedly claimed the company could not find a manufacturer in the U.S. for the job. "They don't exist here," he told ABC News.

    The development comes amid widespread scrutiny of the Obama administration's loan programs for alternative energy companies and projects. The bankruptcy of government-backed solar panel firm Solyndra in September touched off a frenzy of questions on Capitol Hill over whether U.S. taxpayer money is being used wisely to prop up the industry.

    But Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow said the U.S. investment in Fisker is still helping the company fuel American jobs. He said the first part of the loan, $169 million, supported engineering work at Fisker's U.S. facilities as the company "developed the tools, equipment and manufacturing processes for Fisker's first vehicle."

    "The Department's funding was only used for the U.S. operations," he wrote. "The money could not be, and was not, spent on overseas operations. The Karma also relies on an extensive network of hundreds of suppliers in more than a dozen U.S. states."

    Leistikow said the rest of the loan is still supporting U.S. production of another vehicle line called the Nina, though production has been delayed because of regulatory issues.

    "Fisker is using this funding to bring a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware back to life and employing more than 2,500 workers. Fisker was attracted to this site in part by the opportunity to rehire some of the trained, dedicated workers who lost their jobs when that plant closed," Leistikow said.

    The ABC News report noted the political connections enjoyed by Fisker and another company, Tesla Motors, which together received about $1 billion in loans. Fisker reportedly is backed by a firm that counts ex-Vice President Al Gore among its partners. The article said just 40 of Fisker's Karma cars have been produced so far, and that Tesla is consistently losing money.

    But Leistikow said Tesla has added 1,000 new jobs since receiving the government support. He said both companies' loans were approved "on the merits after extensive review."

    "They represent exactly the type of cutting edge, innovative manufacturing this program was intended to support, and are part of a large, robust portfolio of investments that are helping America become more globally competitive," he said.
    Last edited by voivod; 10.21.11 at 07:08 AM.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

    Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

    "There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle," the car company's founder and namesake told ABC News. "They don't exist here."

    Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money so far has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive.

    "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning. So we make the right decision for the business," Fisker said. "That's why we went to Finland."

    The loan to Fisker is part of a $1 billion bet the Energy Department has made in two politically connected California-based electric carmakers producing sporty -- and pricey -- cutting-edge autos. Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm whose partners include former Vice President Al Gore, predicts it will eventually be churning out tens of thousands of electric sports sedans at the shuttered GM factory it bought in Delaware. And Tesla Motors, whose prime backers include PayPal mogul Elon Musk and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, says it will do the same in a massive facility tooling up in Silicon Valley.

    An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News that will air on "Good Morning America" found that the DOE's bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded. Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers' driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio. Tesla's SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/car-co...ry?id=14770875
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  4. #4
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:21 AM
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    It is wasteful spending like this that is one of the biggest reasons we are in the horrible financial shape we are in. Wall Street doesn't have anything compared to this administrations over the top appropriations of funds to bullshit causes.
    Who the fuck is going to buy a $50,000 ugly as hell electric car, better yet who can afford it.

    Hey Occupy assholes, why don't you all pull up camp and move to D.C. That is where the real robbers of your future are.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    An electric car for the rich, by the rich and built off the taxes of the middle-class...

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/21/2...iew-road-test/
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:13 PM
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    I know it is only 500 manufacturing jobs, but I really do believe that any US business loan guarantees need to have the caveat that the work is performed here in America.

    Just seems like basic common sense to me.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    12.16.17 @ 01:01 AM
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    Government is going to have to get overthrown one way or the other.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    and......... two years later...

    U.S. to exit Fisker at hefty taxpayer loss
    September 17, 2013


    Washington —The Energy Department said Tuesday it will auction off its outstanding $168 million loan to the now-closed electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive Inc., a move that will likely mean significant losses to taxpayers. It would be the second automaker to fail after receiving loans that were later sold by the government at a loss.

    Peter W. Davidson, executive director of the Energy Department’s loan program office, said in a blog posting Tuesday that the department will exit Fisker, whose Karma luxury sedan was driven by celebrities such as Al Gore, Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Fisker was initially was awarded $528 million from the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing loan program, but received only $192 million. The Energy Department said it has already recouped more than $28 million from Fisker’s accounts.

    “After exhausting any realistic possibility for a sale that might have protected our entire investment, the department announced today that we are auctioning the remainder of Fisker’s loan obligation, offering the best possible recovery for the taxpayer,” Davidson said Tuesday.

    The auction will be Oct. 11. The winner of the auction would be in the driver’s seat to take control of the company. But the Energy Department wants a buyer to keep jobs in the U.S.

    “The department will require all bids to include a commitment and business plan that promotes domestic manufacturing capabilities and related engineering for advanced technology vehicles here in the United States,” Davidson said.

    The Anaheim, Calif.-based company said in November it was considering Michigan for a new technical center. It previously had a center in Pontiac and had considered buying a shuttered GM assembly plant in Pontiac in 2009 to build cars, but opted for a Delaware plant instead.

    Fisker had planned to create 2,000 factory jobs in Delaware and start production by late 2012. It never opened.

    Fisker sold about 2,000 plug-in hybrids worldwide, but hasn’t built a car in more than a year. In April, it did not make a $10 million loan payment to the Energy Department as it sought to find a buyer or new investor. Fisker laid off 75 percent of its staff that month.

    Fisker has drawn scorn from House Republicans and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota expressed concern in February that Fisker would be sold to a Chinese buyer after reports suggested Geely Automotive and Dongfeng Motor Corp. were in the running to acquire a majority stake.

    “When the federal government picks winners & losers, the American people are left on the hook,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House’s No. 3 Republican, said Tuesday in a Twitter posting.

    Earlier this month, the Energy Department sold its unpaid $50 million loan to Allen Park-based VPG to AM General for $3 million, which agreed to acquire VPG’s MV-1 wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Taxpayers lost about $42 million on that sale.

    The Energy Department on Tuesday cited successes like Ford Motor Co.’s $5.9 billion loan, which helped support thousands of jobs, and Tesla’s $465 million loan that was repaid early.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    ...and who didn't see this coming??
    Rock the Red!!!

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  10. #10
    Good Enough vanzefflin's Avatar
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    It's not really a failure, it's an investment that has matured without any profit or the initial money.

    And now we need to take what's not left and go greener.
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