The Obama administration has seized $21 million from troubled automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. just weeks after the company laid off three-fourths of its workers amid continuing financial and production problems.
Fisker had received $192 million in federal loans before a series of problems led U.S. officials to freeze the loan in 2011.
In a statement Monday, the Energy Department said it recovered $21 million from the company's reserve account on April 11 as it continues to seek repayment from the car maker for a 2009 loan commitment awarded by the Energy Department. A payment from Fisker was due Monday, but was not made, a DOE official said.
The payment deadline, combined with the company's financial woes, had increased speculation that Fisker would file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday. No bankruptcy filing had occurred by late in the day.
The DOE awarded the Anaheim, Calif.-based company a $529 million loan as part of an Obama administration program to boost electric cars and other advanced vehicles. Fisker pledged its assets as collateral on that loan.
A DOE spokeswoman called the financial seizure appropriate and noted that safeguards were written into the loan agreement. Combined with the 2011 action to freeze the loan, the DOE has protected more than two-thirds of its original loan commitment, spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy said.
"While this is a hard time for the company's employees and investors, our overall portfolio of more than 30 projects continues to perform well and more than 90 percent of the $10 billion loan loss reserves Congress established remains intact," McCarthy said.
The Energy Department has been criticized for failing to protect taxpayers from a failed $529 million loan to solar panel Solyndra, which went bankrupt in 2011 and laid off 1,100 workers.
Fisker, maker of the $100,000-plus Karma hybrid sports car, has not built a vehicle since last summer and has failed to secure a buyer as its cash reserves have dwindled.
And that doesn't include the money that the state of Delaware threw into Fisker. But at least the Feds cut off access to the funds when Fisker started missing all their milestones. They started waking up after all their other screw-ups in the green energy area.
Just goes to show you, Just because you are a very smart physics PHD does not mean that you know a hoot about business after spending your whole life in R&D. Wish politicians would learn something from that but don't count on it.
While not as embarrassing Tesla is probably going to suffer the same fate once the dust settles on that provider of rich mans toys that do nothing positive for the environment either.
Electric car maker Fisker Automotive is hopelessly behind on repaying a $192 million Department of Energy loan, and while the loss to taxpayers pales in comparison to our national investment in failed solar panel maker Solyndra, the fact is that Fisker isn't bringing the idea of environmentally friendly transport any closer to reality. Touted as a savior to the state of Delaware where its cars were to be produced in a former GM plant outside Wilmington -- retooled, by the way, with additional millions in taxpayer funding -- Fisker instead ended up building the few models it did produce in Finland because they claimed no interim facilities were available for domestic production. Unfortunately, the cars that retailed at $103,000 cost $660,000 in public and private money to produce, according to a report by PrivCo, a financial research firm. "Fisker Automotive will go down as the largest venture capital-backed debacle in U.S. history," said PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh. "Ultimately, Fisker proved to be far better at raising money than at making cars."
The demise of Fisker can also be traced to the failure of battery maker A123 -- another spectacular bankruptcy and loss of taxpayer dollars provided in the vain hope of jump-starting a "green" economy. But with thousands of Fisker cars remaining unsold, it appears those remaining units will become museum pieces and curiosities rather than somebody's mode of transport.
Worst Energy Policy Ever.
Whats your point?
USEC negotiated with Russia for 10 years worth of SWU supply
USEC is building much more efficient process and only held Paducah open to please DOE
USEC has sufficient inventory to meet customer demand so what is the profit metirc for that?
National Security involves having enrichment in the USA
What is your point?
Smart money is accumulating USU at these levels.
Fisker will retain about 53 senior managers and executives to primarily help sell off company assets.
Fisker has received $193 million of a $529 million Energy Department loan, mostly for work on its luxury Karma vehicle that sells for about $100,000. The deadline to repay the loan is purportedly in late April.