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Fisker Flight: Auto Start-Up Given $529 Million Loan Courtesy of US Taxpayers Heads for the Finnish Line

By Doug Powers  •  October 21, 2011 09:56 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

In January of 2010, a “green” automotive startup called Fisker, the recipient of a $529 million US Dept. of Energy loan, purchased a former GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware. Almost immediately there were suspicions of a possible quid pro quo deal involving Joe Biden.

For now, though, those allegations can be put on the back burner, because the car won’t be manufactured in Delaware. As a matter of fact, it won’t even be manufactured in the United States.

From ABC News:

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.”

Why is the car called the “Karma”? Because “Thanks for the Money, Suckers, We’re Outta Here” wouldn’t fit on the hood ornament.

One would have guessed that the ability to produce the vehicle in the U.S. might have been part of the intensive research the Department of Energy claims to perform before handing out “green energy” grant and loan. That doesn’t appear to be the case. Wile E. Coyote performed more competent due diligence before he bought a piece of Ajax and Acme.

I know… I know… it’s hard to believe the same administration that thought Solyndra was a good idea didn’t spot the pitfalls of the Fisker deal from a mile away. But Al Gore is pleased, and these days, isn’t that all that matters?

Update: Read well into the ABC story and you’ll run across the inevitable Obama campaign connection:

One of Fisker’s biggest financial supporters, records show, is the California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The firm financially supports numerous green-tech firms, records show.

Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, a California billionaire who made a fortune investing in Google, hosted President Obama at a February dinner for high-tech executives at his secluded estate south of San Francisco. Doerr and Kleiner Perkins executives have contributed more than $1 million to federal political causes and campaigns over the last two decades, primarily supporting Democrats. Doerr serves on Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Doerr has not replied to interview requests since March.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Automakers, Delphi

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