**Written by Doug Powers
Fisker Automotive, which was granted a $529 million US Dept. of Energy loan guarantee and then announced they would assemble the first line of cars in Finland, has announced layoffs at a Delaware plant that has yet to produce a single car:
The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.
“It’s temporary,” said Roger Ormisher, a company spokesman. “We’re being prudent and sensible as a company.”
Because the initial phase sounds like it’s been such an unqualified success, the company is asking for terms of the federal loan to be altered so the company can have faster access to their line of time-released taxpayer-backed credit:
Accompanying the layoffs was an announcement that Fisker has approached the Department of Energy about revising the targets it had to meet in order to continue drawing money from the federal loan. Whether the Energy Department agrees to alter the terms, and invest more taxpayer [money] in the Fisker venture remains unclear.
To date, Fisker has received $193 million in government funds, according to a company statement. Back in October, the company acknowledged outsourcing Karma assembly to Finland, but said that the bulk of its government funds would be used to launch a second-generation electric vehicle, still under wraps, that would be assembled in a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware. Some of those hired to prepare the Delaware plant for that effort were among those let go.
“We have temporarily delayed work at the plant based on ongoing discussions with the DOE regarding funding for the Project Nina program,” the company’s statement said. “As a result, we have laid off 26 people.”
This all sounds too familiar, doesn’t it? But since Leo DiCaprio, Al Gore and Colin Powell must not be denied warranty coverage, it’s important for the DoE to help keep Fisker afloat.
**Written by Doug Powers
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