Plug-in car woes: Fisker Delaware plant in doubt
Plug-in car manufacturer Fisker says it may have to look at production sites outside Delaware if it can't get a federal loan. Its new plug-in car, the Atlantic, might be built overseas, the CEO says.
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The DOE made loan availability for the Delaware project contingent on Fisker meeting development and sales milestones for the Karma, which the company missed.Skip to next paragraph
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With the DOE loan on hold, Fisker has pursued alternative financing that could prove critical if talks with DOE fall through. LaSorda, former CEO and president of the Chrysler Group, suggested Tuesday that Fisker could build the Atlantic overseas with alternative investment financing if the DOE loan doesn't come through.
"I think we're in a bit of a waiting game," Markell said.
In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden headed joined Fisker officials in Delaware in announcing the resurrection of the former GM plant, and the state's Council on Development Finance approved a $12.5 million loan to Fisker. The loan will become a grant if Fisker spends at least $175 million renovating the old GM facility and shows that it created 2,495 direct and indirect jobs in five years.
The state also agreed to provide a $9 million grant to help Fisker pay utility bills while the former GM plant is retrofitted and restarted.
"We're not in a position to write another check," Markell said Wednesday. "It's not something we would have any interest in doing in terms of additional financial support from the state."
Levin said the state would seek to claw back the financing it already has provided if the deal falls through.
"We're not out of it yet," he noted. "I really don't believe that."
Levin and Markell suggested that the DOE has become much more cautious about its loan programs amid the political fallout involving Solyndra LLC, a California-based solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the federal government and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.
"It's hard to look at this and not consider some of the backlash on some of the other loans that the Department of Energy has made and think that this could be caught up in that," Markell said.