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WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Fisker to announce fate of Delaware plant in December

Fisker Automotive will announce in December its plans for manufacture of the Atlantic model -- the automobile that Fisker had promised to assemble at the old Boxwood Road plant near Newport. So reports The NEWS JOURNAL. Fisker has secured $100 million in new cash from private investors.

So Fisker COULD deliver Christmas joy to northern Delaware, although for many, even a renewed Fisker commitment to assemble the Atlantic at Boxwood Road would be greeted with a measure of skepticism. Or - what many consider more likely - Fisker could play the Grinch, and destroy any remaining scintilla of hope for the Boxwood Road plant.

Fisker's C.E.O. Tony Posawatz insists the automotive firm has eased the impasse with the U.S. Department of Energy that led D.O.E. to freeze Fisker's drawdowns on a $529 million loan. Still, although the issues may have been "resolved", Fisker is still unable to get that money. (D.O.E. won't comment.)

Of course, as is widely known, the state of Delaware also shelled out $21 million to assist in the rehabilitation of the Boxwood Road plant. And Fisker's Delaware plans remain very murky.

If the Feds don't open that money spigot - or if Fisker uses new cash from private investors to put the D.O.E. in its rear-view mirror - the company could move ahead as it pleases, no longer tied to the conditions of the loan to assemble Atlantics here in the United States.

Meanwhile, Fisker seems haunted with bad karma. CONSUMER REPORTS recently trashed the Karma, rating the $103,000 car its LOWEST rated luxury sedan...



http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/09/fisker-karma-earns-a-failing-grade-from-consumer-reports.html



Looks like any final Fisker announcement will come AFTER the Delaware gubernatorial election.



Posted at 7:43am on October 2, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

tonyi
Tue, Oct 2, 2012 1:27pm
The whold Fisker situation reminds me of the Scandinavian shipbuilder that was going to take over the Philadelphia Navel Yard once the government pulled out. There was great jubilation, and the union officials and politicians pounded their chests and roared to the world declaring what a wonderful job they had done. In the end, incentives were gone, no ships were built, and everyone slinked away. Fisker took the government money, and the Delaware money and they will vanish. Deldot will take over the property, and sell it for a dollar to a large political donor. I don't know anyone who would spend one hundred thousand dollars for an electric car, and I doubt if anyone reading this blog does either. Are the political leaders in this state that stupid?

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Oct 2, 2012 10:23pm
Apparently the governor is.

mrpizza
Wed, Oct 3, 2012 4:56am
Yeah, the politicians likewise pat themselves on the back for saving the Hare's Corner post office, but if the employees that begged for the joint to stay open don't improve production, they'll end up shutting it down themselves.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 3, 2012 8:05am
That's one of the problems with the unionized Federal Work force, they see themselves at entitled, and the tax payer should just pony up whatever demands they have and be glad to get mediocre service or production. Unlike companies in the real world, be they union or non-union, if you're product doesn't meet customer wants and needs, the customer will go down the street to your competitor.

mrpizza
Thu, Oct 11, 2012 7:57am
You're right about that, Mike. However, I do need to emphasize that unlike other government agencies, USPS receives no taxpayer subsides and has had to operate strictly on raising revenue for the past 41 years. More recently, it's been burdened with a law Congress passed in 2006 requiring USPS to pre-fund retiree health-care for the next 75 years.

Meanwhile, revenues have dropped about 40% and Congress continues to use USPS as a cash cow for its insatiable drunken-sailor spending habits. Admittedly, this has somewhat contributed to the bad morale among employees.
However, I still try to get workers to understand that it's ultimately up to them to save their own jobs, and no politician at the end of the day is going to do it for them.

mrpizza
Thu, Oct 11, 2012 8:03am
The real problem with Fisker as well as Chevy Volt and other electric car endeavors, is that the technology is not yet economically viable. For whatever reason, state and federal governments think they can throw money at something and jump-start it. The general automobile market is not the testing ground for this sort of thing. There needs to be another 5 to 10 years of research and development before trying to sell it to the American public.

I remember when CD players first came out they were $500. Now you can get them for about $35. They'll have to get the price of an electric car a lot closer to the cost of a conventional vehicle before they can expect to sell very many.


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