Ah, election season...

Former Fisker Automotive Chairman and current investor Ray Lane is blaming Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the delays in procuring federal loans that have been earmarked for the maker of the extended-range plug-in Karma and the upcoming Atlantic, according to Delaware Online.

In an e-mail, Lane said Romney is mistakenly grouping the Fisker loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with money given to failed companies like solar-panel producer Solyndra. Lane, managing director at venture-capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said in the alleged e-mail that he's planning to contact Romney, whose father George Romney was once president of American Motors Corp.

The Fisker issue is particularly acute in Delaware, where the automaker had planned to expand employment and build a production version of the Atlantic sedan (a.k.a. Project Nina) shown above at a former General Motors factory. Those plans have been put on hold as Fisker sorts out its financial situation. Delaware Online reported late last week that Fisker had laid off 12 more workers at the factory, which was characterized as "absolutely empty."

The company was set to receive $529 million in federal loans but has only received a fraction of that and hasn't received funding since last year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      Kevin Potts
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL this funny, Any business built on idea that it needs government funding is flawed plan and doomed from politics. This CEO is just making dumb excuses for Fisker's inability to get enough private funding and infrastructure to survive as legitimate business for the long term.
      RustyShackelford
      • 2 Years Ago
      So wait, the ex-Fisker dude is saying that Romney is not even president yet (if he even will be), and already he's cutting waste? Ahhh, the law of unintended consequences bites again.
      RICK
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mr. Lane should pick better investments and STFU. Whining is not very masculine trait.
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder how much of a federal loan Lane got for saying that one?
      drewpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      They shouldn't have a doe loan...
      1guyin10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Didn't Fisker missing almost every milestone required by their federal loan occur BEFORE Romney was even in the picture? These guys haven't even proven that they can buy a car on contract and resell it successfully and they wonder why the public is leery of bankrolling them further? Give me a break! If they had been able to deliver on their promises like Tesla has this wouldn't even be a topic of conversation.
        avconsumer2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @1guyin10
        This. Congratulations Mitt - I think you just cemented my vote. (bah - was probably gonna vote for him anyway)
      lasiurus
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can I get a federal tax credit for a 2013 Mustang GT? I know it's not an EV, but compared to a Fisker, it gets better MPG, provides more domestic jobs, and required zero tax dollar for development. That would make it "greener" right?
      Jeff
      • 2 Years Ago
      So now that we know that Fisker only utilized a small portion of their DoE loan (reports are around $119M out of $529M available), I wonder if all of the blowhards are finally going to give Fisker a break. They are not the next Solyndra and have started a new auto OEM, established a dealer network, and put a production car with an entirely new powertrain to market primarily funded through private investment, all at a greater speed and lower cost than any other manufacturer in history. If you're a car lover, you should be rooting for the Fiskers and Teslas of the world to survive, not bashing them for every misstep along the way. Ask anyone who has worked for an auto OEM and they will attest that NO launch has ever gone perfectly and error-free. Considering all of the hurdles and political volleying, Fisker has shown itself to be a resilient company.
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff
        No one is bashing Fisker! As I said in a post a few days ago, I think they're a nice-group of guys and Mr. Fisker is a class act. He took a chance on taking a loan with favorable terms from DOE and probably thought that he'd be able to attract additional private funding. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Couple this with delays, quality issues, bumps in price, etc and it becomes painstakingly obvious that Fisker is going away. It'a a shame because I really like the car. I've seen it being driven in Farmington Hills, MI and it's a beauty. Mr. Obama's vision of America being a leader in green technology is not going to pan out I'm afraid, and it's got nothing to do with oil companies getting in the way, it's just too damn expensive and there are no guarantees that average Joe and Mary will buy one of these things. Okay I'm going to stop because I'm going way way off topic. I wish Fisker all the best luck - I hope they'll get PRIVATE funding. Who knows maybe Buffett will step in, or Gates, or Google, or Apple or anyone of these so called charitable companies. But they won't because they know better.
        kmrk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff
        Well said!!!
        Danaon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff
        They only used a small portion of the DOE loan because they had to meet targets to get the entire $529M loan. They didn't meet the targets for the rest of the loan, and because it's an election year the government didn't just hand them the check anyways. Furthermore, while Fisker has done a lot of work, the auto industry is hypercompetitive. If Fisker is making good products and has a viable business plan then they should be able to get private investors on board.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Romney is evil, but Fisker IS a failed company.
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, being that Romney had NOTHING to o with the original loans (it was the Obama admin), and that the loans had performance requirments set by the DOE in order to receive the rest of the loan, and Fisker simply did not meet those performance requirements...what the hell does Romney have to do with this? Wow, he lumped Fisker in with all the other failed DOE loans, which also could not stay alfloat due to market demand and failing to meet performance specs set by DOE. Talk to Chu, the energy secretary, or Biden (he's from Delaware, afterall). Lane just wants to cash out while he can without losing too much money, and the loans would allow him to.
        EvilKid500
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        Scr, Didn't you know, any green company that has already failed is Bush's fault, and any energy company that's in danger of failing is Romney's fault. Get with the left wing talking points bro. It has nothing to do with market demand, actual output, or cost of ownership numbers. Jeez.
        Michael Sexton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        That being said doesnt hide the fact that Romney's a piece of ****...
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Michael Sexton
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        Obama spent a considerable portion on Solyndra, and recently I read about another green company to which DOE loaned money to, that went bust. Then on top of it his connections with MF Global are of concern to me. Question, why is Fisker relying on DOE money and why can't they do what every other private company does? Raise money by attracting private investors, issuing bonds, stocks and eventually commercial paper? Okay, call me a blind Republican for reading Washington Post, but there is a reason why private sector won't bother with these green start-ups. Show me ONE instance where a private entity started off under a government loan and the proceeded to be successful in long-term without any reliance on additional government funding. This also smacks as of a political statements. Does Romney really have that much of a clout over who gets funding from DOE? As far as I'm concerned, DOE needs to go away, on a permanent holiday.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RGT881
          [blocked]
      William
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why is a government loan even needed. Go for private sector venture capital. See how many libs are willing to put up their own money instead of someone else's.
        lasiurus
        • 2 Years Ago
        @William
        Agreed...Al Gore's vc firm should front the bill, not us taxpayers. Go screw yourself Mr Chairman.
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