At the beginning of 2014, it looked like Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC was going to buy the remains of Fisker Automotive for $25 million. Just before that sale was to take place, however, Wanxiang stepped in and an auction was therefore scheduled for the middle of February. After 19 rounds of apparently frantic bidding, Wanxiang drove away the winner with a $149.2-million bid. Despite the massive dollar run-up, the Department of Energy will not be recouping any extra money from its failed loan to Fisker in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

Way back in 2010, the DOE made Fisker a loan commitment of $528 million but only ever gave the automaker $192 million before problems were identified and the ATVMP spigot was turned off. The DOE later said it "recouped more than $28 million from the company's accounts," which left $168 million unaccounted for. The DOE thus announced it would hold an auction for the remainder of Fisker's loan obligation, which was decidedly not all of the Fisker remains. That loan sale auction took place in December and was won by Hybrid Tech Holdings for $25 million, which means that the final cost to the DOE was $143 million.

The important thing to realize is that the $25 million in cash that made up Hybrid's original bid for the rest of the Fisker assets in the February auction in a Delaware bankruptcy court were the apples to the oranges of the $25 million used to buy the loan obligation in December. Since the DOE did not control - and never wanted to control - the Fisker assets, the DOE didn't get to recoup any more of the $143 million that Fisker owed on the loan despite the higher-than-expected ending price.

Clear as mud, right?


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      HUMANMPC2000
      • 10 Months Ago
      No Government Motor Jokes today...???
      FuelToTheFire
      • 10 Months Ago
      Tesla will be in the same situation in 5 years. This is what happens when we give away money to a company we know is going to fail. Serves you right, government.
        raktmn
        • 10 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        In shocking news, Concern Troll is Concerned!! It is always amazing how many just completely ignorant trolls post on ABG's Tesla and Fisker stories. It definitely drags down the quality of ABG in comparison with other green websites.
          Grendal
          • 10 Months Ago
          @raktmn
          I'm glad they actually cross-post the ABG articles over to the AB site as well. You do get the childish ignorant rants from a few die-hard ignorant gearheads that probably annoy the crap out of informed intelligent gearheads too. However it adds more dialog amongst the commenters. Very occasionally you get to teach someone the strengths of EV's, EREVs, and all the other cleaner alternatives.
        Grendal
        • 10 Months Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Tesla already paid back its loan IN FULL, with interest (over $20 million). So the government actually was successful with them. Ford still owes $5.7 billion or so from their loan. Maybe you should go harass the various Ford articles instead. http://business.time.com/2013/05/23/loser-no-more-tesla-repays-465-million-u-s-loan/
      Joeviocoe
      • 10 Months Ago
      A good reason why these type of loans should be 'bankruptcy proof". If my federal DOEducation student loans can't be discharged for personal bankruptcy... then companies should not get their federal DOEnergy loans without the same hard stipulations.
        paulwesterberg
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        We should garnish CEOs wages if they stop making payments.
        Joeviocoe
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I understand why they do it... because they want to encourage growth. Executives and shareholders might not want to undertake even moderately risky ventures, if they knew they would risk personal wealth. For student debt... the debtor doesn't really have much of a choice in this economy. Get a degree, or get a minimum wage job. At least that is what most employers have been demanding for the last couple of decades. They all want to see paper, even for non-technical jobs... and this has changed society. So now, students must undergo debt just to compete in the workforce.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Maybe you can be reborn as a corporate person in the next life if your Karma is in order.. it's the highest form of life, after all ;)
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Too bad you're not a corporate person, Joe. You'd have these kinds of rights.
      Grendal
      • 10 Months Ago
      The fact is that a lot of that money came back in the form of various taxes. We all pay a lot of taxes daily. The end result was still a loss of some sort however.
      • 9 Months Ago
      This company had bad karma when they stole ideas from Tesla.. Look who ended up surviving and actually paying back their loan from DOE early.. and whose shares is at $259 today.... It just goes to show that if your are going to be a game changer you have to build your company with integrity..
      Mike
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yep another obummer green energy project fail. no problem lets just add it to the debt.
        Rr778
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mike
        To give you the opportunity to fully disclose, Do you know under which president and what year the doe started lending to startups?
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Mike
        The ATVM loan program was created by the Bush Administration. FYI.
      Grendal
      • 9 Months Ago
      Ultimately, I can't argue with wanting a transparent honest government. Government out of 2/3 of the things it has its hands in would be nice. I just think it is a fantasy at this point. The politicians have power and they aren't going to give it up. They can be bought by whoever has money to give them just a little more and that is sadly not going to go away either.
      m_2012
      • 9 Months Ago
      Just when I think we absolutely have nothing Fisker to beat around anymore, here comes the dead horse. You would think after closing the doors and declaring bankruptcy, we could stop talking about it. No one is really considering building anymore, are they? That would be crazy! The government is not going to back a new company; they already got burned. You already burned a billion dollar hole in investors. There are already way better alternatives to it. Who do you think is going to fund this catastrophe?
        raktmn
        • 9 Months Ago
        @m_2012
        Wanxiang Group is a $20 Billion dollar company. Wanxiang is funding this company.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's done and over. Fisker will ultimately end up in a book about cars that didn't make it or became niche brands that only rich folks could consider owning.
      raktmn
      • 10 Months Ago
      To put the losses in perspective, here is what the DoE said about the loss: “While this result is not what anyone hoped, the $192 million disbursed to Fisker minus the $53 million recovered by the Department represents less than two percent of our advanced vehicle loans, and less than one half of one percent of our overall loan program portfolio". All the DoE needs to do to cover these losses, and still have a profitable portfolio overall, is to make approx 2% profits on the rest of the ATVM loan portfolio. Unless Ford and Nissan default on their ATVM loans, this absolutely will happen. Both Ford and Nissan are paying back their loans, with interest. The DoE has already made a handy profit on Tesla, when they paid their loan off early, with interest and a pre-payment penalty. The answer to how much of this $139 million will come out of taxpayer's pockets, the answer is zero dollars. The entire amount will be covered by losses in other loans. This is exactly how the legislation was written, back when it was a bi-partisan bill, sponsored by members of both parties, passed with broad bi-partisan majorities in both the House and Senate, and signed into law by George Bush. The law itself actually projected much higher losses as acceptable in an otherwise overall profitable loan portfolio.
        Levine Levine
        • 10 Months Ago
        @raktmn
        You have no idea what you are talking about. The government printed money out of thin air and loan it to various business entity, collecting principle and interest if all goes well. When a business goes belly-up, the value of the loan is destroyed, and a big hole is created in the government's ledger. Ultimately, the US taxpayer will have to fill that hole. If government can print money out of thin air, loan it to various business, and make a profit from the loans, then let's have the government money printing machines run 24/7/365 and make equity and collateralized loans to Fortune 500s. Before long, Presto! trillions of profit for the US Treasury. Why would the US government need the Federal Income Tax if generating trillions in profit were so easy? In fact, if the US government could make money so easily, each American citizen should receive a huge dividend from the Treasury every month instead of income tax withholdings to the IRS!
      Alex
      • 9 Months Ago
      I don’t see any reason why a company with decent management can’t turn a profit with these leftovers. If they were to put a real power plant in it, perhaps one of the new American clean diesels and add some kind of energy reclamation system that used capacitors to power auxiliary systems to make it "green", they would probably sell enough to keep their head above water. If they try to re market it as an EV it will most likely just fail again… EV is the new Rotary Engine but way less cool, give it a decade and everyone will be talking about how dumb they were.
      Tony six-gear
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's just greenwashing, like Tesla is.
        m_2012
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Tony six-gear
        That doesnt even make sense.
        flammablewater
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Tony six-gear
        Why are you against an American company building cars and creating jobs? What has Tesla done wrong?
    • Load More Comments