Fisker Automotive Inc. spent more than six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce [in Finland] each luxury plug-in car it sold than the company received from customers, according to a research report.
The Anaheim, California-based company made about 2,500 of its $103,000 Karmas before halting production last year, disrupting its plans to use a $529 million U.S. loan to restart a shuttered Delaware factory owned by the predecessor of General Motors Co. (GM) The Karma was assembled in Finland.Fisker was allowed to keep using money from its Energy Department loan after violating its terms multiple times, according to a report released April 17 by PrivCo, a New York-based researcher specializing in closely held companies. It said it based its report on documents, including the loan agreement, obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
“They made a mistake” in awarding the loan, PrivCo Chief Executive Officer Sam Hamadeh said of the Energy Department in an interview yesterday. “Should they have fought this sooner? Obviously — as soon as it became evident that they had begun to default.”
Fisker has spent $1.3 billion in taxpayer and venture capital money, or $660,000 for each car it sold, the report said.
Fisker stopped manufacturing cars late last year and fired three quarters of its remaining workers April 5. The company’s first repayment of $20.2 million on the Energy Department loan is due April 22, the report said.
Al Gore, reached on his yacht while vacationing with Leonardo diCaprio, declined to comment.