Saturday, March 10, 2012

Obama's Bad Karma

Not made in the US
If Obama was an investment banker, his career would not last very long. Yes, folks, another Obama green investment is going very badly, but with a new twist. In 2009, Obama and his crackerjack team of job creators invested over $500,000,000 in US taxpayer-funded loan guarantees to designer Henrik Fisker and Fisker Automotive, a Finnish car manufacturer. The loan stipulated that the money should be used to complete the design and manufacture of Project Nina in the US. Project Nina would be a smaller less expensive version of Fisker's high-end electric hybrid, the Fiskar Karma that was all ready to roll off the assembly line in Finland in that year.

Mr. Fisker immediately set about looking for the perfect place among all of the many closed US auto plants around the country. He finally chose a former Chrysler plant in Wilmington, Delaware. So in October of 2009 and with much fanfare, back-slapping and high five-ing, former Delaware Senator and current Vice President Joseph "Gaffe a lot" Biden and Secretary of Energy Stephen "I don't own a car, but my wife owns a gas guzzler" Chu, expounded at length about how this new project will bring in billions and billions and billions of dollars and thousands and thousands of jobs to Delaware and the US. And so, the new plant was deemed "reopened" sometime in the very near future.

Fast-forward to June 2011 (and two years behind schedule), the Fisker Karma came rolling off the assembly line, retailing for around $100,000 and all designed and made by Finns in Finland. But take heart, the very first went to an American actor Leo DeCaprio. But is is all good. The US workers were doing just fine. They are making thousands and thousands of dollars doing something. When questioned why there have been no real jobs created in Delaware so far, Mr. Fisker just could not...well this is what he had to say in an interview in an investigative report by ABC News:

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle. They don’t exist here.”

Well, apparently there are no workers in Finland who can manufacture them either because like the Chevy Volt, the Karma came with that special exploding battery problem too. But it was all good. In November of 2011, a worker noticed that the cars they had just finished (or is that "finnished") were leaking. The source was discovered to be a hose clamp that was incorrectly placed during assembly. Fortunately, there were only 239 built between June and November, so they just called Leo and the few other owners and quietly fixed the leaky hose. No one needed to inform the press or the general taxpaying public of this little S.N.A.F.U. [Fox News picked up on it, but it went unreported by all other news organizations.]

Well, okay then. Oh, wait...then this February, the US workers who had just been hired in June 2011 for "Project Nina" in Delaware were laid off. Again, no great loss since only 29 workers had been hired anyway. This was explained away by Fisker as a prudent business tactic because the sales for the Karma were not too brisk at the moment and Fisker was in danger of losing their loan guarantees for those potential other thousands and thousands of jobs that will bring in billions and billions and billions to the US. Okay then.

Then in a perfect trifecta, Consumer Reports issued their preliminary report this week on the Fisker Karma. Let's just say they found a few problems:

"We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process."

So, let's review - For over $500,000,000 we got no car, no jobs, and no hope for any in the near future. Believe it or not, there is a bright side to all of this. Fisker has only actually received $193M of their promised $529M loan, so we have not yet lost the entire half billion yet.


[As an interesting side note: Media Matters picked the ABC report apart, not because it was necessarily incorrect, but that it was not an exclusive report. Fox News had been reporting on the Fiskar issue for almost two years...]

12 comments:

DUQ said...

Interesting article Bev. But what's a few million dollars among cronies?

DUQ said...

Also, I saw Santorum won Kansas. That's no surprise. But Romney won all the islands (like Guam) so I think he got more delegate again.

BevfromNYC said...

I didn't know our protectorate islands got to vote or are they non-voting delegates?

CrisD said...

No jobs...
unfreakingbelievable. Scratch that, predictable.

Excellent post, Bev

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: This green car is a lot like the President. Looks good, very expensive, doesn't work.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk - If it could only play golf...oooh, it could be a golf cart, perfect!

BevfromNYC said...

Thanks CrisD - It's frustrating that the MSM just ignores stuff like this. ABC at least investigated and well, but it still went almost unnoticed. If Consumer Reports had not published their report, no one would have a clue. I don't understand why we keep giving these companies money. I understand giving them tax incentives or ushering them around to shoe them all the open factory space they could get for a song, but let them gamble their own money!

The ABC report about Tesla was interesting. THe reporter commented that with a $57K sticker price, it was being made for rich people. Mr. "Tesla" responded "Define 'rich'" - My answer - anyone who can afford to drop $57K on a car you can't live in...

BevfromNYC said...

Furthermore - If we are going to invest in foreign companies to develop foreign cars in foreign countries so that we may one day get to use the technology, then why don't we invest in the JAPANESE!!!! They are worlds ahead of Finland and the US!

T-Rav said...

As an unrelated aside, the news feed in the sidebar includes a story that Sandra Fluke's boyfriend is the son of an apparent Democratic Party bigwig. Personally, I find this connection less surprising/disturbing than the fact that Sandra Fluke has a boyfriend.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - I read that. And we are supposed to believe this woman just randomly came out of nowhere to make a heart-felt appeal at the behest of Nancy Pelosi...

tryanmax said...

But when conservative capitalists like Mitt Romney use layoffs to try and fix companies so they actually produce something, well that's just evil.

tryanmax said...

P.S. I'd say I hope some of this Karma catches up to Barry and his cronies, but according to Consumer Reports, they just get stuck in neutral.

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