The government team examined the government loan of fisk.

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The government team examined the government loan of fisk.

The founder of fisk, a financially troubled company, was grilled by republican lawmakers on Capitol hill Wednesday. The electric-car maker received a $529 million loan from the department of energy in 2009. The carmaker is now on the verge of collapse. Fisker fired most of his staff and hired a bankruptcy consultant.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Car company executives grilled on Capitol hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from the Detroit three. Much, much smaller. Executives from Fisker, a maker of hybrid cars, confirmed that Fisker had received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the government. Today, the company is about to collapse.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton reports.

Sonari gillinton: the car company fisk is not dead yet. But congress has begun an autopsy.

JIM JORDAN: today’s hearing is about the failure of the U.S. department of energy’s Fisker Automotive loan.

Greenton: republican Jim Jordan at the house hearing entitled “green energy oversight: review of the doe’s bad investments in fisker.”

Jordan: the company produces cars that cost $100,000. They were built in Finland. Taxpayers are effectively subsidising the luxury and exotic vehicles of Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore.

GLINTON: the problem is a program in the energy sector that encourages cars to use new fuel technologies. Ford got loans, and so did nissan and tesla, which had repaid the loans. Fisk, however, is in a bad condition, unable to repay the funds, and the government could lose nearly $200 million if it goes bankrupt.

Patrick McHenry, a republican Congressman, questioned Henrik Fisker, the company’s founder and former chief executive.

PATRICK MCHENRY: how many taxpayer dollars have you lost – did you lose American taxpayers’ money?

HENRIK FISKER: er. I’m assuming you’re talking about fisk. At this time, I do not believe that the taxpayer’s money has been lost.

MCHENRY: no? Good. Do you plan to repay the loans and money you have received from the taxpayer?

FISKER: senator, I’m no longer the boss of the company.

MCHENRY: great. So let me…

Mr. Greenton: the loss of CEO and namesake is one of the many problems plaguing fisk. Its battery makers bankruptcy, because sandy, it lost more than three hundred vehicles, at the same time, it’s main competitors in the market to the thunder also, many of the cars as the car of the year in the paper by a car.

Many republicans in the committee said fisk’s loan was an example of cronyism. Hearing from Democrats.

This is Gerry connolly in Virginia.

On behalf of ge: in order to get the cheap political headlines that the President has sacrificed, I can add that we have spent two years in this committee doing this, but without success. Not americans.

GLINTON: the current chief executive of Fisker told the committee that the company is still looking to reinvest in production and return the loan to the government. Although fisk missed the payment on Monday, he insisted the company was not dead.

Sonari Glinton, NPR news.

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