House Panel reviews government loans to Fisker Automotive.
The founder of fisk, a financially troubled company, was grilled by republican lawmakers on Capitol hill on Wednesday. The electric-car maker received a $529 million loan from the department of energy in 2009. Carmakers are now on the verge of collapse. Fisker fired most of his staff and hired a bankruptcy consultant.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Car 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.
Sona linghton line: car company fisk is not dead yet. But congress has begun an autopsy.
Greenton: republican Jim Jordan, in the house of representatives hearing, titled “green energy oversight: review of the doe’s bad investments in fisker cars.”
Jordan: the company makes cars worth $100,000. They built them in Finland. Taxpayers have effectively subsidised the likes of Justin bieber, leonardo dicaprio and al gore.
GLINTON: the problem is that the department of energy plans to use loans to encourage new fuel technologies in cars. Ford gets loans, and so does nissan and tesla, which have repaid their loans. Fisk, however, is in a terrible state and unable to repay the money, which could cost the government nearly $200 million if it goes bankrupt.
Republican representative Patrick McHenry questioned Henrik Fisker, the company’s founder and former chief executive.
PATRICK MCHENRY: how many taxpayer dollars have you lost – you’ve lost American taxpayers’ money?
HENRIK FISKER: er. I’m assuming you’re talking about fisk. At this time, I do not believe that any taxpayer money has been lost.
FISKER: Congressman, I’m no longer the boss of the company…
MCHENRY: great. So let me…
GLINTON: the loss of CEO and namesake is one of the many problems plaguing fisk. Its battery manufacturers went bankrupt due to hurricane sandy, it lost more than 300 vehicles, at the same time, it’s main competitors in the market also stole it, and many of the media said acclaimed by a car this year’s car.
Many republicans in the committee said fisk’s loan was an example of cronyism. Democrats called the hearing a performance trial.
This is Gary connolly in Virginia.
On behalf of the global health raleigh: in order to give the President a sacrifice cheap political news headlines, I might be added, we spent two years in the committee to do it, but it didn’t work. Not americans.
Greenton: fisk’s current CEO told members of the committee that the company is still looking for ways to resume production and return loans to the government. Although fisk missed the payment on Monday, he insisted the company was not dead.