Looks like even with $200 million of a $500 million wedge of government cheese in their pocket, and some $850 million in private sucker funding, nobody wants a $100,000 electric car.
Electric car startup Fisker Automotive Inc said on Monday it has suspended work at its U.S. manufacturing plant and laid off 26 workers there while it renegotiates the terms of its $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The company has also let go about 40 workers, mostly engineering contractors, at its Anaheim, California headquarters, a spokesman said.
The company has received $193 million of the federal loan so far, it said in a statement. Most of those funds have supported the rollout of its first vehicle, a $102,000 plug-in hybrid sportscar called the Karma that was plagued with production delays and a recent recall.
Fisker's Wilmington, Delaware plant, a former General Motors Co factory, is expected to manufacture the company's second vehicle, a sedan known as the Nina. The $336 million balance of its DOE loan is intended to fund that car, Fisker said.
And I'm sure the "this time for sure!" Nina will be as amazing a success story. I also have very little doubt they'll get the additional ~$300M in cheesy goodness, and piss every cent of it away within a year or two.
Lets review the Fisker business model:
1) Make an extremely expensive, ugly, slow, electric vehicle that perhaps a few hundred idiots in the entire damn world will ever buy, thereby limiting your possible revenues to a tiny fraction of the funding you're using to build said stupid cars.
2) Base your business in California, the most hostile business atmosphere on the planet, and just throw great heaping stacks of bennies onto the grill for no good reason.
3) When you actually do crank out this entirely stupid car nobody wants, make sure the quality control is on par with China and India. Then, solve problems with vehicles by flying support staff around the country to fix them. Because that's cheap and efficient.
4) Profit! Or, you know, burn a billion dollars and accomplish exactly sweet crap all.
Evidently Fisker had planned on selling 15,000 Karmas, and has now revised that number down to 10,000. I would really love to know what pharmaceuticals these people are on, given that Tesla has barely managed to sell 1,000 cars in several years, with many times the attention and general slobbering of the press, and while they are also amazingly useless pieces of crap, at least they don't fall apart. Much.
What a farce. That gigantic wad of cash could have funded 200 or so "couple guys in a garage" businesses, where passion and ingenuity could well have brought us the next Apple, or the next Intel. Instead it all goes poof, thanks to the ludicrous scourge of "green initiatives".
In another decade or so, we'll have a more accurate accounting of the billions and billions and billions of dollars the farce that
Oh, and by the way, reuters: "sportscar" is not a word.
posted by Mr. Lion | 02/08/12 @ 10:39 | comments (0)