The Government Will Sell Its Loans To Defunct Automaker Fisker For Whatever It Can Get

Fisker Atlantic Design PrototypeFisker AutomotiveProduction of the long-awaited Fisker Atlantic has been indefinitely postponed.

The Department of Energy will auction off what remains of Fisker Automotive’s loan obligations, it announced Tuesday afternoon.

The defunct electric automaker received $US192 million in loans under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, which was funded in the autumn of 2008 to provide $US25 billion in direct loans to American automakers.

Fisker also raised more than $US1.2 billion in private financing.

Over the past few years, the once promising automaker imploded. In recent months, it has stopped producing cars and fired three quarters of its workforce. Founder Henrik Fisker quit in March.

In a note announcing the auction, Peter W. Davidson, the executive director of the Loan Program Office, defended the DOE’s overall portfolio for funding automakers. Loans to Ford, Nissan, and Tesla — all much larger than what Fisker got — have turned out well.

That hasn’t stopped House Republicans from slamming the Fisker loan as “corrupt” and “mismanaged.” The DOE recouped nearly $US30 million from Fisker’s accounts, but is still out about $US168 million. It decided to sell what remains of the automaker’s loan obligation, it said, “after exhausting any realistic possibility for a sale that might have protected our entire investment.”

The DOE requires that all bids include “a commitment and business plan that promotes domestic manufacturing capabilities and related engineering for advanced technology vehicles here in the United States.” Bids are due October 7.

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