Fisker Files Bankruptcy; Taxpayers Lose $139 Million
Fisker Automotive's travails hit its direst — and possibly final — note Friday when the troubled plug-in startup filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Investment group Hybrid Technology LLC purchased what remains of the automaker's loan from the U.S. Department of Energy for $25 million. That means taxpayers will lose $139 million of the $192 million originally loaned to the Anaheim, Calif.-based automaker, the Detroit News reports.
Hybrid Technology hopes the purchase can lead to future production of the Karma and other plug-in vehicles, according to the Detroit News. Fisker restructuring chief Marc Beilinson said in a press release that the automaker "will remain a guiding force in the evolution of the automotive industry under Hybrid's leadership."
We'll believe it when we see it. Fisker, which once built the $100,000-plus Karma plug-in sedan, spent much of 2013 at bankruptcy's doorstep. After securing $529 million in low-interest federal loans in 2010 — part of Congress' controversial Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program — the DOE capped the loans at $192 million when Karma production fell short of specified terms.
It's unclear where Hybrid Technology is based. A spokeswoman declined to share details with the Wall Street Journal, but sources from Bloomberg News and the L.A. Times cite heavy ties to Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li.
Still want a Karma? Take appropriate caution, but get shopping. There are fewer than 100 new and used Karmas remaining on Cars.com.