Nissan: Taxpayer Money Needed for Expensive Electric Cars

Ghosn photoHighlighting that electric vehicles are no more than a scheme to extract money from taxpayers rather than sell a viable product, the producer of a dismal-(but still highest) selling all-electric car in the U.S. confirmed they wouldn’t exist at all without government.

Francois Bancon, Nissan’s global general manager of product strategy and planning, could not have been more clear in a discussion with the media at the Australia launch of the all-electric Leaf. In the U.S., taxpayers are backing a $1.4 billion loan guarantee for Nissan to retrofit a Tennessee manufacturing plant to produce the Leaf.

“Yeah, [government support] is the key,” Bancon said in an interview reported by Web site Car Advice. “This technology is expensive; the car is expensive.

“Where we sell the best is where the governments offer their support…which is not only the incentive for the direct purchase, but also they are investing … Read More ➡

Fisker’s Capital Fundraiser Loses $4.5 Million Case, Is Reportedly Removed

Fisker logo

The top private equity raiser for troubled electric automaker Fisker Automotive, which has been the subject of investigations by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission, has reportedly removed its co-founder and CEO. 

Crain’s Chicago Business, citing “a company insider,” reported Friday that Advanced Equities Inc. has reached an agreement with Dwight Badger for him to leave the investment firm. The separation follows a demand by a FINRA arbitration panel for Advanced Equities to pay $4.5 million to one of its former brokers, John Galinsky, over breach of contract claims. Galinsky brought his complaint against the firm, Badger, and his co-founding partner, Keith Daubenspeck.

“The panel finds that Respondents exhibited a reckless disregard for the warrant rights of the broker and breached their fiduciary duties to the broker,” the FINRA dispute resolution said.

Advanced Equities raised the financing for Fisker, which has boasted that … Read More ➡

EPA in a Bind Over Hazardous Experiments on Humans

Lisa Jackson

After experiments on humans were conducted that exposed them to airborne particulates considered to be lethal, a sound-science advocate has accused physician researchers working for the Environmental Protection Agency of misconduct and violations of the Hippocratic Oath.

Steve Milloy, publisher of Junkscience.com and author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, filed a complaint with the North Carolina Medical Board last week that accused three doctors in the state – two employed by EPA (Dr. Andrew Ghio and Dr. Wayne Cascio) and one by the University of North Carolina (Dr. Eugene Chung) – of intentionally exposing test subjects to inhalable pollutants that the agency considers both cancer- and death-causing.

“During these experiments, the study subjects were intentionally exposed to airborne fine particulate matter (“PM2.5”) at levels ranging from 41.54 micrograms per cubic meter to 750.83 micrograms … Read More ➡

Non-Union Retirees Join “Hosed by GM Club”

The president of the GM Retirees Association, Jim Shepherd, sent a scathing letter last week to GM CEO, Dan Akerson. The letter was in response to General Motors’ decision to modify pension plans for non-union retirees. Mr. Shepherd stated that the non-union retirees wanted to express their “absolute consternation and disgust” and described the move by GM as not being only unfair but, “it is sheer irresponsibility and greed.”

So, on behalf of its many members, I now welcome the GM non-union retirees to the “Hosed by Government Motors Club.” As I mentioned when I welcomed Canadian taxpayers to the club, members of the club include former GM shareholders and bondholders, widows and other accident and asbestos litigants, owners of “Old” GM vehicles who did not have their vehicles’ problems covered by “New” GM, Indian tribes and others who have had their lands polluted by Old GM, Delphi Read More ➡

Why Some Americans Will Never Buy a GM Vehicle

I recently wrote about a boycott of General Motors’ products that was contributing to the company losing market share. The Heritage Foundation now has come out with a report that analyzes the wealth redistribution which occurred during the Obama Administration orchestrated GM bankruptcy process. This redistribution saw money taken from US taxpayers and GM bondholders and given to the politically powerful UAW. The unethical behavior at Government Motors, which has been occurring both during and since the bankruptcy process, gives reason enough to those paying attention to eliminate GM vehicles from the many quality choices offered to new car shoppers.

The Heritage Foundation report confirms what I have long expressed, which is that UAW members sacrificed little compared to other, less politically-favored groups. Even the allegedly corrupt and seldom honest ex-car czar, Steve Rattner, is quoted as stating, “We asked all the stakeholders to make very significant sacrifices. We should … Read More ➡

A123’s ‘Positive Developments’ Are All Too Predictable

A123 logo

This story has been updated at the end.

Seems like every time stimulus recipient battery-maker A123 Systems suffers bad news or a stock price hit, its leaders miraculously produce great news via press release that temporarily bumps shares higher.

The latest example came yesterday, when A123 announced a “technological breakthrough” called Nanophosphate EXT that officials claim would reduce or eliminate the need for cooling systems for overheating batteries, and lower the cost of electric vehicle batteries by $600. This followed news that A123 plans to hire 400 employees (125 were laid off in November) in the coming months, thanks to new contracts it has won. Apparently Wall Street was unjustifiably non-skeptical, as heavily subsidized A123 saw its stock price shoot up from $1.04 to $1.58 yesterday. A123 was given $249.1 million in stimulus funds to help launch two battery-manufacturing plants in Michigan, and also received grants and tax credits from … Read More ➡

Akerson Admits GM Bankruptcy Not Well Thought Out

Akerson photoGeneral Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, discussed some of the issues plaguing GM’s share price in today’s Wall Street Journal. Akerson laments a bloated bureaucracy at Government Motors that has not greatly improved since the company’s 2009 bankruptcy process. Despite admitting that the bankruptcy was rushed through without proper planning, the Obama-appointed Akerson did not mention the continued UAW overhangs at the company.

Regarding an inherited bloated management structure at GM and the inefficiencies that went along with it, Akerson stated, “The good thing about our bankruptcy is that it took only 39 days. The bad news is that bankruptcy took only 39 days. If we had been there longer, people would have asked these questions and looked at these things.”

As a result of the Obama Administration being able to protect UAW interests in a rushed-through bankruptcy process, many of the underlying problems at GM were not addressed. Akerson … Read More ➡

Century-Old Electric Car Technology Still Doesn’t Sell

Jay Leno electric car

Enthusiasts can’t overcome their amazement at the innovation of electric cars – technology that is 100-plus years old. 

 In Friday’s edition of the Vancouver Sun, writer Andrew McCredie – who is tooling around in a modern, all-electric Nissan Leaf and blogging about it – marveled at the 1912 electric car produced by the Anderson Car Company, which was on public display at the local “Electrafest” over the weekend. McCredie, seemingly blinded by the nostalgia surrounding the car, ignored the obvious: that its cost, range, and efficiency illustrate that there has been no significant technological advancement, in practical terms for American usefulness, with today’s electric vehicles.

“Perhaps most amazing is that electric cars were, in fact, the norm back in 1912, as gasoline engines were still very much in their infancy…,” McCredie wrote. “This particular car was purchased new by a certain Dr. French in 1912 for the princely … Read More ➡

General Motors Still a Risky Bet for Retail Investors

GM stock price imageThe new General Motors will be turning three years old in early July. GM’s rocky childhood has given evidence to what disadvantage small investors are at when it comes to making educated equity investment choices. Let’s look at some of the lessons to be learned from one of history’s largest busted IPOs (along with the recent Facebook debacle) and consider the current underreported risk factors.

Let’s start by realizing that the single best indicator of how “successful” and healthy a publicly traded company is would be the company’s stock performance. Professional money managers and those that control the majority of the investment capital in the world have the best insights into how profitable a company is likely to be in the future. When big investment houses underwrite IPOs like GM or Facebook, it is likely that the shares will get positive ratings once the quiet period ends since those giving … Read More ➡

EPA Official Showers Love on Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists

Susan Hedman

As President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency continues to receive much-needed scrutiny as it conducts its reign of terror (“crucifying”) on fossil fuel industries, yet another renegade regional administrator has been shown in full alliance with environmental extremists in pursuit of regulations to kill oil and coal. Natural gas isn’t far down the hit list.

This time it’s Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman, a veteran attorney who has litigated environmental cases as part of the University of Maryland Environmental Law Center, as counsel for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and as senior assistant attorney general in the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Last August she joined dozens of activists outside her Chicago office to celebrate the expected implementation of EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standard, which was released in December. Bloomberg reported that the rule would cost utilities an estimated $9.6 billion per year in compliance costs, fulfilling the president’s … Read More ➡

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