Chevy Volt

Taxpayers Get Hosed in GM Buyback of Treasury Shares

Government MotorsLet's all rejoice! The Treasury Department is finally beginning to unload the taxpayers' stake in General Motors after a three and a half year stint of government involvement in the company. While the decision to get taxpayers out of the private sector is the correct one, the move is hardly a cure-all for what ails GM. And despite reports to the contrary, this does not bring closure to all groups that were involved in the unprecedented intrusion of government into the private sector that saw politically-powerful groups like the UAW receive favorable treatment over other classes.

Will Fisker Be Sold to the Chinese Now Too?

Fisker logo

This story has been updated at the end.

Fisker Automotive finally received a good review for the only model it has produced – the highly subsidized, widely panned and sometimes burned extended-range electric Karma – from automobile aficionado Jay Leno.

But that didn’t prevent the recipient of $193 million out of President Obama’s green stimulus from laying off another 40 workers. According to the Orange County Register, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said the company – which had been awarded a $529 million loan guarantee by the Department of Energy only to see it halted due to unspecified shortcomings – had to halt production because its bankrupt supplier, A123 Systems, left them with a low battery inventory. Ormisher said Fisker has laid off about half its employees since February.

GM Hypes Chevy Volt's Insignificant 100 Millionth Mile

Akerson and VoltGeneral Motors is making more ridiculous claims on the Chevy Volt by flooding the web with stories of how 100 million electric miles have been driven since the Volt's much-hyped inception. Let's put the boasting in perspective. In the two plus years that it took for Volt drivers to put on 100 million miles, gas-powered vehicles logged over 5 TRILLION miles in the US. It would take only 5,000 cars traveling 10,000 miles a year to log 100 million miles in two years. The Volt has fallen far short of sales goals and has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in subsidies to reach the much-publicized but unimpressive milestone. So, what's the net reduction in gas usage in the US as a result of the Volt's accomplishment? Less than .002%.

GM’s New Electric Chevy Spark - More Green Insanity

Chevy SparkAlbert Einstein is credited with having defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Well, prepare for more insanity as General Motors is doubling down on green energy and plug-in cars after the disappointing sales results from previous entries into the field. The politically-motivated hype that we saw, and continue to see, on the Chevy Volt will be repeated. This time the over-hyped vehicle will be a Korean-made, all-electric Chevy Spark.

Nissan Cancels Grand Opening of Taxpayer-Backed EV Plant

Ghosn photoThe moment that all we electric automotive industry stakeholders (that is, taxpayers) have been waiting for has arrived! The dreams that spurred our $1.4 billion investment in Nissan’s Tennessee plant, for construction of the all-electric Leaf, and its batteries, will finally be realized!

Pass out the scissors for the ribbons, set up the podium for the dignitaries, and roll out a few of those shiny new models…what’s that you say? The ceremony’s been cancelled?

Bailed-Out Ally Financial Unit Comes Full Circle Back to GM

Ally financial girlThe final pieces are coming together in the General Motors' restructuring puzzle as the company has, not surprisingly, won its bid to repurchase government-owned Ally Financial's European and Latin American lending operations. GM was forced to spin off all but 10% of Ally Financial back when it was known as GMAC.

Back in late 2008, the spigots of taxpayer money were open and GM had its cup out. In order for GM's lending arm (GMAC) to receive TARP funds, GM had to divest all but less than 10% of the company so that GMAC could be granted status as a bank holding company. Under President Bush's watch, the Federal Reserve approved the move and the company that is now known as Ally Financial eventually received about $17 billion of taxpayer money. GM itself would eventually end up with about $50 billion of taxpayer money, mostly distributed during Obama's term.

Hurricane Sandy Reduces 16 Fisker Karmas to Ashes

Fisker logoWe’ve already seen Fisker Karmas spontaneously ignite in a Texas garage and a supermarket parking lot in California, which were blamed on isolated incidents.

But now the taxpayer-subsidized ($193 million) electric automaker has seen several of its $102,000+ luxury hybrids go up in smoke all at once, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Jalopnik.com reported Tuesday night that approximately 16 of the Karmas that were parked in Port Newark, N.J. Monday night as Hurricane Sandy approached were submerged by the storm surge. According to the Web site’s unidentified source, the vehicles then “caught fire” and “exploded.” Jalopnik has exclusive photos of the Karmas in which they all were thoroughly destroyed by what must have been an intense inferno.

Failed Renewable Technologies Are An Expensive Teaching Moment

LGChem logoA story that went viral over a week ago showed how (non)-workers at a Michigan electric vehicle battery plant, funded through the stimulus by taxpayers, spent their time playing games, reading magazines, watching movies or helping charities like Habitat for Humanity – that is, when they weren’t ‘off-duty’ on their cyclical furloughs.

According to a report by WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, the LG Chem factory in Holland, Mich. – blessed with $151 million from a Department of Energy Recovery Act grant and $100 million from Wolverine State taxpayers – had “yet to ship out a single battery.”

Romney is Right About Chrysler / Jeep China Outsourcing

Fiat Chrysler logosThere is nothing like having unbiased media coverage of the all-important presidential campaign leading up to next week's election. And the media is nothing like unbiased. We see this playing out again as Mitt Romney is now being accused of misrepresenting a story that Bloomberg.com reported on Chrysler's potential outsourcing of Jeep manufacturing to China. A look at the original comments from the article gives evidence as to how unfair the criticism is and just how right Romney was for pointing out the likely future outsourcing of Jeep manufacturing.

Obama’s GM Bailout Nothing to Brag About

Obama debate photoAs the presidential election nears we continue to hear about what a great job the Obama Administration did "saving" General Motors. The claims are that millions of jobs were saved and Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. A review of the facts reveals that the auto bailout process that cost taxpayers billions of dollars is hardly anything to brag about.

When President Obama says he "saved" GM, what he means is that his administration guided a bankruptcy process for the company, funded with taxpayer dollars. The repeated statements by Obama that Romney would have let the company go bankrupt are deceptive. Let's be clear, GM DID go bankrupt.

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