Green-jobs success: Jobs created … in Finland

posted at 8:45 am on October 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The good news: One recipient of Barack Obama’s green-jobs stimulus subsidies figured out how not to lose $529 million in taxpayer dollars.  Even better news: The funds appear to have actually created manufacturing jobs.  The bad news: It’s going to be one long commute for American workers to clock in at the plant:

With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”

Yes, the car is named the Karma, in what can only be called delicious irony.  Not so delicious are the car company’s connections, and its performance.  Want to guess what famous name is behind Fisker?  Surprise, surprise: it’s Al Gore, whose venture capital firm invested heavily in Fisker, an investment that got quite a boost from taxpayer dollars.

If that sounds familiar, just do a search on this site for “George Kaiser.”  Once again, a taxpayer-funded loan guarantee ends up benefiting the commercial venture of a man with deep political connections to the Democratic Party and/or Barack Obama.  What a coincidence!

And just like Solyndra, the company’s performance doesn’t exactly produce confidence that taxpayers won’t lose money on Fisker or Tesla, who also got a hefty loan subsidy:

An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News that will air on “Good Morning America” found that the DOE’s bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded. Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers’ driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio. Tesla’s SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

Well, at least Leonardo DiCaprio got his car, and Al Gore got his tax subsidy.  Oh, yes — and a few Finns got a job.  After all, weren’t those the ultimate goals of spending $38.6 billion on Obama’s green-tech subsidies?

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Gotta go get me one of those Grifters.

forest on October 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Crony socialism.

JammieWearingFool on October 21, 2011 at 8:51 AM

This should be an impeachable offense(especially when combined with Solyndra). Obama hands over more than half a billion in taxpayer money to a foreign automaker that Al Gore is heavily invested in on the heels of handing over more than half a billion in taxpayer money to a failed US solar panel manufacturer that George Kaiser, one of his bundlers, was heavily invested in.

This is Chicago pay for play BS only on a much larger scale. You can’t run a country like this. Even if we didn’t have $15 trillion in debt hanging over us. Issa and crew need to do whatever they can to make Obama answer to the American people.

Doughboy on October 21, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Thanks abc!

Dear leader is awesome, ignore what’s behind that curtain
-lsm

cmsinaz on October 21, 2011 at 8:52 AM

PATHETIC!
The only silver lining is that this is coming to light courtesy of ABC….may have to rethink watching one of the big three if this keeps up! Journalism may not be totally dead!

SDarchitect on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

You’re supposed to only measure these efforts by their intentions. It’s rude to examine the results.

RBMN on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Hear hear Doughboy

cmsinaz on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Well EPA regulations will make this the norm in days to come.

darwin-t on October 21, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Why is the DOE in the business of loaning money in the first place? Isn’t that what banks are for?

Oh…yeah….I forgot the banks are filled with greedy “banksters” just trying to fill thier pockets and the government is….just…..

Texican Ben on October 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

PATHETIC!
The only silver lining is that this is coming to light courtesy of ABC….may have to rethink watching one of the big three if this keeps up! Journalism may not be totally dead!

SDarchitect on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

The alphabets will mention it once or twice without going in depth. Then they can say that they reported the story.

darwin-t on October 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM

The alphabets will mention it once or twice without going in depth. Then they can say that they reported the story.

darwin-t on October 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM

The reporter was just on local radio and said there was more to come.

cozmo on October 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

And it gets 19 mpg!

Akzed on October 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Related news via DRUDGE: GE’S PROFIT SOARS 57%

petefrt on October 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Why is the DOE in the business of loaning money in the first place? Isn’t that what banks are for?

Oh…yeah….I forgot the banks are filled with greedy “banksters” just trying to fill thier pockets and the government is filled with greedy bureaucrats just trying to empty ours.

Texican Ben on October 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Finished it for you.

VelvetElvis on October 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM

The focus should be and remain on where the money went.

Billions and billions of dollars, our money, we taxpayers, ends up in the hands of Obama supporters and donors to Democrat or Progressive causes and all we hear from the Fourth Estate is the sounds of crickets.

When the next President is inaugurated in January 2013, and a new GOP-controlled Congress is sworn in, the first order of business should be a criminal investigation of the Obama White House and the Democrat Party.

They are counting on this never happening.

All Obama White House records should be subpoenaed by Congress along with all records of all cabinet departments and all documents related to the various czars appointed by Obama but never approved by Congress.

This graft runs deep.

Crimes have been committed.

Responsibility needs to be assessed. Appropriate punishments, imprisonments and sanctions need to be imposed. And billions and billions of taxpayer’s dollars need to be recovered and returned to the rightful owners.

Ignore all of this and it simply makes it a lot easier next time around…for both parties.

Not asking for retribution.

This needs to be a reckoning.

coldwarrior on October 21, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Mä haluun panna sua kovaa perseeseen.

– Barack Obama

keep the change on October 21, 2011 at 9:09 AM

The alphabets will mention it once or twice without going in depth. Then they can say that they reported the story.

darwin-t on October 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Doubtful. FoxNews will run with this story as will the blogosphere. Not to mention Issa and the rest of the House Republicans. If Solyndra blew up the way it did with little to no coverage from the drive-bys(has MSDNC ever mentioned in during their primetime lineup?), imagine what this will do.

Doughboy on October 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Urban Dictionary:

Fisking: The word is derived from articles written by Robert Fisk that were easily refuted, and refers to a point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies.

Kafir on October 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM

After all, weren’t those the ultimate goals of spending $38.6 billion on Obama’s green-tech subsidies?

Obama spent $38.6 billion on green-tech. He is complaining that Republicans won’t pass a $35 billion bill for teachers and firemen.

An adult would have prioritized his spending.

dirtseller on October 21, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I scanned all five pages of that article and didn’t see any explanation as to why this car couldn’t be built here. Not that there weren’t forty reasons not to have given them money but shouldn’t they have to expand on why Finland?

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Hey, Barry…… doesn’t Al Gore have enough money? What about your other pals?

Biden should note that it’s the American taxpayers who are being raped in the most blatant way, every day and every way this administration can manage.

Cody1991 on October 21, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Change.

visions on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

How many firefighters & teachers could $529 million ‘support’ ??

This cra@p cannot stand !!
Arrrrggghhh !

pambi on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Remember these?

Over $30 million spent making them and setting them up across the Nation.

Who made them? Who did they support during the 2008 campaign?

Mike Pence and Darrell Issa, both, said at the time that this needed to be looked into.

Nothing. Nothing was done. It went away. Who cares?

Maybe had it been looked into and deeply, we might have been able to prevent the Obama graft problem from growing and growing like a cancer since January 2009. Expose the fraud before it could take root.

Historic President, indeed.

coldwarrior on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Palin was already tweeting this last night:

http://twitter.com/#!/SarahPalinUSA/status/127191152968470530

This is outrageous. Wake up, America… http://is.gd/Uyrmb3

ChuckTX on October 21, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Occupy Helsinki.

Barnestormer on October 21, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Five hundred twenty nine million dollars here, $535 million dollars there and pretty soon you are talking real money. Wasnt Obama’s jobs bill for $35 billion dollars? Maybe they should not have wasted our money on the Solyndra and Karma fiascos. Someone should ask Joe Biden if paying off your cronies is more important than preventing rapes!/

canditaylor68 on October 21, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Meyer’s post-script is exactly right:

I will say, though, that the Fisker Karma does serve a social purpose — Hollywood celebrities and the ultra rich, who want to display their green credentials, no longer have to be stuck with a little econobox. They can now enjoy a little leg room and luxury.

This is nothing more or less than an expensive, tax-subsidized toy for rich people who want to pretend they are environmentally conscious. You OWS losers want to barbecue rich people? Start with Hollywood celebutards and enviroweenies.

Jaibones on October 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Why is the DOE in the business of loaning money in the first place? Isn’t that what banks are for?

Oh…yeah….I forgot the banks are filled with greedy “banksters” just trying to fill thier pockets and the government is filled with greedy bureaucrats just trying to empty ours.

Texican Ben on October 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM
Finished it for you.

VelvetElvis on October 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Sounds right to me.

Texican Ben on October 21, 2011 at 9:36 AM

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”

In other words, those green jobs aren’t as “shovel ready” as he thought?

This administration is really clueless. Didn’t they look at a business plan and see there was no place in the country to build these?

taznar on October 21, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Here’s something I read the other day on The Autoextremist, about U.S. manufacturing jobs, and finding skilled workers:

The U.S. Manufacturing Sector. There as many as 600,000 jobs at U.S. manufacturing companies that can’t be filled because they can’t find workers with the proper skills, according to a survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. The results of the survey found that 5 percent of manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, and that 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers. The survey also found that 56 percent of manufacturers expect the shortage to increase during the next three to five years. Ugh.

Ward Cleaver on October 21, 2011 at 9:42 AM

And Obama’s buddy’s company – General Electric – scores a 57% increase in profits. It’s amazing what you can do with a little help from your friends.

bw222 on October 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM

taznar on October 21, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Business plan? Obama don’ need no stinkin’ business plan.

Just tell Obama how much they gave and he’ll tell Steve Chu how much to dole out. It’s the Chicago Alderman way.

coldwarrior on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Why is the DOE in the business of loaning money in the first place? Isn’t that what banks are for?

Oh…yeah….I forgot the banks are filled with greedy “banksters” just trying to fill thier pockets and the government is….just…..

Texican Ben on October 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

The Feds don’t actually loan the money – they just guarantee the loan (like a parent co-signing a note for a teenager’s car), and if the loan doesn’t get repaid, we’re on the hook.

Ward Cleaver on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM

By my count, Solyndra, SunPower and Fisker grosses more than $2B in taxpayer money down the drain and nets only 500 jobs in Finland -assuming Fisker can sell it’s 19 MPGe luxury vehicle in an age where excess looks insensitive. But hey, Good Call!! Obama-Chu; you two Nobel guys have much to be proud of.

BKeyser on October 21, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Sorry everyone but I think this may well be a very sound idea. First they state that the were looking for a “contract factory” that means they were looking for a building and basic equipment to do small car assemble, rather then spend BILLIONS on all new plant and equipment. Second Saab recently filed bankruptcy protection and may well have empty setup plants.

jpcpt03 on October 21, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Ward Cleaver on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM

OR, as in Solyndra, they ILLEGALLY see to it that taxpayers are placed SECOND on the list for compensation !!

pambi on October 21, 2011 at 9:51 AM

It is a nice looking car though. Take out that electric crap and put in a real engine, say a V8, it might actually be a great car. ;)

evilned on October 21, 2011 at 9:56 AM

You can go ahead and clap. Go ahead, nothing wrong with it.

revolutionismyname on October 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Sorry everyone but I think this may well be a very sound idea. jpcpt03 on October 21, 2011 at 9:50 AM

You don’t seem to get it.

US tax dollars are paying for Finnish jobs. That’s the problem.

Nobody blames Fisker for doing what is best for Fisker. Even parasites gotta eat.

Akzed on October 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM

saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

I hear that Solyndra Gallactic Headquarters is available. Already equipped with saunas and happy whistling robots.

I would think at some point they’ve stolen enough money.

Naturally Curly on October 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Why does Barack Obama hate America so much? I’m serious. Why can’t the people who support him see this?

milwife88 on October 21, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Why can’t the people who support him see this?

milwife88 on October 21, 2011 at 10:06 AM

They all have “dad” issues?

They are all stupid?

They all want free stuff?

They all hate America?

coldwarrior on October 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM

My Chevy Silverado gets that kind of mileage on the highway…

Time to fire up the IMPEACHMENT paperwork…

Khun Joe on October 21, 2011 at 10:15 AM

I can’t wait to get me one of those $60k electric cars. I’ll be able to afford it eeeeasily once the OWS people’s demands are met and the minimum wage is raised to $100/hr. It’s all coming together now. Awwwyeeeeh!

Wingo on October 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

A Labor Department Inspector General report released this week found that $7,140,782 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds went to four Oregon forestry services firms who hired no U.S. workers.

ht/ZIP

Akzed on October 21, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I am expending so much energy resisting posting something about Al Gore that would almost certainly get me banned…

JohnGalt23 on October 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I am expending so much energy resisting posting something about Al Gore that would almost certainly get me banned… JohnGalt23 on October 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Well then just say something like he’s a tool and a buffoon, an ethically challenged hypocrite whom history will regard as a joke.

Akzed on October 21, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Update: Fisker Karma Electric Car Gets Worse Mileage Than an SUV

simkeith on October 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Karma

Not Carma? :)

Blaise on October 21, 2011 at 10:58 AM

That is a beautiful vehicle. Love the color – like the heart of a glacier. Now make it run on gas and we can talk.

perries on October 21, 2011 at 11:02 AM

What’s even more amazing is that this is part of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. Twenty. Five. Billion! Think about how much money the DOE is spending on this one program. $25 billion is about the same size as the defense budgets of Australia, Spain and South Korea. It’s about $5billion more than Canada spends on defense and about $10 billion more than Israel. I realize these are loan guarantees, but how many bets will the DOE lose?

I can’t imagine why people think we have a spending problem. /

ReaganWasRight on October 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

To be entirely fair, Fisker is providing American jobs. I believe all of their engineering work was/is done in the United States, first in Detroit, and now in Irvine, California, where they moved engineering operations in 2010. At some point, Fisker hopes to produce their answer to the Chevy Volt, the Nina, at a former GM plant they purchased in Delaware and which will hopefully provide other Americans with jobs. So, there is some good news from this.

damececily on October 21, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured

Since Karma is a b!+ch, they had to Finnish the job.

A $529 million loan for $3.88 million in sales revenue: a 0.73% return on investment. Woweeeee! The Wonders of Obamanomics!

And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

If that fails, they’ll roll out the Model T. Oh wait, didn’t somebody try that a century ago?

Steve Z on October 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM

A $529 million loan for $3.88 million in sales revenue: a 0.73% return on investment. Woweeeee! The Wonders of Obamanomics!

Steve Z on October 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Uh…pardon me for being a stickler on the finance side, but I believe that the ROI is 0, and the investment is a 100% loss of $529 million at this point in time. Sales revenue on 40 cars manufactured is actually unknown (unless they were all pre-sold) and net income is surely negative.

But most importantly, not one penny has yet, or will be, repaid from this giveaway to Al Gore and the Google gazillionaires.

Jaibones on October 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Back in 2009 Fisker had already received financing from Kleiner Perkins and Qatar. It had aslo received orders for 1,300 of the Karmas(supposedly has 3,000 now,) which are meant to appeal to luxury car owners.
It’s interesting in that the Karma has an aluminum frame which makes it easy to adapt to other models without alot of retooling and cost, etc. Fisker is known for working with high end cars like the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin, so its no surprise he would create another high end car. And to give him credit, he did get this up and running faster than GM did with the Volt. Whether it’s a scucces remains to be seen.
As for going to Finland, that’s no surprise either. Valmet is known for its use by luxury and electric car companies…Porsche, BMW, and Bentley. And tons of parts in all cars, invluding GM and Chrysler come from another country today. Not sure what the answer is but for certain the government needs to stay out of the car business.
For more on this particular car..
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/11q1/2012_fisker_karma-first_drive_review

Deanna on October 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I wonder how many Law Enforcement Officers these billions of dollars that President Barack Hussein Obama’s administration is flushing down the toilet would hire to help prevent the impending Murder marathon and Rape’fest Vice President Joe Biden has been fear mongering the entire nation about.

Help us Barack Hussein Obama. You’re our only hope!

FlatFoot on October 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

And to be fair to Fisker, this is not part of any job creation government program. It’s the DOE and their green energy programs which created this mess. Why the DOE can spend money at all is mind-boggling. Anyone want to explain the purpose behind the DOE to me? I mean other than loaning nuclear weapons to the DOD?

Deanna on October 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Think of all the rapes and murders that this money could have prevented … and all the cowboy poetry that will go forever unwritten…

J_Crater on October 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM

The ABC report also mentioned the founders of google and paypal being part of the companies that got these “loans” from the DOE.

Crony capitalism for Obama campaign bundlers.

Disgusting.

karenhasfreedom on October 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Karma is a… car from Finland.

Fisker says he’ll eventually employ thousands of workers in Delaware. So $529 million dollars got us a promise of jobs. That’s why government shouldn’t be in the venture capital business.

hawksruleva on October 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Is it me, or is that car grinning wickedly at us from Finland?

hawksruleva on October 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

What’s the definition of facism?

Christian Conservative on October 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

It will be easier to launder the money. That is what this is about.

pat on October 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM

When the next President is inaugurated in January 2013, and a new GOP-controlled Congress is sworn in, the first order of business should be a criminal investigation of the Obama White House and the Democrat Party.

They are counting on this never happening.

coldwarrior on October 21, 2011 at 9:04 AM

And they are correct. It will never happen. They knew this before they ever got elected. They saw what the clintons got away with and knew full well they would never face any negative consequences, no matter what they did. Even on the off chance any of it ever made it into the press and was widely reported, they knew the media would simply blame it all on republicans.

What, did you really expect something else to happen? Really???

runawayyyy on October 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Think of all the rapes and murders that this money could have prevented … and all the cowboy poetry that will go forever unwritten…

J_Crater on October 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Bing.

Jaibones on October 21, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I will say, though, that the Fisker Karma does serve a social purpose — Hollywood celebrities and the ultra rich, who want to display their green credentials, no longer have to be stuck with a little econobox. They can now enjoy a little leg room and luxury.

Fisker (AKA) Valmet automotive is the same Valmet that produces thousands of cheap AK 47 clones? Can you say military industrial complex?

DSchoen on October 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM

One can only wonder when the MSM will do even the briefest of google searches and start writing that the car taxpayers are spending over half billion dollars on already exists, already is being built in that Finnish factory.

http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us

So Obama and his cronies just paid for something to continue being built in Finland. No R&D, no new jobs anywhere.

MarkT on October 22, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Hey, Barry…… doesn’t Al Gore have enough money? What about your other pals?

Biden should note that it’s the American taxpayers who are being raped in the most blatant way, every day and every way this administration can manage.

Cody1991 on October 21, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Cody, I remember you showing us the green stocks and school pensions getting tied up in all this. Doesn’t it make you wonder if they would actually investigate this it would all tie back to Gore, Rahm, the union bosses and Van what’s his name. This would make Enron and Mader look like choir boys. You were right way back before the election. Good to hear from you again, haven’t seen you posting in a long time.

wi farmgirl on October 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Why don’t people look into things a little bit more before writing? If they did the would find that Fisk did take over the empty GM plant in Wilmington De. and will be on line to produce the lest costly version starting with the 2012 cars. The Finish plant will continue to produce the limited production top of the line car. Still sounds like a good deal or the US to me.

jpcpt03 on October 22, 2011 at 9:37 AM