Fisker fires back at Romney loser comments

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Fisker Karmas, all in a row. Image: Fisker Auto/Flickr/CC BY

Fisker has taken umbrage with Mitt Romney’s comments Wednesday night that the company is a “loser.” It fired back at the Republican candidate on Thursday.

Fisker and others slammed by Romeny

In the televised debate on Wednesday night, Republican Mitt Romney took aim at federal investments into green technology under President Obama’s watch. Although not slamming green technology per se, the GOP candidate said the president had a knack at picking the wrong players to invest in.

Romney said:

“You don’t just pick the winners and losers. You pick the losers.”

Some of the companies Romney so designated were Solyndra, Ener1, Tesla and Fisker.

Federal DOE loan frozen

Fisker builds the $100,000 Karma hybrid plug-in car. Its cars are currently built in Finland. It was the recipient of a government loan of $529 million to help it start making the new Atlantic in the U.S., using an old General Motors plant in Delaware. However, much of that big-time “automobile financing” loan was frozen when the company failed to achieve certain production milestones. The Atlantic is still not in production.

But the company is still making and selling Karmas. And it took exception to Romney’s remarks.

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Fisker fires back at Romney

The company’s spokesman Roger Ormisher talked to Edmunds the day after the debate.

He said:

“We don’t consider ourselves a loser.”

Ormisher went on to say that the company has already sold 1,500 Karmas and has raised more than $1.2 billion in private equity. Also, he said, it is expanding into other global markets like China and the Gulf states.

“We believe that is quite an achievement for a small American business.”

Ormisher, in a follow-up telephone call, told Edmunds that the company has created 1,000 jobs in engineering, design and technology.

Fisker’s CEO, Tony Posawatz, told Bloomberg News that it has resolved its differences with the Department of Energy.

He said:

“The intent and plan is to utilize that Delaware facility and build cars there in the future.”

‘Celebrate the entrepreneurs’

Romney’s remarks were politically motivated, designed to discredit his opponent’s handling of the economy. But a candidate who touts his background in business as one of his great strengths may be creating his own bad karma by disparaging the entrepreneurial efforts of others.

Venture capitalist Ray Lane spoke to First State Politics about Fisker and Tesla:

“Each company have produced great products, 2,000 jobs and are the first new automotive companies in 50 years. While the rest of the world admires this achievement, only an American businessman turned politician could attack this success. Write about the hard working entrepreneurs, not the politicians. Lets celebrate Henrik Fisker and Elon Musk, not criticize them.”


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