DOE chief: Fisker’s Chinese buyer must keep work in U.S

The winner between two Chinese-backed bidders for assets of bankrupt electric-car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. will have to keep manufacturing and research in the U.S., Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC and Wanxiang America Corp. are competing in U.S. bankruptcy court for the remains of Fisker, an Energy Department loan recipient that stopped making its luxury plug-in hybrid cars in 2012.

"I'm not going to pick a winner of the auction," Moniz said today at the Washington Auto Show after giving a speech.

"What's key for us is of course the terms of our loan have to be respected. We have technology transfer limitations first of all. No matter who the winner is we will be looking at both engineering and manufacturing in the U.S. That's the key for us."

Fisker last year defaulted on its $529 million low-interest loan from the Energy Department after drawing down about $192 million. The company, co-founded by car designer Henrik Fisker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November after Hybrid agreed to acquire the rights to the defaulted loan for $25 million.

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