Governor Jack Markell says he was surprised by the timing but not necessarily the details of Fisker’s announcement this week that they may not build their new car in Delaware.
“I didn’t actually necessarily expect he would say (that) Tuesday night, but they’ve made clear that they need the money in order to build out the Delaware plant,” says Markell regrading Fisker CEO Tom LaSorda’s comments at the unveiling of the new Fisker Atlantic model.
LaSorda told reporters that the company may have to look outside of Delaware or outside of the U.S. for a site to build their new car. “I think it’s been a frustrating experience since the Department of Energy and Fisker came to an impasse several months ago,” says Markell. Fisker’s loan from the DOE is on hold because the company failed to meet certain benchmarks in time in their development of the Karma vehicle. “They made clear several months ago that because there was a slow down in the federal loan they don’t have the money to actually invest in that plant right now so they’re having to look else where.”
The state has invested millions in helping Fisker get the old GM plant on Boxwood Road in Newport back up and running. That money could be recouped by the state if Fisker doesn’t create the required number of jobs at the plant under a clawback provision. “The milestone for them to create the number of jobs that have been targeted was 2015. If they decide before then that they’re not going to build the car here and build it elsewhere, then we may have to enforce that trigger provision on the claw-back sooner.”