United States Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the whichever of the two Chinese bidders for the assets of Fisker Automotive wins the court ordered auction on February 12th it will still have to keep Fisker’s manufacturing and research in the U.S. Automotive News reports that Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC and Wanxiang America Corp. are fighting over the remains of Fisker 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 at the Washington Auto Show. ”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.”
How much manufacturing Fisker had been doing in the U.S. is questionable. The Karma cars were assembled by Valmet in Finland and while Fisker bought a former General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Deleware, where it planned to build a mass market sedan, those plans never came to fruition.
Fisker defaulted on its low-interest loan from the Energy Department after drawing down about $192 million from $529 million allocated for hybrid luxury car startup. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. Hybrid Tech Holdings bought the rights to that $192 million debt for $25 million and is using that debt as a major part of its bid for Fisker.