Critics of the current administration have pointed to the impending bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive and the recent suspension of operations at taxi maker Vehicle Production Group as examples of why the government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in it’s zeal to promote alternative energy. The DoE effort under which those two companies received financing is the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, ATVM. Putting aside political ideologies, contrary to the image given by the apparent failure of Fisker and VPG, the ATVM program actually has a pretty decent track record when it comes to picking winners and losers.
Car production is for the REALLY big boys only. It takes boatloads of patience and money. Ignore it at your peril. Or rather at the peril of your creditors – if you can find any. Latest road kill: The Norwegian EV maker Think Global filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, as Automotive News [sub] reports. Nothing new for Think. According to AN, “it is the fourth time Think has collapsed financially in its 20-year history.” (Read More…)
Electric car makers like to make a big fuss about how their clean-green automobiles are going to “change the industry.” Sometimes those instincts lead to hubris and overreach (ahem, Tesla), while other times the changes make you long for the relative simplicity of the new car dealer fandango we all go through to buy “regular cars.” In the case of Think, the business innovations (namely the innovation of relying on accumulating local tax credits to get the price to seem as low as possible) are enough to make the world of dealer markups and delivery charges seem downright quaint and homey. And that’s not the way to change this business…