That the $95,900 Fisker Karma would be built in Finland was never a secret, never up for debate. The car was delayed, and now costs more than it was originally supposed to, but the Finland thing has remained intact. In fact, when the automaker applied for its DOE Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan back in September 2009 and then again when the loan was approved in the spring of 2010, it specifically said that the loan was to build the company's next vehicle (the still-secret Nina plug-in hybrid) in Delaware – and maybe possibly also next-gen versions of the Karma. The plan always called for the first Karmas to be made by Valmet in Finland. In fact, Fisker has to make sure that none of the DOE money is spent overseas. This is all old news, right? The latest on Fisker is that the car just got its EPA certification and that celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio (in real life) and Ashton Kutcher (on TV) drive the car.
Well this isn't the case if you're ABC News and you get to talk to company head Henrik Fisker and get him to say that there was "no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle." Fisker was explaining why his company wanted the loan: to restructure an old GM plant in Delaware and make plug-ins there. ABC put the story up, and then folks like Sarah Palin caught wind of it. Earlier today, Palin tweeted, "This is outrageous. Wake up, America." A staffer to Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) joined in. Palin's outrage is somewhat understandable, given that ABC asks if, "whether another Solyndra is in the offing" with Fisker. To anyone who knows the full story, though, there is very little in the ABC article that's actual news. The only thing we noted was that Fisker said the Nina has already been designed and built and is being kept under wraps for competitive reasons.
We'd like to say that American should not pay any more attention to what Palin says about Fisker, but her tweets can be heard for miles, apparently. The DOE responded in a clear statement that says, "While the vehicles themselves are being assembled in Fisker's existing overseas facility, the Department's funding was only used for the U.S. operations. The money could not be, and was not, spent on overseas operations." Will it get the same traction?