• richard avatar Richard Posted: 11/16/2009 4:46pm PST

    @John: True -- and I pointed to Nissan above -- but Steve's allegation was that the U.S. government used DOE grants to prop up Detroit. The inference was that DOE funds were somehow tied to the whole bankruptcy/bailout event -- despite the fact that, if I'm not mistaken, the application process for the loans was begun under the previous administration, which wasn't nearly as Detroit-friendly as the current one.
    In other words, implying that the DOE loans have been used as political weapons to give Detroit an artificial edge doesn't make sense when two of the Big Three have been shut out of the loan process altogether and 75% of grantees aren't based in Detroit.

  • greendawg Posted: 11/16/2009 4:29pm PST

    tell me -since when do founders ever add value after the first couple of years. good riddence

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 11/16/2009 4:10pm PST

    @Richard: Remember Nissan also got big bucks to build a lithium-ion cell plant in Tennessee:
    Not a Detroit Three company, granted, but definitely a "real" OEM rather than a startup like Tesla, Fisker, or Aptera.

  • Ustinov Duberstein Posted: 11/16/2009 4:07pm PST

    Talked to someone I know at Aptera today. Doesn't appear that any of the engineers involved in the 2e project have been let go. Maybe this is just the usual clash between founder/CEO types and the money mone?

  • greedo Posted: 11/16/2009 3:56pm PST

    I'd rather see a turbulent shakeup for the good of the company than a comfortable status quo for the good of the founders/executives. We all know how it goes when an established crew gets too comfy in the car biz.

  • dee Posted: 11/16/2009 3:39pm PST

    Judging on the design, it is the designer that should be ousted.

  • richard avatar Richard Posted: 11/16/2009 12:59pm PST

    @Steve: Not sure I agree with you about DOE funding. To the best of my knowledge, the only Detroit company to receive DOE dollars is Ford. The other three outfits funded by the low-interest program are Nissan, Tesla, and Fisker -- the latter being the company I think you meant when you typed "Fischer". (We're working on ways for y'all to edit your comments, I promise!). Anyway, for a full rundown, look here: http://ow.ly/CR6R.
    Don't get me wrong: I love a good conspiracy theory, but I don't think there's one at play here. Or if there is, it doesn't work quite the way you've phrased it, since GM and Chrysler remain shut out of the funding.

  • Steve Famb Posted: 11/16/2009 11:56am PST

    Aptera, Zap, Eco Motors, Fischer, etc.. were killed of by the DOE. The DOE Loan and ATVM funding heads worked FOR Detroit. They with-held funding for the new competing companies that would threaten Detroit until it forced those companioes to do extreme things to try to survive, like have internal takeovers in order to survive. The DOE funding groups cut off their other means of support by telling ALL of the investor groups in the world that they would subordinate their terms with more attractive terms so they had to wait to fund After DOE's ATVM and loan gaurantee funds funded, which the heads of the loan gaurantee and ATVM groups never intended to do.

  • R2Dad Posted: 11/16/2009 11:01am PST

    The founders were probably correct in assuming those first 3000 customers wouldn't care if the windows rolled down or not. Maybe the real issue is that the new conservative, ex-detroit CEO knows how messy, expensive and time consuming a major platform upgrade can be while also in production on the original. Guess the founders will just have to be satisfied being wealthy.