To the surprise of very few observers, battery maker A123 Systems declared bankruptcy on Tuesday, after missing the deadline for a debt payment. Barack Obama gave them $249 million of your money in 2009. They also got $141 million in state tax credits and subsidies from the failed former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, who touted them as a wonderful stimulus success story, and has since been transformed into a kind of grotesque cheerleader for the Obama Administration.
Their business model involved selling batteries to Fisker Automotive, which got $529 million in loan guarantees from Obama to built $100,000 hybrid sports cars in Finland. They had a factory in Delaware for a while, tasked with building a car that never actually existed. It started dying as soon as the taxpayer cash ran out, and by April 2012, the Delaware plant stood empty. The “good news” is that Fisker only managed to burn through $193 million of your money before Obama’s Energy Department finally put the brakes on the rest of their loans.
A123 Systems never recovered from a massive recall of their Fisker batteries. They’ve been trying to arrange a Chinese buyout. As Bloomberg News recalls, that’s not quite the future Barack Obama promised when he was touting them as the Industry Of the Future in 2010:
President Barack Obama called A123 Chief Executive Officer David Vieau and then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm during a September 2010 event celebrating the opening of the plant in Livonia, Michigan, that the company received the U.S. grant to help build.
???This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America — an industry that???s going to be central to the next generation of cars,??? Obama said in the phone call, according to a transcript provided by the White House. ???When folks lift up their hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines and batteries that are stamped: Made in America.???
FORWARD! To massive subsidies, bankruptcy, and Chinese takeovers!