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Having recently been awarded a $500 million loan by the U.S. government to build affordable pug-in hybrids, Fisker Automotive is expected to build those cars at a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce tomorrow that the California-based Fisker company will revive the Boxwood Road facility in Wilmington.
The plant, which built the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and their Opel variant, closed only recently as a result of GM’s decision to eliminate the Pontiac brand and sell-off Saturn.
The half billion dollar loan that Fisker recently received is part of the Department of Energy’s $25 billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. Fisker said it, “represents a significant step in America’s future.”
A portion of the loan will go towards final development of the luxurious and expensive Karma PHEV. The Karma uses a technology similar to the Chevy Volt, but is considerably more powerful, allowing the 403hp luxury car to hit 62 mph in six seconds while getting 67 mpg. It can drive on pure electric power for up to 50 miles, with a total extended range of 300 miles.
The majority of the loan will go towards building a new generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that will cost $39,900 after tax credits.
Fisker says the project will create or save at least 5,000 jobs among U.S. auto suppliers and in manufacturing the hybrids.
Earlier this week General Motors officially turned off the lights and locked the doors at its Boxwood Road assembly plant for the last time, marking the end of the line for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.
The two vehicles (along with the Opel GT) were manufactured at the plant in Wilmington, Delaware, which is being closed as a part of GM’s restructuring process.
General Motors has decided to eliminate the Pontiac brand and sell Saturn to the Penske Automotive Group. The announcement to close the plant came on July 1st when GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time GM gave short notice to plant workers saying the facility would be shuttered by the end of July.
GM spokesman John Raut said the final vehicle to roll off the assembly line was a silver Pontiac Solstice.
Struggling automaker wants out of joint project with Toyota
With the Pontiac brand gone, GM is looking to get out of its arrangement with Toyota that spawned the Vibe/Matrix models
In stark contrast to official statements by General Motors reps (and to a story we ran yesterday) the struggling U.S. automaker does indeed want out of the joint project with Toyota that saw the creation of the Vibe/Matrix.
Word comes at GMInsideNews reports that it has obtained a list of four of the six plants General Motors plans to shut down or idle as a part of its new viability plan. Included on that list are the Wilmington, Orion and Pontiac plants… as well as the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) facility in Fremont, CA.
Just yesterday Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson stated that GM is in talks with Toyota about the shared NUMMI project and that ideally GM would like to collaborate on another vehicle.
“We’re clearly not backing away from our partnership at NUMMI,” Hopson said. “There’s no issue of us backing away from NUMMI.”
But apparently there is.
GMInsideNews is reporting that their sources say GM wants out of NUMMI entirely. And to stoke the flames of that fire even further the source claims that were GM to go into bankruptcy, its part of the NUMMI facility would wind up in the “BadGM” pile.