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"Green" Battery Maker, A123, Receives $390M Onama Subsidies, Now Laying Off Workers

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posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:41 AM
Who would've guessed?

Another of the Obama Administration and Henry Chu's DOE "darlings" has issued layoff notices to 125 workers after receivng a total of $390 Millio in subsidies and grants.

A123 Systems, an electric car battery company once touted as a stimulus "success story" by former Gov. Jennifer Granhom, D-Mich., has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies -- but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives.

"[T]he company has laid off 125 employees and had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011," the Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes, observing that the company's primary customer, Fisker Automotive, is also struggling financially. "Yet, this month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [Chief Financial Officer David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received."

Green company gets $390M subsidies, lays off 125

Thankfully, after the scrutiny of the DOE's largesse with failing and failed "green" cronies, the administration cut off part of the loan/grant package they had earler promised.

But, as if to prove that the cronies are what truly matter, the company is giving its execs giant pay raises!

Robert Johnson, vice president of the energy solutions group, got a 20.7 percent pay increase going from $331,250 to $400,000, while Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, saw his pay increase from $331,250 to $350,000. Prystash’s raise was 8.5 percent, going from $350,000 to $380,000.

"It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens," Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, suggested.

Again, who would've guessed.
This is only par for the course of the state-sponsored electric/hybrid car debacle.

See also:

Obama Raises Volt Subsidies for " the 1%" by 33%

Government Motors Volt Costs Taxpayers $250,000 per Vehicle

When will the waste and madness end?


posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:54 AM
As an aside, Fisker Automotive, A123's major customer, has also begun layoffs after receiving $500+ million in loan guarantees.

Fisker Automotive, the maker of an exotic electric sports car that is being built with help from a $529 million federal government loan guarantee, has announced layoffs at its Delaware plant as it tries to persuade the Department of Energy to send it more public funds.

The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.

Another Green Energy Company Stumbles: Fisker Announces Layoffs

Is there a point when Americans who can think for themselves, and give a damn, will say, "Enough is enough?"

From what I see of poll numbers, it looks doubtful.


edit on 25-2-2012 by jdub297 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 10:00 AM
I don't thinik we'll see anything really change for how people look at this or how far anyone will go in changing things until or unless something goes badly wrong with the election. It seems that as long as the illusion of voting and having control of who is elected President is maintained for the majority, people hang on to that 4 year concept of change to a new guy.

As long as that holds...I think people just keep rationalizing things away with that 4 year window in mind for the ultimate option of change. Forget they fact it IS only an's enough when people WANT to find that illusion to believe in. The alternative of risking a peaceful and quiet life to DO something is too scary for most.

It's only my opinion here...but it's what I think we're seeing for the Apathy well past the point where it should have started ending.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:00 PM
The ones responsible for the layoffs and future theft of taxpayer money should be punished.

They all should be forced to work for oil companies digging ditches and cleaning up spills in Africa.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:24 PM
In setting up an automotive plant, $390M is not a lot. There are massive supply chain issues involved and it just takes the disruption of one critical component to grind things to a stop. The losses at the start are standard practice as manufacturing is tooling up. I do not know enough about the lay off's to comment, was this part of the business plan to sort out the good from bad workers? Where they only needed to get the business running as ongoing maintenance has reduced labour demands? It sounds like the business is still operating so the board has not messed up entirely.

How many workers are remaining?

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:37 PM

Originally posted by kwakakev
In setting up an automotive plant, $390M is not a lot

You assume that was all the start-up investment. This is an unjustifiable assumption.

Moreover, some of that initial investment went to the hiring and start-up costs of a plant in Finland!

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by jdub297

There is a lot to this story that is left to assumptions without a clear reason and situation behind these job losses.

posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 12:55 AM
reply to post by kwakakev

Could part of it be that they have fallen off-schedule several times already and their customers yet to reach any realistic sales goals?

This was a cobbled-together boondoggle from the start.

At least a bunch of Fins got some of our money, for nothing!

posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 01:01 AM
reply to post by jdub297

Forecasting is not an easy job and many things can go wrong along the way and you may be right. Without more information it is hard to comment. At least the company is not going into receivership so it is not a complete balls up just yet.

posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 01:51 AM
reply to post by kwakakev

I agree, and hope they succeed.

But, the government should be more selective and critical of concepts and economics. It should not be "picking winners."

How does a $100,000 electric car really help, anyway?
Why use Finn labor and facilities? (Answer: to avoid US regulation and unions.)

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