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Chinese auto makers exit talks to buy Fisker Automotive

19 Mar 2013

Chinese auto makers including Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng have pulled away from talks to buy struggling electric vehicle maker Fisker Automotive over a disagreement on their loan arrangement with the US government.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fisker’s management proposed that as part of any sale the buyer tap the remaining portion of a $529m US loan – a move that would commit the new owner to building Fisker cars at a former General Motors factory in Delaware.

But the Delaware plant is reported to be big, old, expensive, and the Chinese manufacturers do not want to be compelled to build cars there.

The struggling company, whose CEO and founder Henrik Fisker resigned last week, faces a loan payment to the US next month. The company has currently pulled down $192m of the loan, but it was frozen when the auto maker missed key milestones in developing its electric vehicles.

Russell Datz, a spokesman for Fisker, told the Wall Street Journal, ‘We are still talking with several parties. The details are confidential.’

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