Carper, Carney Issue Statement on Fisker’s Bankruptcy Court Proceedings

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and Representative John Carney issued the following statement: 

“We are committed to doing whatever we can to put Delawareans back to work at the Boxwood Road assembly plant in Newport.  In 2009, we were encouraged when Fisker Automotive began to renovate the shuttered GM plant with plans to build cars for the 21st century.  We were disappointed, after what appeared to be a promising start, when the company faced a difficult set of challenges that could not be overcome and late last year entered bankruptcy with little hope of reopening the plant outside of Wilmington or building the next generation of Fisker cars.  It is our hope that as the bankruptcy proceedings go forward, a plan could emerge for an entity that would favor building cars at Boxwood to assume ownership of the company’s assets, including the plant. 

“We are encouraged to learn that Wanxiang has expressed interest in using the Boxwood Road plant to manufacture cars, if it acquired Fisker.  For over 60 years, thousands of skilled Delaware men and women built millions of high quality cars, trucks, and SUV’s at the two automotive plants in the First State. Those factories were economic engines for Delaware, and the region. Among the reasons the plants operated as long as they did were the excellent relationships between labor and management at the plant, which ensured smooth operations. The plants also enjoyed the ease of export via the Port of Wilmington, the freight rail access along the northeast corridor, and the major interstate highways nearby. They also had the full support of the state’s elected leaders. As domestic auto plants began to close around the country, our plants remained open until they were the last remaining on the east coast of the United States. But ultimately, Chrysler and General Motors reached a point where they could not keep them open any longer, and both plants closed within just months of one another. 

“The original objective of the Fisker project was to create jobs manufacturing advanced technology vehicles. Later this week, a bankruptcy court will consider whether or not to allow for multiple bidders to compete for Fisker’s assets. We believe an open process might attract a bidder who is interested in carrying out Fisker’s original vision, including the manufacturing of a new vehicle model produced in high volume. It is the production of such a vehicle that would require the capacity provided by the Delaware plant.  Production of the vehicles at the Delaware plant would meet the original goal for creating new, highly skilled, high-paying manufacturing jobs in the United States and in Delaware.  We will do what we can to help that promise become reality.”