Fisker vs. Ford

Ford Motor Company’s most expensive sports car is the Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible, a 500-horsepower rocket sled that retails for about $55,000. Compare that to the $97,000 for the base model hybrid-electric Karma, the high-performance sports car made by upstart Fisker Automotive.

Those two price points should have tipped off the Obama administration as to why providing a $529 million loan guarantee to Fisker would end up a public-relations blunder. But in 2009, the administration went ahead with the deal. “We’re making a bet on the future, we’re making a bet on the American people, we’re making a bet on the market, we’re making a bet on innovation,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

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