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Fox News Misreports Vehicle Loan Program’s Success

Nonprofit media watchdog Media Matters for America claimed that Fox News “falsely suggested that 56 percent of car companies that received loans” from the government’s vehicle manufacturing financing program “failed.”

In its last week’s episode, Fox & Friends Sunday cited a story by Daily Caller on the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program and claimed that 56 percent of automakers who got Federal help “fizzled.”

Co-host and Daily Caller editor-in-chief said that the government should not be in the venture capital business because they are not good at it.

Media Matters for America insisted that while some carmakers who applied for loans went defunct, most of those who received the money are still “up and running.” Only about three percent of the $7.5 billion disbursed through the loan program went to automakers that ceased operations.

ATVM, which the Department of Energy (DOE) oversees, was created to support vehicle manufacturers in building more fuel-efficient vehicles through promising technologies. The watchdog maintains that the program’s success proves that the DOE “exercised due diligence in reviewing applicants” which is in contrast with how the media often portrays government spending as extravagant.

Jalopnik, a weblog covering the auto industry, disclosed information about some of the auto manufacturers which startups died. Among others, Aptera Motors asked for a total of $259 million; the Vehicle Production Group received $50 million, and Fisker Automotive asked for $529 million but spent only $192 million.

With all the other automakers whose startups failed—about 10 out of 18 identified carmakers according to Jalopnik—all of them went bankrupt, holding massive layoffs.




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