- Gabby Giffords’ gun control push gets high-profile speaker: Bill Clinton
- Tony Blair to warn West: Take sides against radical Islam
- Pfc. Bradley Manning’s name change to Chelsea heads to court
- NYPD’s attempt at positive Twitter outreach campaign proves to be an epic fail
- Michigan man among first in U.S. to get ‘bionic eye’
- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
- Forget the Porsche — it’s the guy with the Prius that attracts the ladies, poll shows
- Fired Russian Facebook CEO says site has fallen in the hands of pro-Putin supporters
McAuliffe’s overstated production levels for GreenTech mar business-savvy image
The green car company co-founded by Virginia gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has fallen woefully short of its original projected job creation and production levels while becoming ensnared in two federal investigations.
But even if it had met its goals, the company’s 2009 projections called for producing nearly double the predicted worldwide demand for such electric vehicles.
In the course of pursuing investors, GreenTech Automotive Inc. projected 100,000 “subcompact” cars being built annually by 2017. According to Navigant Research, Neighborhood Electric Vehicle sales were predicted to increase worldwide that year to 55,000. The 2011 study for Navigant was conducted by Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.
Counting all classes of cars — subcompact, compact, midsize and SUV — GreenTech planned a full annual production volume of 1 million cars by 2017, according to the 2009 offering.
The investment offering was couched with disclaimers, including warnings that production of different models would depend on demand.
“Although GreenTech’s products are designed with world-class business partners implementing advanced technologies that substantially reduce emissions and fuel consumption, there however can be no assurance that market acceptance may be slow, and lower than anticipated,” the offering reads.
GreenTech now estimates producing about 30,000 vehicles per year and defends the company’s failure to meet earlier expectations.
“It takes time to build a brand new company in a capital-intensive industry like electric vehicles, and we will not cut corners on quality or safety as we progress. We have a plan. The plan is working. We’re sticking to it,” GreenTech said in a statement to The Associated Press.
The beleaguered car company was intended to solidify Mr. McAuliffe’s credentials as a businessman, but it has left him vulnerable to questions about judgment as the business and his role in it becomes a central point of attack from his Republican opponent, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II.
Mr. Cuccinelli has seized on Mr. McAuliffe’s decision not to locate a car-producing plant in Virginia but instead to build the facility in Mississippi.
Mr. McAuliffe has defended the move by saying he had a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, but he recently has appeared to be trying to distance himself from the company. He left GreenTech in December but did not publicly reveal his departure until April. Since then, two federal agencies have announced investigations into the company’s operations.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is exploring whether the company guaranteed returns for its investors, and the Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether a federal immigration official inappropriately helped company officials attempting to secure a visa for an investor. Under the federal EB-5 visa program, foreign investors can put up at least $500,000 for job-creating U.S. companies in exchange for legal status.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, President Obama’s pick to be the next No. 2 at Homeland Security, rammed through an investor visa on behalf of Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC, even after an application was denied and an appeal rejected. Gulf Coast processes the visas on behalf of GreenTech.
It later emerged that Mr. McAuliffe personally lobbied Mr. Mayorkas and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano to accelerate the visa-approval process for his company’s investors.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, wrote Friday to Mr. Mayorkas saying that the nominee sent him a letter July 25 explaining he “had not used [his] position to benefit any particular party or individual.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Supreme Court pushes consideration of N.J. gun case to April 25
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- SOWELL: The high cost of liberalism, open spaces and affordable housing
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'I'm not running for president'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.