Planet Gore

They Never Learn

Before Barack Obama threw $500 million at Solyndra, and before his Michigan twin Jennifer Granholm’s RASCO fiasco, in which felon Richard Short received $9 million of green state investment, there was Michigan Democratic governor James Blanchard and his 1980s gambit on Vixen Motors green motor homes. Will Democrats never learn?

Charles Owens writes at The Michigan

In the early ’80s, I heard then-Governor Blanchard of Michigan promote his new economic development policy where the state would pick and support private business ventures. At one event I attended, he trumpeted the state’s investment in the Vixen Motor Company of Pontiac, which would manufacture fuel-efficient motor homes.

After failing to get funding from private investors, the founders of Vixen Motors were able to convince Blanchard’s Department of Commerce, Detroit police and fire pension funds, and the city of Pontiac to invest more than $35 million. In September 1982, company officials said Vixen would employ 200 people when production got under way in two years and they would hire up to 400 workers within two years of full production at 1,000 units a year.

Sound familiar?

In 1989 the company went bust and was liquidated.

Read more at The Michigan View here.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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