Smith Electric was the future of the UK. Then it was the future of America. Now maybe it can be the future of Zimbabwe or Syria. Or some other sucker country.
The Obama economy would look a lot like the Soviet economy if instead of building non-working third rate versions of Western technologies, the USSR had spent all its time trying to make a car that runs on dreams and pixie dust.
Say what you will about the Lada, but at least they managed to make more than 500 of them.
Smith had a long strange and troubled history and essentially we subsidized a British state subsidized company that used to make electric milk trucks.
Three years before Obama called Smith Electric, “the Future of America”, Tony Blair said, “This will be a company that will really make its presence felt not just in the North East, but actually throughout the world.”
You can guess how that worked out.
Smith Electric was selling government mandated delivery vehicles, subsidized by taxpayers, to major corporations. Then the UK got a conservative government and the US got a Socialist government and the US branch of the electric milk truck company, sensing a good thing, bought out its UK parent and began slurping up that dirty Socialist money in the States.
Obama said Smith Vehicles were “America’s future.”
Four years have passed since President Obama visited Kansas City’s main airport, rolled up his shirt sleeves and admonished the skeptics who said Smith Electric Vehicles was unlikely to make good on its promises to build 510 experimental electric-powered trucks and buses suitable for commercial use.
“Come see what’s going on at Smith Electric,” the president said, inspecting a table full of bright green truck batteries in what was once a maintenance hangar for TWA. “I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to tell you that you’re not better off than you would be if we hadn’t made the investments in this plant.”
The skeptics turned out to be right.
Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Obama’s favorite “green” companies, the firm has halted production, having built just 439 of the promised 510 vehicles.
The scary thing is that Smith Vehicles just might be America’s future. Worthless politically correct state subsidized industries that are as worthless as their European and Soviet counterparts.
But it’s still a better track record than some of the Green Energy companies that Obama dumped even more money on. Smith seems to have pulled out before it was too late.
Smith Electric relied heavily on the $32 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, allowing Smith to actually subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles to entice customers. In other words when a company like Frito-Lay purchased a Smith EV, they didn’t pay full price.
At least Frito-Lay got to deliver its snack foods on an electric vehicle subsidized by working Americans.