When officials from the U.S. Department of Energy were first evaluating the applications for the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program a year ago, General Motors and Chrysler were deemed unworthy. To be eligible for the low interest loan program for retooling plants to build new more efficient vehicles, the applicants have to demonstrate financial viability.

A year ago, both companies were still stumbling toward bankruptcy and were clearly not considered viable. Now that both companies have eliminated tens of billions of dollars in debts and liabilities, the DOE is reconsidering their applications. GM has applied for a total of $14.4 billion in loans while Chrysler is seeking $8.55 billion. The automakers and the DOE have to work out the details of the projects that might be funded, all of which must include competitive technologies and show signs that the loans can actually be repaid. Ford, Nissan, Tesla and Fisker have all previously been approved for the program and received the bulk of the $9 billion disbursed so far.

[Source: Detroit News]

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