- Jan 24, 2011
Most Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMP) money delayed
The Detroit News reports that, in short, it's a mess. Here's a choice quote:
The ATVMP started in September 2008, and the last big announcement happened in April 2010. There was a fifth award – $50 million to Vehicle Production Group LLC to build a CNG-powered wheelchair-accessible car – but the loan hasn't closed. The Detroit News has obtained letters from members of Congress complaining about the slow pace of the loan process. Most importantly, the DOE might not be able to hand out the entire $25 billion because of higher-than-expected costs.
Some applications for the low-cost government loans have languished for more than two years. Projects have collapsed and some small companies are barely hanging on, hoping the money arrives in time. Some loans have taken another seven months to close after being approved.
Problems with the ATVMP have already spawned one lawsuit that alleges bias against small companies. The brief was filed by XP Vehicles (which has an electric inflatable car concept) "on behalf of the independent American alternative energy vehicle manufacturers." It's not just the small companies that are waiting. Chrysler still hasn't heard back from the DOE, but CEO Sergio Marchionne told DN that he hopes the loan will be closed by the end of March.
Of course, some people think not giving out the loans is kind of a good thing.
[Source: Detroit News]