A123 Systems may have expressed doubt in its ability to continue as a going concern in a recent financial filing, but that doesn't mean the company has given up. Indeed, due to increases in its power-grid and commercial transportation portfolios, it has announced it will be hiring an additional 400 workers over the next few months to boost production at its Livonia and Romulus, MI plants. The additional hires would more than reverse the cuts made last November and bring staffing levels to an all-time high of 1,181 employees.

While A123 might be best known for supplying packs for cars like the Fisker Karma, it is also the battery source for Smith Electric Vehicles and its cells will soon start doing energy storage duty in Tata's hybrid buses. It's grid storage business has also scored recently, landing a contract to supply an 11 MW Grid Battery System for the Auwahi Wind project in Maui, HI.

A123 uses a robust chemistry that lends itself to many applications and has a strong client list. Despite recent set backs, it could still become an American success story, though it certainly will require some deft maneuvering by its management team.

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