Battery packs made by A123 Systems (now B456 Systems)

Ok, so we made the "PDQ" part up, but battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. has changed its name to B456 Systems, Inc. – and no, this is not an early April Fool's Day joke. As part of A123's bankruptcy proceedings dating to last October, it was required to change its name in order to be purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang. According to the Detroit Free Press, as part of a March 22, 2013 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, A123 declared that its new name is B456 the name of the old assets to be liquidated is B456, akin to the way the post-bankruptcy General Motors was broken into GM and Motors Liquidation Company. The ongoing concern owned by Wanxiang is still called A123 Systems, Inc. We're not sure if anyone at A123 realized the irony – B456 is also the model number for a fire extinguisher made by Amerex that happens to be good for "energized electrical equipment."

Wanxiang completed its purchase of A123 B456 earlier this year. The company formerly known as A123 had received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, tax credits and grants from the federal government and the states of Michigan and Massachusetts. Part of the funds from the Wanxiang purchase repaid the $2.8 million it received from Massachusetts, but it looks like the other monies will go unrepaid. The Chinese company has said it will keep the Michigan plants open, but Michigan is trying to keep Wanxiang from collecting the rest of its unused incentives.