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Yesterday, General Motors finally submitted its S-1 document to the Securities and Exchange Commission as the first official step towards becoming a publicly traded company again. As we found when Tesla went down this path earlier this year, an IPO means a company has to outline the potential pitfalls it faces going forward in addition to all of the positive moves it plans to make.

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.

The other day, Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, said, "If they (the DOE) raise the appropriations from the $25 billion to the $50 billion, we qualify." At the time, we hadn't heard about any plans to increase funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. Of course, as we wrote when Cischke made those remarks, never say never.

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