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As Department of Energy relaunches loan program, we consider past successes and failures

As Department of Energy relaunches loan program, we consider past successes and failures


In the same week that Audi said "not so fast" to some claims from Tesla, Chrysler has responded to a new press release from the California-based EV-maker by saying "not exactly, Tesla." The statement, released through the company's blog, comes in response to Tesla claiming it was "the only American car company to have fully repaid the government." Chrysler notes that it, too, recently paid back Uncle Sam from its 2008 bailout. Similar to Audi's recent press release, which was eventually and myst


We haven't heard much from Tesla of late, but that may be because the upstart electric car maker is hard at work getting the Model S to market, as promised, before the end of 2012. The Model S itself is the product of a $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, but that's not the last round of loans Tesla has its sights set on.


Republican leaders in the House of Representatives reportedly want to cut in half the balance of a U.S. government fund, the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, that was set aside to help the automotive industry develop more fuel efficient vehicles.


Chrysler has taken the final step towards freedom from Uncle Sam by paying off the rest of its government loans. USA Today reports that Chrysler and Fiat paid the Treasury Department $500 million for 98,461 shares and $60 million for shares from a pact with the United Auto Workers' VEBA retirement trust.


The federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler cost U.S. taxpayers roughly $80 billion back in 2009, but only two years later, it appears Uncle Sam will get most of its money back. The Associated Press reports that the Obama Administration now estimates that the bailout will "only" cost taxpayers $14 billion. That's down significantly from the projected 60 percent loss estimated by the Treasury Department back in 2009, and the money is also expected to arrive much sooner than originally expe


It's Official: Chrysler has announced that it has repaid its multi-billion dollar obligations owed to both the United States and Canadian governments. Adding up both loans plus interest, Chrysler has just shelled out a tidy $7.6 billion. The U.S. receives $5.9 billion and Canada will get $1.7 billion.


This is very bad. Remember the deal between Hawtai Motors and Saab? Collapsed. According to The Detroit News, the deal, which involved a 29.9 percent stake in Saab in exchange for $172 million, fell apart early Thursday morning. The problem was reportedly that Hawtai wasn't able to obtain all the stakeholder consent needed, forcing the Chinese automaker to terminate the pact. Saab and Hawtai are reportedly continuing to work on resurrecting a deal, but the Swedish automaker has said in a stateme


Fiat has been in a big, fat hurry to increase its stake in Chrysler, as the Italian automaker has managed to increase ownership from 20 percent to 30 percent so far this year. A report out of Automotive News Europe (via Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera) shows that the stakes may raise once again by June of 2011.


We've all been there: uttering words you almost immediately regret. You feel like an absolute idiot. But the next time that kind of situation comes up – and come up it will – know that you're not alone. Because Sergio Marchionne has had a bit of backtracking to do himself.


You don't have to be a pollster to know that for the most part, the American public remains none too happy about the federal government handing over the people's hard-earned tax dollars to pull General Motors and Chrysler out of the fires of insolvency. Despite the fact that both companies have managed to keep their lights on, doors open and paychecks flowing due to their generous federal loans, Joe Plumber still can't stand the thought of paying the price of the two companies' failures. With mi


The Department of Energy (DOE) seems to be loaded with cash these days and is stopping just short of throwing the stuff at companies. We're thrilled that several advanced battery companies have received lots of the greenbacks, but the cash flow has to run dry at some point, right? Not yet, because the DOE has awarded grants to three more advanced battery technology companies.


Wednesday was a busy day for General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre by anyone's definition. He started the day with a trip to The General's Fairfax plant in Kansas to tell the world that GM was paying off the remaining $5.8 billion in government loans five years ahead of schedule and to announce a $257 million investment for a pair of plants. After the announcement came a trip to Washington to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Michigan delegation from Congress.


Good news, the check is in the mail! General Motors issued a (very) brief press release this afternoon stating that the automaker had delivered on its promise to issue its first reimbursement checks to the U.S. and Canadian governments by the end of the year. GM sent $1 billion to the feds and $192 million to the Canadian government, and GM reiterated in the statement that it would complete payments totaling $6.7 billion (to the U.S. government) by June 2010.


Before Fiat and prior to bankruptcy, the old Chrysler, LLC needed $4 billion just to keep the doors open. The Bush Administration came through with the company-saving cash at the 11th hour, keeping the Pentastar solvent long enough to make it to bankruptcy court. Chrysler was reportedly given $15 billion in total aid, and it appears much of that money will be repaid through future payments and through incentives for Fiat to increase its stake in Chrysler from 20 percent to 35 percent. But that o


GMAC has received $12.5 billion in U.S. Treasury loans since last December, but that sizable amount of cash may not be the last of government assistance. The Detroit News is reporting that General Motors' finance arm could receive between $4 billion to $5.6 billion by November 9 in order to satisfy more stringent government mandates to have sufficient cash on hand in the event of a prolonged recession. GM's financing arm said in May that it was attempting to obtain the additional cash by means o


These are some confusing times in the automotive world. For the past few years, it seemed as though Porsche was primed to rule the world. It was selling plenty of product, and more importantly, it was quickly gobbling up shares of German juggernaut Volkswagen. Dried-up credit markets and slow sales have conspired to put a big wrench in Porsche's plans, though.


Over the past two days, we've told you what we've heard about the latest short-term federal aid coming to Chrysler and GM. According to the latest reports, it will be $5B to the latter and $500M to the former. We also mentioned it had been reported that Chrysler Financial had inexplicably turned down an additional $750M in government aid during this most recent round of handouts. It had been speculated that it was because of a refusal by CF execs to sign off on executive compensation limits in t


General Motors submitted a restructuring plan on February 17 that included 47,000 job cuts, 14 plant closings by 2012 and the sale, dismantling, or shrinking of four brands. It sounds like a big remodeling job, unless you're a GM bondholder. In a letter sent to President Obama's automotive task force, GM's debt holders feel that the plan may rely too heavily on the ability for the economy and car sales to make a quick turnaround. The letter states that bond holders "do not know if the plan would


General Motors and Chrysler have been in meetings with the U.S. Treasury this week to discuss how and when the Detroit automakers can again become viable. Both companies are asking for additional billions to fund their perspective turnarounds, but Chrysler is also defending a proposed partnership with Fiat. Fiat's pending 35% ownership stake would provide Chrysler with small and mid-size cars and more fuel efficient powertrains, but no cash.

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