By on May 14, 2010

Officials working with the Department of Energy tell the Detroit News that GM and Chrysler face no major obstacles in their quest for huge retooling loans from the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan program. GM is seeking $14.4b and Chrysler has asked for $8.55b in low-cost government loans. Says Matt Rogers, a senior adviser to the Energy Department

Project finance details need to be worked through, but those things are working out just fine as we work directly with the companies. It’s really a process of making sure that each of the projects that they have are in fact competitive.

Er, competitive compared to what?

As former Tesla Marketing boss (and frequent ATVML critic) Darryl Siry puts it:
So the guys from the DOE and Booz Allen Hamilton or AT Kearny are trying to judge whether the series hybrid Chevy Volt will be competitive? It certainly will be disadvantaged if you don’t fund it. Why? BECAUSE YOU FUNDED THEIR COMPETITION. Now that you have screwed up the natural forces of the marketplace, the DOE must provide equivalent support for the Volt program and let them compete on a level playing field with Nissan, Ford and even Tesla and Fisker.
And he’s right: All four firms he mentions have received money from the ATVML program, despite qualifying for unproven products. Besides, viability of the Volt program was never the main problem with GM’s bid for DOE loans. The big hangup was a financial viability clause, that GM now undoubtedly passes, having received tens of billions of dollars in direct taxpayer support. If you’re going to help GM over the financial hurdle, why pretend that the Volt’s viability is an issue? Especially when the presidential task force on autos already ripped into the Volt’s chances pre-bailout, only to come to swing back in favor of Chevy’s hail mary.
We’ve known that GM needs this money since last summer, and we’ve contacted the DOE several times trying to follow up on the status of GM and Chrysler’s loan applications. Why this whole process has been so shrouded in mystery is hard to understand, and this secrecy is more than a little troubling considering the impact these decisions have on the industry. But then, that bridge was crossed when the bailout happened… why the DOE is wasting time pretending that it might not give GM and Chrysler the cherry on top of their bailout is tough to fathom.
Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

7 Comments on “DOE Loans In The Works For GM, Chrysler...”

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    Most of us, with the exception of Mr. Farago, gave Ford (and to a lesser extent Nissan) a pass for the DOE loan, because we agreed it was a loan. If the government now believes that GM and Chrysler will pay back these low interest loans as well then griping about it would create a double standard.

    I’m pretty sure GM is good for the money because they have a track record of paying back loans, in full, with interest, 5 years ahead of the scheduled deadline.

  • avatar

    Three comments:

    1. Why are these clowns at GM so in love with pop music soundtracks? It really detracts from both the message and the memorability of the commercial or promo video, or whatever this 4 minute monstrosity is supposed to be.

    2. I tried looking at the commercial from the standpoint of a casual observer. It was boring (I cut it off after about 2 minutes) and it doesn’t really hit home the message of Chevrolet. Who, other than auto junkies, would ever associate that rocket concept car with Chevy?

    3. They really need to read about Stephen Arnold and “sonic branding”. Having your own sonic logo (jingle or music track) really does help hammer the brand home. Everybody remembers the NBC Chimes or the T-Mobile tones, who remembers crappy Top-40 music from 25 years ago and who’s going to associate it with a car?

    For those who didn’t see my rant in another thread, here is an example of an effective commercial, in my way of thinking:

    This has everything you need in a commercial. It’s memorable, it’s entertaining, it’s got a catchy jingle (sonic branding) and it hammers home product features.

  • avatar

    “Why this whole process has been so shrouded in mystery is hard to understand”

    No, it isn’t. The process is shrouded because it is an act of theft against the taxpayers. Government Motors is a giant slush for funneling money to the UAW and other supporters of the Democratic Party. The Volt program functions as an important sluice for the slush, as well as an alabi: that the political payoff is not graft, it’s an investment in a glowing, high-tech, environmentally responsible future.

  • avatar

    I think that the administration will not give more “bailouts” to GM and Chrysler because the public is against it overwhelmingly. However, the failure of either one of these companies would be embarrassing, so a way will be found to funnel tax dollars into these companies. It just will not be called a bailout this time.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Sound of grinding teeth.

  • avatar

    Does anybody else find the picture for this post a little disturbing? I’m glad to see it isn’t what I thought it was at first glance…

    No wonder why that Lesko guy is so freakin’ happy all of the time…

  • avatar

    The end of that ad was just a bit too trippy for me…

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Re: A Tale of Craigslist Wheels…

    rpn453 - Nice wheels. I can understand why they’d steal them. I saw a set on an Altima this morning and did a double-take.
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Big Al From 'Murica - You know, I mention it tounge and cheek sometimes and I may be the only one who feels this way, But I do wish we could bury the hatchet and get...
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Kenmore - Now I haz it… Yuengling, which I only heard of on this forum, seemed like such a Chinese name for an American brewery. But I’ll betcha it morphed...
  • Re: A Tale of Craigslist Wheels…

    Dave M. - Swap meets; posting to a BMW local forum; Cars and Coffee. If you are in a city, many times there will an eBay consignment shop int he area who will take the...
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Big Al From 'Murica - His alter-ego RexRyan has the sense of humor.
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Big Al From 'Murica - I am going to henceforth refer to you as Troll3. I can think of only two others in the long history of this site that surpass your trolling...
  • Re: About Commenting and Self-Policing

    JimZ - I’m convinced that one of Australia’s national pastimes is going online and reminding everyone that Australia exists.
  • Re: A Tale of Craigslist Wheels…

    FormerFF - That doesn’t always work out either. Last week, a business owner was leaving his store when he was accosted by a robber. He reached for his gun, the...
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Big Al From 'Murica - I hope he comes back, but frankly I wish you would take a hike!
  • Re: Say Hello to Your New Moderators

    Kenmore - “Chiang Kai-shek” Peanut! Gen. “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell is one of my next reading targets. Sounds like a guy who spared no fools.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked