Seeking Federal Loans, Automakers Cite Alternative-Energy Goals

Published: September 10, 2008

DETROIT — A proposed $25 billion federal loan program to help retool the American auto industry would speed the development of electric cars and other alternative-fuel vehicles, a Chrysler executive said Wednesday.

General Motors says federal dollars could help advance its electric Chevrolet Volt, whose chassis was on display in January.

“It’s a way for us to accelerate technology so you can get it in the hands of people faster and so they can afford it,” Chrysler’s vice chairman, James E. Press, said at an industry event.

His comments came as Congressional leaders began discussions on whether to pay for the loan program that was created last year as part of legislation requiring a 40 percent increase in fuel economy.

While automakers appear to have backed off the efforts to increase the loans to $50 billion, Detroit executives are becoming more specific in their comments regarding how the funds would be spent.

Mr. Press said that Chrysler would probably apply for loans to augment its existing plans for electric vehicles, cleaner engines and new manufacturing systems.

“I think it will allow everybody to bring electric cars, plug-in electric cars, and hybrid cars to market sooner,” he said.

A spokesman for General Motors said that the company’s coming Chevrolet Volt electric model would be a prime candidate for federal dollars.

“Certainly a program like the Volt would qualify under the guidelines,” said Greg Martin of General Motors.

Detroit automakers have so far been lobbying legislators privately to build support for the loans.

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with all the technology these automakers bought up from individual inventors whom have solved the gas issue with cars and sold their "products" to the automotive industry for a substantial profit utilize these products instead of sucking at the Federal Teat.

oh yeah...the money

They need money to become innovative? You mean they need money because they cannot compete in the market place against auto companies whose labor costs are much lower than theirs. I will bet they use the loan to make a timely exit over seas.


The cuts have been made and continue to be made, although so many years after the handwriting was on the wall.

The newly negotiated contracts reflect the concessions and the number of white collar job cuts have been expanded.

It seems to be more of a supply and demand problem.

The automakers, all of them in the U.S., are producing cars that are generally more reliable, require less maintenance, and not being replaced fast enough to maintain levels of production required to turn a profit, at least in the U.S. market.

How many cars can be produced when the demand for them in one market falls and the management fails to recognize this and take steps to adjust.

Maybe if the free market place actually performed and weeded out those that cannot compete any more, then we would not need to intervene, but the call to save the companies because they are the life blood of the U.S. is at stake.

How good will the Feds be at automotive industry owners when the next loan is granted.

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