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Oracle of Delphi

Ford, Nissan and Tesla to get government technology loans

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My question is why is the US government giving tax money to Japan's Nissan Motor Co? The government of Japan would never give GM, Ford or Chrysler this kind of support, and the Japanese government would laugh in their face if they had asked for it. :nono:

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co will receive nearly $5.9 billion in U.S. government loans to spur development of more fuel-efficient vehicles, the Obama administration said today.

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. will receive $1.6 billion, and startup green car maker Tesla Motors Inc. will receive $465 million in advanced technology financing from the Energy Department program.

"By supporting key technologies and sound business plans, we can jump-start the production of fuel-efficient vehicles in America," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said at Ford headquarters.

"These investments will come back to our country many times over by creating new jobs, reducing our dependence on oil, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

The agency plans additional loans over the next several months to automakers and suppliers.

The $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program is only open to viable companies and the car must be manufactured in the U.S. The legislation passed in December 2007 and the money was appropriated last fall.

Talks with Chrysler, GM

Chu said the administration began talks with Chrysler Group LLC on possible energy technology loans immediately after the company stepped out of bankruptcy protection this month. It is also having "technical" discussions with General Motors, which is currently reorganizing in bankruptcy proceedings.

"With regard to GM, we've already begun to review the technical side hoping they will emerge and be financially viable," Chu said. "So there is money there. I wouldn't say set aside. But I would say we are trying to stretch the dollars as much as we can.

"We would like help all the automobile manufacturers manufacturing in the U.S. with these loans."

Both GM and Chrysler applied for financing last year but their financial distress disqualified them from consideration in the first round of financing.

Chrysler is operating in an alliance with Italy's Fiat S.p.A.

Both Chrysler and GM rely on government bailout funds to operate. Ford, struggling like other companies with the industry's sharp sales decline this year, is the only U.S. auto manufacturer that did not seek bailout assistance.

Ford will receive loan funds through 2011 to retool factories in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri in order to produce 13 models. Ford is focusing on electrification and improvements to conventional engines as well as converting two truck plants for car production.

The loan is part of a $14 billion investment Ford plans in advanced technology vehicles over the next seven years, said Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker hopes most of that financing will come from government loans.

Nissan's plans

Nissan's North American unit will receive the funds to retool its Smyrna, Tenn., facility to build electric cars and an advanced battery manufacturing plant, Chu said.

Nissan said the vehicles will emit no gases and will be powered only by electricity.

"This loan is an investment in America. It will help us put high-quality, affordable zero-emissions vehicles on our roads," said Dominique Thormann, senior vice president, administration and finance for Nissan's North American unit, in a statement. "This project will expand our Smyrna plant and that's great economic news."

Nissan said construction at Smyrna is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, after an environmental assessment is completed. The automaker plans to start production of the vehicles in late 2012.

Tesla's Model S

Tesla, based in San Carlos, Calif., will receive funds to build electric drive trains and electric vehicles.

Tesla said it will use $365 million for production engineering and assembly of the Model S, which it described as "an all-electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge."

Tesla said the Model S will have an anticipated base price of $49,900 after a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit. Tesla expects to start Model S production in late 2011 in an assembly plant employing about 1,000 workers.

Tesla also said it will use $100 million for a powertrain plant. The facility will supply all-electric powertrains to other automakers, "greatly accelerating the availability of mass-market electric vehicles."

That operation will employ about 650 people, Tesla said. Tesla said it continues to negotiate for plant locations in California.



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The government of Japan would never give GM, Ford or Chrysler this kind of support,

Of course not, two out of three went bankrupt.



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