Automotive News reported earlier today (Aug. 27,2013) that more than $15 billion dollars of the remaining funds left in the ATVM (Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing) program are once again up for grabs for potential candidates.
With about $10 billion dollars withdrawn so far, the ATVM program has received its fair share of criticism and praise from both Democrats and Republicans (mostly Republicans) citing both successes and failures from recipients of the loan program.
The most notable success and poster child for the ATVM program comes from Palo Alto based Tesla Motors company who not only repaid its $465 million dollar loan, but has made itself into a success of its own with its total stock market value north of $20 billion. Recently Tesla has also found itself in serious capital investment with the grand opening of its distribution and assembly center in the Netherlands earlier this month.
Other noteworthy recipients of loans from the D.O.E. include Ford who still is repaying more than $5.9 billion to upgrade a few of its factories and introduce technologies aimed at fuel efficiency. And Nissan who took $1.4 billion of loans to retool their Smyrna, Tennessee, manufacturing facility and construct one of the largest advanced battery manufacturing plants in the United States.
But what the larger media has chosen to focus on are the failures of the ATVM including Fisker and wheelchair van maker Vehicle Production Group LLC, Fisker being in the news recently for making plans to file for bankruptcy, a path that Vehicle Production Group already went down.
The simple fact of the matter is that this isn't free money. The D.O.E. will probably be more scrutinizing than ever when reviewing a potential applicant to make sure that a solid business plan is in play to ensure that they get there money back without having to save face.
Hats off to Barack Obama and the D.O.E. for taking a calculated risk in boosting this economy and American innovation
Source: Automotive News