Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ford to Receive $5.9 Billion in Loans for Advanced Auto Technologies

This comes from a Dept. of Energy press release, part of an $8 billion allotment in total that is going to Ford, Nissan and Tesla. Off the top of my suddenly protectionist head, I'm wondering how the Nissan loans will go over with the public, especially here in Michigan. We will find out. Chrysler and GM weren't eligible this time around.

From the release:

Today, the Obama Administration announced $8 billion in conditional loan commitments for the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies that will create thousands of green jobs while helping reduce the nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil. The loan commitments announced today by the President include $5.9 billion for Ford Motor Company to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce 13 more fuel efficient models; $1.6 billion to Nissan North America, Inc. to retool their Smyrna, Tennessee factory to build advanced electric automobiles and to build an advanced battery manufacturing facility; and $465 million to Tesla Motors to manufacture electric drive trains and electric vehicles in California.
For the specifics on Ford - and translate this into jobs, jobs, jobs for Michigan, yea!, while you are reading it:

Ford Motor Company will receive $5.9 billion in loans through 2011 to help finance numerous engineering advances to traditional internal combustion engines and electrified vehicles. In addition, theses loans will help the company convert two truck plants to the production of cars. Ford will be raising the fuel efficiency of more than a dozen popular models, including the Focus, Escape, Taurus and F-150, representing close to two million new vehicles annually and helping to transform nearly 35,000 employees to green engineering and manufacturing jobs in factories across 5 states: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. Ford is driving a major upgrade, leveraging a portfolio of technologies, including the direct injection, smart turbocharging EcoBoost engine, advanced transmissions, and new hybrid technologies.

The facilities that will be impacted by today’s announcement include: Chicago Assembly, Louisville Assembly, Dearborn Assembly, Dearborn Engine, Livonia Transmission, Michigan Assembly, Van Dyke Transmission, Kansas City Assembly, Cleveland Engine, Lima Engine, and Sharonville Transmission.
This is very nice coming on the heels of a U of M study released yesterday that shows that, why yes, it IS possible to make money on fuel efficient cars (imagine that). Skeptics are still out there, but all it will take is $4 gallon gas once again and you can bet that will fade away as consumers demand hybrids/electric/fuel efficiency from their autos.

Also being reported, it was announced that the Obama administration will set up a "cabinet level task force" for auto communities, which should help facilitate the aid that is/will be coming our way. Biden will formally announce this later today on Ohio.

The move gives a more formal structure to the work of Ed Montgomery, a labor economist tapped by Obama earlier this year to coordinate federal aid to communities battered by the auto industry's downturn. Among the group's tasks: to coordinate federal aid to areas affected by the industry's crisis and to recommend changes in law or federal policy that could help them recover.

Larry Summers, the president's top economic adviser, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will co-chair the task force, and Montgomery, who will accompany Biden and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at today's event in Ohio, will be its executive director.

The group will include the heads of all the federal government's cabinet-level agencies, as well as White House advisers on climate policy, the environment and domestic policy.
OK then. Let's get to it. Enough of the talking, time to get to work.