Tesla Gets Chrysler’s Back Talk Over Loan Repayment image

Tesla attracted Chrysler’s rage when it said yesterday, May 22nd, that it is the “only American car company to have fully repaid the government.”

Tesla, which manufactures the plug-in Model S sedan, became the first company which received an Energy Department loan, to repay the entire debt of $451.8 million, nine years ahead of deadline. This made Chrysler furious and immediately issued a playful retort.

“The information is unmistakably incorrect,” wrote Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri on a company blog. “Question: short memory or short circuit? It’s pretty well known that almost exactly two years ago — May 24, 2011 — Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule.”

Chrysler said it paid the loan back, after in 2008 the automaker was saved from bankruptcy by a $12.5 billion in U.S. government bailout. In 2008 Chrysler was owned by Cerberus Capital Management and in 2009 the US government created the Chrysler Group, owned by Fiat. Therefore the US treasury left behind part of the loan that the old Chrysler could not pay, therefore the government recouped $11.2 billion.

As the U.S. Treasury said in a 2011 statement, the government “is unlikely to fully recover the difference of $1.3 billion owed by Old Chrysler.”

Source: The Detroit News