Tesla Pays Back Government Loan, But Chrysler Squawks | Edmunds.com
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Tesla Pays Back Government Loan, But Chrysler Squawks


Just the Facts:
  • Tesla Motors on Wednesday announced it paid off the entire balance of its U.S. government loan to help build the 2013 Model S, noting that it is the "only American car company to have fully repaid the government."
  • Chrysler responded: "Not exactly, Tesla."
  • "The information is unmistakably incorrect," said Gualberto Ranieri, a Chrysler spokesman, in a statement. "It's pretty well known that almost exactly two years ago, Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule."

PALO ALTO, California — Tesla Motors on Wednesday announced it paid off the entire balance of its U.S. government loan to help build the 2013 Model S, noting that it is the "only American car company to have fully repaid the government."

A short time later, Chrysler responded: "Not exactly, Tesla."

"The information is unmistakably incorrect," said Gualberto Ranieri, a Chrysler spokesman, in a statement. "It's pretty well known that almost exactly two years ago, Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule."

He added: "Question: short memory or short-circuit?"

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is active on Twitter, had yet to respond to Chrysler's contention as of early Thursday morning.

Curiously, there was no mention of Chrysler in a lengthy U.S. Department of Energy statement on the Tesla loan repayment and the status of other auto-industry loans.

"When you're talking about cutting-edge clean energy technologies, not every investment will succeed — but today's repayment is the latest indication that the Energy Department's portfolio of more than 30 loans is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated," said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement.

Tesla said in addition to payments made in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, "today's wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8 million) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government."

Edmunds says: Despite the Chrysler/Tesla tiff, it's all good news for the American taxpayer.

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