Auto Industry Loan Reaches Senate

by Gabe Bullard on September 26, 2008

A $25 billion loan for the domestic automotive industry is working its way through the U.S. Congress. If approved, some of the money could come to Louisville.

The House has already approved the measure, which is now awaiting action in the Senate. The bill is tied to last year’s energy plan, which approved loans for the industry to boost automotive fuel efficiency, but didn’t establish an amount.

If the bill is approved, automakers can apply for loans from the Department of Energy. Ford spokesperson Christin Baker says this is not a bailout.

“This is a direct loan that we’ll pay back with interest,” says Baker. “And while the Congress had to appropriate a set amount and set it aside to make that $25 billion available, we think the ultimate cost to the taxpayers will be zero because the industry has a reputation of paying back their loans in full.”

Baker says some of the money Ford might receive would go to Louisville, where the Fern Valley Road assembly plant is slated to begin producing more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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