Amid the turmoil of late 2008 and 2009, Ford's treasury led the company's efforts to secure a $5.9 billion loan from the Energy Department to develop fuel-efficient vehicles. Applying for the loan required Ford to prove that its technology was viable and that the company was creditworthy. It also had to reconcile the DOE's collateral requirements with the company's existing commitments.

Ford began the process of applying for the loan, part of DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentives Program, in the fall of 2008. "The key issue that first had to be overcome is, do you have product technologies the government wants to invest in?" says Michael Seneski, assistant treasurer at Ford. The company submitted 13 different projects, providing the DOE with detailed engineering data and other information.

Another hurdle involved the collateral required for the DOE loan, which would only be partly met by the assets Ford acquired with the loan. "We had already pledged our assets, including our trademarks, to our secured creditors," Seneski says.

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