The US government has paid a $4bn loan to General Motors as the first part of its emergency loan to support Detroit's carmakers.
The funds were transfered on New Year's Eve. GM had warned that by the New Year its cash would have fallen below the $11bn it needs to continue operating.
The US's loan of $4bn to Chrysler is expected to be finalised soon. Chrysler had asked for $7bn.
GM has been promised another $9.4bn in government loans. Ford has not sought loans, but has requested a $9bn credit line to tap into in case business conditions worsen.