On a belated, related note.
Battery maker A123 (ticker AONE - disclosure: I have zero connection to them), founded by MIT grads, went public today. This is significant in a couple respects.
First, it's a domestic company competing with LG of Korea and a plate full of Chinese firms.
Second, they've received a DOE grant to revamp a facility in Michigan as a factory. While they mostly work with small batteries for the moment, it's clear they intend to be a player in autos.
Third, it's an IPO. This is the first notable IPO I've seen in quite a while. Originally scheduled to start at $8-10, they bumped it to $13.50. Shares rose to around 20 by market's close.
Exactly what this means in the long term is still to be seen. But for a fairly new company still operating well into the red to be able to generate that kind of cash in this market says something.
I suspect it says something about a broader-view expectation of where the auto industry is headed in the next several years.
Link: Boston Globe article
on the IPO