The $17.4 billion bridge loan package signed into action by President Bush late in December has begun disbursement, with General Motors receiving $4 billion on Wednesday. Chrysler is still waiting on the finalization of details with the U.S. Treasury before it will be able to tap into the loans.

The remainder of the $13.4 billion will see $4 billion going to Chrysler soon, and $5.4 billion will go to GM around January 16. The remaining $4 billion will have to wait to be allocated from the second half of the TARP funds to be approved by Congress, but once it does so, the final $4 billion will go to GM on February 17.

Along with the arrival of funds for GM yesterday afternoon, the Treasury also laid out plans for the rest of the auto industry, indicating parts suppliers could also be included in the loans. No firm commitments on the matter were made, however, reports the Detroit Free Press.

GM expressed gratitude for the funding and recognized the importance of the decision for not just its, but the industry's future. "We appreciate the administration extending a financial bridge to GM at this critical time for the U.S. auto industry," said spokesman Greg Martin.

As for Chrysler, the Treasury says the details are being ironed out and the loan funds will come through soon.