The US government has paid out the first US$4bn in emergency loans to support General Motors but a payment to Chrysler is on hold.

Chrysler said it remained in talks with the US Treasury to finalise its own $4bn slice and expected to receive its share of the funding soon.

"We recognise the magnitude of the effort by the Treasury Department to complete these multiple financial arrangements quickly and sequentially. The discussions relating to Chrysler have been positive and productive, and we look forward to finalise the details of our financial assistance in the immediate future," the automaker said in a statement.

US Treasury Department spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin told Reuters the government had completed the first $4bn loan to GM.

"We're working expeditiously with Chrysler to finalise that transaction and we remain committed to closing it on a timeline that will meet near-term funding needs," McLaughlin said in a statement.

The Bush administration approved a $17.4bn bailout for the two automakers last month.

GM had been promised another $9.4bn on top of the $4bn first payment. The final $4bn will require Congress approval.

Chrysler was allocated $4bn after asking for $7bn. The bailout is Chrysler's second in 28 years, the news agency noted.

Chrysler and GM will have to submit restructuring plans to the US government by mid-February and demonstrate that they are viable by the end of March.