Elio Motors, which operates a large technical center in Troy, will begin production of its enclosed, three-wheeled vehicle — the prototype of which is currently on a nationwide tour — next year at a former General Motors manufacturing plant in Shreveport, La.
More than 34,000 people have made reservations for the vehicle, which will have an anticipated fuel efficiency rating of 84 mpg and a price tag of $6,800. The vehicle is powered by an inline, 3-cylinder, 9-liter, SOHC gas-powered engine (55 hp).
But before the company launches production, Elio Motors is working with its manufacturing partner, Royal Oak-based Comau, to sell surplus equipment it acquired last year from the former GM plant where it plans to rent approximately 1.5 million square feet of space inside the 4.1-million-square-foot facility.
“One of the keys to producing a low-cost vehicle is ensuring maximum efficiency in our manufacturing operations,” says Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors, which has corporate offices in Phoenix. “Our team recently cleared an important first step by determining what existing equipment in Shreveport is mission-critical and what equipment can be sold. This level of detailed planning and execution is putting the processes in place to make Elio Motors a world-class manufacturer.”
The strategy allows the vehicle manufacturer to reuse production machinery, as well as raise funds from selling the excess equipment.
Comau plans to contract approximately 30 people to assist in the disposition of surplus assets and will give preference to local contracting firms, where possible.
“Building a motor vehicle company from the ground up is a monumental feat,” says Jim Holden, an Elio Motors board member and former CEO of DaimlerChrysler. “Elio’s partnership with Comau to effectively reutilize equipment from the Shreveport facility and leverage the surplus machinery reinforces Elio Motors’ theme of innovation. This is further proof that Elio Motors is going to make transportation history in 2015 when it begins production.”
Elio Motors will create more than 1,500 jobs in Shreveport once the plant is in full production.