While there has been ample skepticism of the Elio Motors enterprise, I’ve personally been one of the more optimistic, or at least less skeptical voices concerning the project. All along, though, I’ve said that there were benchmarks that had to be met, like progress on the IVL led Elio engine development program and the beginning of hiring in earnest for Elio’s facility in the former General Motors plant in Shreveport, LA, and that the time for skepticism would begin if and when those benchmarks weren’t met. Elio isn’t trying for a moonshot, just a 1,200 lb 55 horsepower reverse trike using mostly proven components, so whatever barriers to getting the enterprise off of the ground are mostly financial, not technological. Now, it seems that Elio will be missing one of those benchmarks, or at least moving the goalposts, as it scrambles to put together the almost quarter billion dollars Paul Elio says he needs to start production. (Read More…)
The real estate developer who holds the lease on the former General Motors assembly plant in Shreveport, Louisiana that Elio Motors plans on using has exclusively told TTAC that regardless of published reports, another tenant will not be replacing Elio and that the automotive startup has a signed lease for the facility and is on schedule with its plans to start production in early 2015.
In other news on the Elio front, the company had earlier indicated that while retail sales will be handled by factory owned outlets, parts, service and warranty work will be performed by a nationwide chain of repair shops. That chain has now been identified as Pep Boys. (Read More…)
According to the Detroit News, production of Hummer H3 and H3T models at its Shreveport, LA plant will stop on Monday, as the in-limbo brand watches its sales collapse. H3 and H3T models account for about a quarter of the Shreveport plant’s capacity, and Colorado and Canyon platformmates will continue to be produced. Meanwhile, the deal to sell the Hummer brand to Chinese firm Sichuan Tenzhong remains unconsummated, reportedly held up by the Chinese government. So when will Hummers go back into production? “When a sale is complete, once marketing kicks back in and there is new interest and enthusiasm, production will fire back up,” says a Hummer spokesman. In other words, never. It’s been a fun ride, Hummer. Thanks for the memories!