Small Town America Woos A Domestic Automaker

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

And, golly, is it a touching scene. The Richmond (Indiana) Palladium-Item reports that the small town of Connersville is tooling up its effort to become the future home of Carbon Motors, makers of the E7 purpose-built police car. “A crowd estimated at 1,000 people attended a community prayer service Sunday night at Spartan Bowl, praying the 1,350 jobs Carbon Motors could generate will come here,” reports the P-I. Paging Norman Rockwell!

Connersville is competing for the Carbon Motors contract with Braselton/Pooler in Georgia; Plymouth, Michigan.; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Greenville/Spartanburg in South Carolina. Carbon’s investment would likely reach $350 million and could directly and inderectly add as many as 10,000 new jobs to the local economy. In the video above, Connersville mayor, Leonard Urban, explains why he thinks Carbon will become a profitable business. “After being mayor for about 15 months,” he says, “I’ve learned that police and fire get just about anything they want.” Post-9/11 and Katrina, he explains, federal money has flooded into local police and fire budgets. Urban and Carbon figure much of that money could go towards more efficient, purpose-built cop cars.

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  • John Williams John Williams on May 06, 2009
    The hybrid Fusion will make a better police car or meter maid car or “insert your type of car here” than what this new company can offer. A front wheel drive car like the Fusion will make a pretty good meter maid car, very much like the Impala, but front wheel drive cars still make crappy cop cars. Unless you like buying CV joints in 6-packs.

  • CarnotCycle CarnotCycle on May 06, 2009

    I always thought a purpose-built LE ride would be a good idea for a (healthy) automaker to pursue. Its a lucrative niche market that along with VIP limos for El Presidente, etc. could be based on a single heavy-duty sedan platform. Some of the features on this car sound somewhat contrived though based on their website. The thing can somehow detect dangerous biological and radiological signatures? That's kind of a broad statement. I kinda get why they're in Indiana with the potential of the UAW getting all up in their crawlspace though. These guys aren't trying to sell cars to normal buyers, they're trying to sell cars to the government...almost makes you want the UAW on your side. Current Federal regime loves the UAW, look at the Chrysler deal and Government Motors. Uncle Sam's loan from Uncle Mao is going to fund tons of fuzzmobiles for the locals, I wonder what percentage of cop cars at this point are purchased in some way with Federal grants? Even seriously crazy rides like old M113 APC's - still with .50 cal - are being bought with Federal grant money for local cop shop's SWAT teams. Some UAW-on-factory action makes sense in that context.

  • Ron Ron on May 06, 2009

    Isn't there a law stating that any domestic manufacturer opening a plant in the US has to be unionized? It's the foreign manufacturers that aren't shackled by unions.

  • Toasty Toasty on May 07, 2009

    The UAW might want you to think that, but there's no such law.