By on August 31, 2013

Detroit Electric CEO at the April launch of the brand and its SP:01 battery powered sports car

Saying that they continue to be committed to building cars in the Detroit area, EV startup Detroit Electric has told the Detroit News that the first models of its SP:01 sports car, like Tesla’s Roadster an electrified Lotus, will have their final assembly done in Holland starting in the last quarter of the year, not this month in Wayne County, Michigan as announced when the brand was launched back in April. While some have characterized the announcement as indicating that Detroit Electric is moving production from the Motor City to Europe, at the launch the company did indeed say that they’d be opening two assembly facilities, one near Detroit and the other in Europe to build cars for the European market, so it’s possible that there is no move planned, just that the Detroit facility has been delayed.

“We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric,” the automaker’s CEO, Albert Lam, said in a statement. “Our commitment to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the United States is as strong as it ever was. While there have been some delays in our plan to start production in Detroit, many vehicle programs experience some form of delay.”

Detroit Electric earlier blamed one of those delays on the fact that it had not finalized a lease or purchase agreement on any production facility near Detroit, and now they say that securing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Certification must happen before they start U.S. production. It’s not clear if that certification would include meeting all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or if the company is continuing to seek an exemption for low production vehicles, as Lam told TTAC they would, back in April at the launch.

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24 Comments on “Detroit Electric to Start Production in Holland, Not Necessarily Move It From Detroit...”

  • avatar
    Brian E

    This article was slightly confusing until I realized that “Holland” did not mean the town in western Michigan!

  • avatar

    Gosh Holland seems to be on the minds of others too eh? recently I heard that Fiat was going to be Holland too as a Firm location, not Italy or the USA, must be something in the Water eh? Probably these Companies get a good Tax incentive by locating in foreign lands!

    • 0 avatar
      Bill Steege

      That’s because the country of The Netherlands is very business-friendly, has a young, well-educated, technology-savvy King, a population that is overwhelmingly well-educated, trilingual and innovative, and a Parliament that is enthusiastically pro-business.

      And Detroit, the City, is…………?

      • 0 avatar

        It is not just Detroit. America applauds stupidity. Just turn on your television. Higher education is out of reach for most American families. We will continue to fail in high-tech, healthcare, manufacturing, sciences, etc. until we, as a nation, start to value education again.

        • 0 avatar
          Johannes Dutch

          You’re so right. No higher education, no future.
          (at least, not the future you’d want)

        • 0 avatar

          Higher education in the U.S. is an overpriced bubble that is starting to pop. The financial return on many degrees just isn’t worth the cost of going into deep debt with student loans. It’s one thing with STEM degrees that are usually marketable, it’s another thing entirely for many Liberal Arts majors who end up less knowledgeable when they graduate (if they graduate) than when they entered college. Yes, it’s anecdotal, but I was just reading yesterday a post from a woman who is upset because she has an honors BA degree in Peace and Gender studies but can’t find any jobs besides retail or foodservice.

          Many people going to college today aren’t capable of doing true collegiate level academic work, and that’s putting aside the fact that so many who do have the intellectual horsepower have to take remedial coursework because our K-12 system, once the best in the world, has been deliberately enfeebled by the trophies-for-last-place crew.

          More important than “higher education” is learning real skills for which potential employers are willing to pay, or alternatively, enough skills to make it entrepreneurially.

          • 0 avatar

            The woman in the story you referred to got what she deserves. If you can’t answer the questions “What kind of job does this qualify me for”, or “What kind of occupation requires someone with this degree”, then you’re looking at just another overblown liberal arts piece of paper. She’ll probably end up working in government; they’ve made a 4 year degree almost mandatory for entry level applicants.

  • avatar

    It feels to me like the government has singlehandedly decided that America has no choice but to buy an Electric Car. Impose regulations on new cars that can only be met by Diesels/Plug-In hybrids and offer as many rebates, incentives, subsidies as possible to make EV somewhat affordable. Ten years from now I may be driving an EV that drives itself… I fear that day. I will resist this.

    • 0 avatar

      The coming depletion of usable fossil fuels is mandating alternative forms of transportation, not the government.

      • 0 avatar

        So what will generate all the electricity???

      • 0 avatar

        The late Golda Meir used to complain that Moses brought the Hebrews to the only place in the Middle East without oil, but now that Israel has recently found recoverable oil and natural gas deposits onshore and in the Mediterranean and is likely to become a net energy exporter, I think we’re in a new world of energy resources. Add the increased access due to modern drilling and extraction techniques and we’re going to be burning diesel, gasoline and CNG in our cars and trucks for a while.

        They’ve been talking about the depletion of petroleum since the 1920s at least.

    • 0 avatar

      >> I will resist this.

      No, you won’t resist :^) :

      Actually, this might be an interesting way of implementing an automated vehicle. Just have the computer controlling the vehicle through your body. Much lower cost.

  • avatar

    Detroit Electric could do itself well to stay in Holland, Michigan. With the greying of the population, they would have an available influx of retired (or quitting) engineers from the SE Michigan area. Engineers tired of the insulting treatment by the Detroit-3 executives, those sick of the frantic traffic on poor roads, those fed up with the endless local evening news stories of which pimp shot what that day.

  • avatar

    There is a tax for US cars imported into Europe. The plant in Holland may just be a facility where they only screw in a headlight, just to avoid the tax.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    From the picture it’s looks like they are using the Lotus Elise/Opel Speedster platform like Tesla did.

    • 0 avatar

      It is a Lotus.

      • 0 avatar

        So what are the chances for survival for a company basing their product on a soon-to-be-extinct platform?

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          The platform has been around since 1996 and used in all of these vehicles: From Wikipedia
          Other cars sharing the Elise platform[edit source | editbeta]
          Dodge Circuit EV
          Hennessey Venom GT
          Lotus 2-Eleven
          Lotus 340R
          Lotus Circuit Car
          Lotus Elise GT1
          Lotus Europa S
          Lotus Motorsport Elise
          Lotus Sport Exige 300RR
          Melkus RS 2000
          Rinspeed sQuba
          Tesla Roadster
          Vauxhall VX220 / Opel Speedster / Opel Eco-Speedster Concept
          PG Elektrus
          Detroit Electric SP:01

          Chances are that the tooling has been amortized a couple of times over so most of the companies investment is in the power train. Think Morgan, they have used the same basic platform for the last 70 odd years. Look how many years Ford got out of the Panther platform.

  • avatar

    In the news they said that French youth moves to Holland and Belgium because of high taxes (hello Detroit!) imposed by socialist government making it impossible to find the job.

  • avatar
    Johannes Dutch

    …”We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric”…

    In historical perspective Detroit Electric should start production in France. Ask the offspring of Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.

    Just recently Tesla started a production facility in the Netherlands (not Holland). Just a little further are the DAF factories, member of the Paccar Group. So…if Tesla ever needs a big diesel…

    • 0 avatar

      The story of Antoine Laumet is an interesting one. His title, and the coat of arms that the Cadillac car company used as the basis for their crest, were borrowed from an actual French nobleman.

      It’s interesting that Detroit has a French background and it’s located right next to Canada, but the part of Canada that’s an English speaking province with a strong English and Scottish background.

      A lot of the oldest street names in Detroit are French, particularly on what is now Detroit’s east side, named after the farms of the original settlers. The Model T was first assembled in a plant on the corner of Beaubien Street. We have suburbs named Grosse Pointe and Grosse Ile.

  • avatar

    Detroit Electric is building its first cars in Europe? That’s the Fisker story! Fisker was gone so fast, we didn’t even have time to set up a death watch. Maybe the TTAC staff should get started on one for DE.

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