Elio Motors set to begin operations in former GM plant in Caddo Parish; 80 mpg highway 3-wheeler for $6,800
Elio Motors has taken the next step in its plan to manufacture its $6,800 3-wheel vehicles in Louisiana; the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board (IDB) completed its purchase of the former General Motors Shreveport Assembly and Stamping Plant, allowing Elio Motors to progress in its manufacturing timeline.
Elio Motors will rent approximately 1.5 million square feet of the 4.1 million square foot building from Industrial Realty Group, which leases the building from the IDB. IRG will seek a tenant or tenants for the 2.6 million remaining square feet of the building, which may include suppliers for Elio Motors.
Paul Elio, CEO and founder of Elio Motors, said he expects his company to begin commercial vehicle production in first quarter 2015, with significant hiring at the Caddo Parish facility to begin by the fourth quarter of 2014 and full employment to be reached in late 2015.
The vehicles will be manufactured using more than 90% North American content and as many existing and proven parts as possible. The company has been accepting pre-orders on its website and touring the country to showcase the prototype.
The former GM Shreveport Assembly and Stamping Plant was built in 1981 and most recently expanded in 2002. The property also includes a 1.5 million-square-foot paint shop; an on-site powerhouse and wastewater treatment facility; a rail spur; and 530 acres of land.
GM production at the Shreveport Assembly and Stamping Plant ceased on 28 August 2012. GM produced more than 4.8 million vehicles, mostly light-duty pickup trucks, at the facility, which was among the properties the former General Motors Corp. relinquished as part of its 2009 bankruptcy proceedings.
The three-wheeled Elio is powered by an inline, 3-cylinder, 0.9 liter, 55 hp, fuel-injected, SOHC gas-powered, liquid-cooled engine coupled to a 5-speed automatic or manual transmission. The three-wheeler will attain a highway mileage rating of more than 80 mpg (2.9 l/100 km) while providing the comfort of power windows and air conditioning, accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body.
Plans are for the first production vehicle to roll off assembly lines in 2014.