Louisiana commission again delays Elio Motors hearing

Louisiana commission again delays Elio Motors hearing
Elio Motors' hearing May 8 with the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission was postponed 24 hours prior to the gathering. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Elio Motors' hearing May 8 with the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission was postponed 24 hours prior to the gathering. (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission again has postponed a hearing to discuss possible licensing violations with Elio Motors.

The delay was announced just 24 hours before the hearing was to occur.

Just before 10 a.m. Sunday, LMVC Assistant Executive Director Ingya Cattle said she was called into work to inform KSLA News 12 the hearing would be continued to July 10.

There's no immediate word from the commission or Elio Motors on why the hearing May 8 has been postponed.

An Elio Motors spokesman had confirmed May 2 that Joel Sheltrown, the company's vice president of governmental affairs, would represent Elio Motors at a commission meeting at 10 a.m. May 8.

Two days later, a commission representative confirmed Elio Motors' spot on the agenda for that meeting.

The delay announced Sunday is the second time the commission has pushed back the date of the hearing.

It originally was scheduled for March 13. Ten days before the hearing was to take place, it was rescheduled to May 8.

Elio Motors was a no-show to a commission pre-hearing conference in January.

The commission had invited Elio Motors leaders to its headquarters in Metairie for a "pre-hearing" conference behind closed doors to answer to possible state law violations. Nobody from the company showed up.

An Elio Motors spokesman said no one from the company was made aware of the meeting.

A commission representative said she called the number listed by the secretary of state's office and gave notice to appear to discuss concerns the LMVC has with Elio Motors in a private information-gathering conference during which commissioners can make recommendations.

At the time, commission staff members said they gave plenty of notice to the company but never heard back.

Because Elio Motors officials were absent from the pre-hearing, the company forfeited the private pre-hearing and instead now has to show up to a public commission hearing.

Up for discussion by the commission is the company's practice of accepting "binding reservations" to hold customers' place in line for its three-wheel vehicle.

The commission is concerned that a binding reservation is the same thing as a pre-sale, and Elio Motors is not licensed to sell vehicles in Louisiana.

Plus, the state's franchise law prohibits manufacturers from selling directly to customers. Instead, they are required to sell through dealers.

Elio Motors could be fined thousands of dollars if the company is found to have violated state law.

The postponement announced Sunday comes just one week after the company's latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed it  may be unable to survive another year without additional loans and stock offerings.

The documents also indicate that Elio Motors needs to raise $376 million to fund production of its 3-wheel car.

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