CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Paul Elio, the president and CEO of Elio Motors, was in downtown Shreveport Friday to reaffirm his commitment to bringing his company to Caddo Parish.
Elio addressed concerns and fielded questions from his reporters about the stagnation of his company and when the public can expect vehicle production to begin.
"2017 was a difficult year, not much happened that was seen publicly," Elio said. "We're glad to close the books on 2017 and thankfully it's now 2018."
For years, Elio has promised to bring 1,500 jobs to Caddo Parish, specifically the former General Motors plant in Shreveport. He has planned to use the facility to piece together his signature 3-wheeled cars.
"I believe this project has to happen, it has an incredible impact to our country," Elio said. "This asset, the plant is an important part of the community, we need to get those jobs there."
But, before the vehicle becomes available for sale to the public, Elio still needs at least $376 million dollars.
Right now, 65 thousand people have made a down payment to reserve their Elio vehicle, yet nothing has been produced for the market.
On April 25, Elio Motors and Overstock.com Inc. announced that Overstock would buy $2.5 million worth of newly issued shares of Elio Motors' common stock at $2.75 per share.
Elio Motors said it intends to use proceeds from the sale to "fund capital expenditures and repay certain outstanding debt and accounts payable."
"An Elio that was brought to Manhattan drew a crowd just parked against the curb," Overstock founder and CEO Patrick M. Byrne is quoted as saying in a statement announcing the deal.
"Nobody is more frustrated than me...trust me we've worked out behinds off this year," Elio said. "I get that frustration, but the only thing I can say to counteract that is we didn't give up."
The last time Elio was in Shreveport, he made a commitment to continue communicating with Caddo Parish residents about his company's progress toward starting operations in the former General Motors plant in west Shreveport.