SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Nearly two years ago to the day, Elio Motors announced they would be producing their vehicle, a motorcycle mixed with a car in Shreveport.
Excitement for the project was at its peak in 2013 as the company and parish leaders worked out the details. But in 2014, the initial production start date came and went, which left many wondering, "Where is Elio?"
In January of 2013, along with the big announcement that Phoenix based start up Elio Motors would be moving in to the former GM Plant, CEO Paul Elio also announced hiring would begin a year from that date.
He said as an agreement to use the facility, they would provide 1,500 good paying jobs within 36 months. "We're going into production 18 months from now, so we'll start hiring 12 months from now," Elio had said on January 3, 2013.
The 12 month and 18 month predicted timeline has come and gone. The 36 month deadline to hire 1,500 people is coming up at this end of this year.
So where is Elio Motors?
According to the company, Elio Motors is building momentum and has taken a major step toward producing the vehicle.
Spokesman Pamela Vassallo says they are currently selling factory equipment from the old GM plant that isn't necessary to build the 3-wheeled vehicle.
The money from the sales will go to further advancing their assembly set up.
“One of the keys to producing a low-cost vehicle is ensuring maximum efficiency in our manufacturing operations,” said Elio in a
printed September 17, 2014. “Our team recently cleared an important first step by determining what existing equipment in Shreveport is mission-critical and what equipment can be sold. This level of detailed planning and execution is putting the processes in place to make Elio Motors a world-class manufacturer.”
According to the
production is slated to begin in 2015. As far as exactly what quarter of this year, the spokesman was not specific. "We won't announce an official start date until the engine has completed the dyno testing, (currently taking place). We're still on track for the end of the year," said Vassallo.
Caddo Parish Commissioner Ken Epperson says he has invited Elio CEO and the owners of the GM plant to a meeting later this month to answer questions the public may have.
The meeting will happen on January 15, 2015 from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at the American Rose Center located at 8877 Jefferson Paige Road in Shreveport.
According to Elio, more than 34,000 people have made reservations for the vehicle. The prototype of the car is currently on a nationwide tour introducing it to potential customers.