Elio Motors, designer of a forthcoming 84-mpg car, has surpassed 15,000 reservations, and may create 1,500 American jobs when it takes over a portion of a GM plant to build them.
According to The Truth About Cars blog
, the new Elio is prepared to begin manufacturing its $6,800 three-wheeled, two-passenger car in early 2015.
The announcement of the upsurge in reservations is just one more feather in the cap of the company that may pose a real threat to the fuel-efficient vehicle market. The company ended 2013 with 6,300 reservations made by customers putting down a $100 non-refundable deposit, and has since nearly tripled that number, coming within striking distance of Honda's sales figures of 21,000 fuel-efficient vehicles sold last year.
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In 2014, Elio has also announced a fourth-generation design of the car, and promised the final product would have a five-star crash-test rating. A recent press release from the company also concludes that the car is so fuel efficient it will actually produce less greenhouse gasses than a cow if driven less than 20,000 miles annually.
"Yes, we said it. Elio Motors is more environmentally friendly than cow farts," the press release stated
Elio Motors and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced in early 2013 that the car company would take over 1 million square feet of GM's 4-million-square-foot factory in Shreveport, paying an average annual salary of $47,700 plus benefits to roughly 1,500 new employees. They also estimated more than $100 million in capital investments.
"After the loss of GM, we made a commitment to the people of Northwest Louisiana that we would not only pursue possible alternative uses for the old GM facility, but we would also aggressively pursue new projects in the region that would create new job opportunities," Jindal said at the time. "From Benteler to Ronpak to Tiburon, we have kept our commitment, and Elio is the latest example of a company that is investing here because of Louisiana’s strong business climate and world-class workforce."
Elio spokespeople said its plans are on track to begin hiring near the end of 2014, and also announced that it would sell the car direct-to-consumer through factory-owned stores just like Tesla Motors.
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