Gov. Mike DeWine met with the heads of Phoenix-based car company Elio Motors Thursday with the hopes of bringing jobs back to the Lordstown plant and to asses their revolutionary new car, the E1c. DeWine and the group from Elio discussed their new design, and the possibility of putting their new factory in Lordstown, filling the GM void.
Elio Motors, founded in 2009 by Paul Elio, has been seeking out new locations for their factory for a couple years. Last week, Elio sent a team to Columbus, Ohio to meet with DeWine and show off the E1c, their two-seater tandem vehicle. The company has claimed that the E1c can get up to 84 mpg on the highway and has a base cost of around $7,000.
The governor’s office maintained that DeWine was simply meeting Elio motors and looking at their new car, but the governor had more to say on the matter.
“We certainly want to get another car company in there if General Motors is not willing to do this,” said DeWine.
The GM factory rolled out their last vehicle, the Chevrolet Cruze, on March 6 and is currently vacant. The employment drop in Lordstown was visible in Ohio’s March jobs report, contributing to a collective loss of 2,400 jobs in the manufacturing industry.
If Elio moved to Lordstown, it wouldn’t be the first time that the company has taken up operations in a former GM factory. Elio also took over GM’s 3.2 million square foot factory in Shreveport Louisiana, though the company has run into several roadblocks in Shreveport.
Elio Motors has struggled to get their assembly line going. The company announced recently that they have to postpone production until the fall of this year, putting them five years behind schedule. In addition, Elio was fined $76,500 last year after beginning production without a manufacturing and dealers license.
After news circulated that Elio would potentially be taking over the GM factory in Lordstown, the company responded to the news on Facebook.
“As some of you may have seen, an article was recently published that mentioned a meeting between Elio Motors and Governor DeWine in Ohio. We want to clear the air-we still plan to build the Elio in Shreveport, Louisiana,” they said.
The “Bring it home” campaign is still working to get GM to reinvest in the Lordstown factory.
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Mitch Shirley is a reporter for The Ohio Star and Battleground State News. Emails tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Mike DeWine” by JohnTuturrosSliderule. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Elio Motors Factory” by Elio Motors.