(WKBN) – There’s been no replacement for the work at GM Lordstown but on Thursday, a sign of hope emerged. The governor looked at a new car — and its makers are interested in Ohio.
People got excited seeing Governor Mike DeWine looking over the new Elio Motors car. The company may be considering Ohio for an assembly location.
The governor’s office said DeWine was simply meeting with Elio Motors and looking at the car. It would not comment any further.
Elio Motors is struggling to start an assembly line. Production has been pushed back to the fall of this year. That’s five years after the three-wheeled vehicles were supposed to be made at a former GM plant in Shreveport.
Paul Elio talked to a news station in Shreveport last May after he pushed back production again.
“I believe this project has to happen,” he said at the time. “It has an incredible impact to our country. First, it’s the jobs. We’re targeting 90% North American content. Last time we rolled it up, we were 87% so I won’t guarantee we’ll hit 90%, but it’ll be a number we’ll be proud of.”
Elio bills itself as the ultimate commuter vehicle, getting 84 miles to the gallon on the highway and around 40 in city conditions.
The company said it has 65,000 reservations for the car at around $7,500 each.
Paul Elio believes the company will need 1,500 workers to make the car.
However, the company had trouble raising enough money, figuring it needed close to $400 million to start. It’s spent $115 million on the project so far.
Elio Motors was fined $545,000 last year for operating in Louisiana without vehicle manufacturer and dealer licenses. A judge reduced the penalty to $76,500.
The Drive It Home campaign said it’s still working to get GM to commit to reinvesting in its Lordstown facility.