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Elio Motors Launches National Ad Campaign

But production still many months away – if funding can be found.

by on Jan.27, 2016

Elio Motors takes another step toward reality with an ad campaign featuring two television commercials.

Expect to start seeing a flurry of ads from start-up automaker Elio Motors pitching the company’s unusual, three-wheeled model it plans to start selling for a base price of $6,800.

That is, of course, subject to a few caveats. For one thing, the Elio two-seater won’t go on sale until “late 2016,” the company says. And even that target date is a big if, company founder Paul Elio acknowledged during an interview at the L.A. Auto Show last November, noting that he has yet to come close to raising the capital needed to put the 84-mpg vehicle into production.

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It appears one of the goals of the new national ad campaign is to not just get more folks to place reservations on the Elio website, but also to use any new burst of interest to help convince potential lenders and investors to come onboard.

“We are on a mission to change the world, and sharing our message with as many people as possible is an important objective to our long-term success,” the founder of the eponymous Elio Motors said. “Our grassroots and digital efforts have helped create a strong – almost rabid – enthusiasm for our vehicle. As our funding situation continues to make progress, we are now in a position to share our message and create more fans through this national advertising campaign.”

(Elio opens stock offering to public. For more, Click Here.)

Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors, is hoping that new television commercials not only raise the company's profile, but also some cash from investors.

Elio’s financial situation has improved since November, no question. The company is one of the first to take advantage of the new Regulation A+ rules created by the U.S. Jobs Act of 2012, so far raising $16 million. That’s more than the goal to fund the testing of its E-series prototype, the first to use an engine specifically developed for the unusual little mileage-miser.

The company has used a series of non-traditional steps to raise cash, including crowdsourcing. It is now targeting a long-idled fund created by the Obama Administration that was tapped by Tesla Motors and others. Aimed at alternative energy companies, it was all but shut down after a handful of embarrassing failures, such as the bankruptcy of Fisker Motors.

Elio still has a lot of cash to come up with in order to take over an old General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, but the latest funding campaign suggests there could be light at the end of this tunnel. And gaining still more reservations would certainly boost morale, if not momentum.

With 30- and 60-second spots, the new ad campaign, dubbed “Own the Future,” shows the company’s current P4 prototype, which made its debut at the L.A. Auto Show last autumn.

(Click Here for for more on Elio’s LA Auto Show news conference.)

Founder and CEO Elio, explains a company release, “talks about his vision to alter the course of society by creating a low-cost, highly fuel-efficient vehicle unlike anything on the road today. Elio’s goal is to strengthen American manufacturing, create American jobs, provide access to low-cost mobility for millions of people and reduce our overall oil consumption.”

With 30- and 60-second spots, the new ad campaign, dubbed “Won the Future,” shows the company’s current P4 prototype.

Elio has plans to employ 1,500 workers at the Shreveport plant, with 1,500 more jobs opening up at suppliers. Indirect employment would boost the total figure to 18,000 workers, the company forecasts.

From a legal standpoint, the little Elio is actually a motorcycle, albeit one on three wheels and with a wheelbase about as long as a Honda Accord. It features an enclosed cabin in which two passengers will set tandem style.

In an interview, CEO Elio stressed that even though the car would be subject to less stringent rules, the company plans to meet the tougher safety standards – with such technologies as airbags and electronic stability control – a more conventional passenger car must meet under federal law.

(To see more about the series of setbacks Apple’s still-secret car has endured, Click Here.)

It won’t be fast, needing nearly 10 seconds to hit 60 mph, and with a top speed of only a bit over 100 mph. It is likely to be on the noisy side. But it is expected to deliver about 50% better mileage – at a targeted 84 mpg – than the latest-generation Toyota Prius, and with only a gasoline engine under its long, narrow hood.

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39 Responses to “Elio Motors Launches National Ad Campaign”

  1. veh says:

    Saw their event at NAIAS. A lot of “we plan to…” and “we intend…”.

    • Thomas Farrell says:

      Thats the way I see it. They have been at this for about 3 yrs. I think??? They claim to have over 45,000 people who have invested between $500 to &1000 each and if you average that out at &750 times 45,000=33750000!!! Thats a lot of money, where has it gone???

      • STEVEN BELLMAN says:


    • Charles B. Stanley says:

      I understand your comment. However, I will say this. Elio has over 49,000 reservations for the Elio and gaining more every day. They have sold more than $16 million dollars worth of stock, so far. They had IAV design an engine specifically to give the Elio good performance and much better gas mileage than any other vehicle. (The last auto startup to design and build their own engine was Nash). They are in the process of building 25 E vehicles (Engineering vehicles) which will be extensively tested in many ways. Then these E vehicles will be crash tested to prove that they have an excellent crash safety rating. To me I don;t see this as not happening, The only question is when will production begin. funding for this is a huge undertaking and cash flow will determine when this happens.

      • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

        Charles, please be careful in how you perceive “reservations.” They are far from a firm sale. A number of companies have touted reservations over the years, only to see them evaporate when people were actually asked for cash. But this is, at least, a sign of interest in Elio. Before the company can actually get its little car headed for production, however, it will need a significant bit more cash than the $16 mil it just raised by crowdsourcing — as much of a record as that is.

        Paul E.

  2. Rugen says:

    I understand that there is a move afoot to re-classify 3 wheeled vehicles as automobiles and force the existing auto safety standards on them. The costs to implement these could be prohibitive.This seems a back handed attempt by the auto industry to force small manufactures out of the market. Just the threat may well drive investors away.

    • tscales says:

      Actually, since they are already planning to meet existing crash test standard for automobiles, this isn’t as big a deal as it sounds. Biggest effect would be to keep the Elio from being treated like a motorcycle in states with helmet laws.

    • John Painter says:

      Elio Motors has two bills introduced to congress in n its behalf to add a category called autocycle to Title 49 of the Federal Code. In 2012 the NHTSA began drafting proposed rules (still in draft) that would require three wheel vehicles that resembles cars (similar operating controls, enclosed cabin, etc) to meet comparable safety standard like cars. One would expect vehicles like Toyota’s iRoad, Elio, Campagna, possibly Polaris Slingshot though it’s sold with an open cabin, etc to be subject to new classifications if they actually happen. If they do happen Elio Motors has already designed their vehicle to that standard despite technically being classified as a motorcycle. As a reservation holder #12436 I appreciate the company leading in safety in their class of vehicle.

    • Charles B. Stanley says:

      Rugen, your comments about 3 wheeled vehicles being reclassified as cars is incorrect. There is a big move to create an Autocycle classification for enclosed three wheeeled vehicles. If my curtrent information is correct 22 states have or are adopting this classiofications. An Autocycle would be a classification for vehicles that are more like cars than motorcycles, but are not either. The Elio for example has car seating, car steering and controls. A enclosed body with roll cage, seat belts and 3 air bags. Bottom line is the only thing that keeps it from being registered as a car is the fact that the federal and states all have, up to now, stated that any vehicle having less than 4 wheels is a motorcycle. Obviously it is time that the autocycle classification be put into the works. Elio is one of the first companies to create this type of vehicle but not the only one. There are several other vehicles being developed by other companies.

    • Joel Sheltrown says:

      Just for clarification, the proposed rule was first published in 2013, but removed from the monthly agenda, with a note by NHTSA stating “Non-significant”. It has to be published twice a year by law. Recent press reports of the rule stated it was a new rule. It is not. Bottom line, the rule was first proposed to force “unsafe imports” to install safety equipment. The proposed rule would affect 3 wheeled enclosed vehicles with “side by side” seating so it doesn’t not apply to Elio Motors, IMO. Even if the rule did apply, there is a long process involved in enacting. Also, Elio is designed to the highest safety standards all directions. The vehicle has high strength roll cage, front and side airbag protection, ABS, ESC, etc. Compare that to a couple imports NHTSA which have NHTSA concerned. Compare that to any 3 wheeled vehicle on the road. This rule also wouldn’t included the Toyota i-Road, a 3 wheeled electric, enclosed vehicle, but none of the articles mention the i-Road. Interesting. It is unfortunate that some publications do not do a better job in research before publishing. To be fair, most reporters have very little time to spend on every issue that comes up, but it would be best to at least call the company for their input. That seems logical to me.

    • PAUL BOEHME says:

      Actually, with Elio going through the automobile safety testing, Elio is stating “Autocycle is as save as a car”. If other 3-wheelers cannot prove to be as safe, they cannot call themselves “Autocycle”. This is Genius!

  3. Mj says:

    Where the hell is the tv spots???

  4. Ill Getone says:

    This reads like a weak attempt to play-down what appears to be one of the most exciting automobiles for the masses in the past 40 years.

    I do appreciate the article though, it caused me to research the Elio. I want two -

  5. Patrick Holley says:

    This True but SAFETY is not a bad thing. The Elio appears to have been targeting to meet or exceed these standards since its inception.

    All industry tries to limit competition by changing rules and laws.

    It is up to us as an electorate to try and make sure lawmakers and rule makers give us what we deserve in the form of fair and reasonable laws, rules and regulations.

    This is why government should never be run like a business.

    In business there are no civil boundaries to greed except those in which a society is willing to impose. Heedless of the limits, there will always be someone pushing those boundaries to the extremes.

  6. Thomas Farrell says:

    I agree, but from what I have read they have several safety features already built in! It would not surprise me if the government stepped in like you said and forced them to build to auto standards. If that happens it will probably double the price and people will lose interest!!!

  7. Darrell says:

    Actually the move is to create a new category called “Autocycle” which is basically a three wheeled enclosed, automobile. The current US Federal classification considers anything with less than four wheels as a motorcycle.

  8. It appears to me that you have the auto industry (THAT HAS BEEN PRODUCING TRASH WITH OUTRAGEOUS PRICING FOR WAY TOO MANY YEARS)in fear, pissed off, and oil companies worried.
    Where are the people that dare to see the positive aspects of this vehicle EVEN WHEN THE PRICES OF OIL ARE IN FREEFALL BECAUSE OF THE BOOM IN SOLAR IS CAUSING A BIT OF FEAR IN THE MARKETPLACE. This vehicle has the potential to put many people in the USA back to work when the typical $ people want to send our jobs overseas and still hope to charge the people that they are not supporting huge money to buy their rubbish. THE PEOPLE OF THE USA NEED THIS VEHICLE AND THE JOBS IT WILL CREATE. THIS VEHICLE HAS THE POTENTIAL OF BEING A BIG EXPORT FROM THE USA BRINGING SOME NEEDED FUNDING BACK TO THE USA. I am waiting in line for an Elio. You can bet it will be a cold day in hell before I ever get in line to purchase a GMC product after they crushed all the electrics that PEOPLE WERE WAITING IN LINE TO GET, then sold the battery patent to Chevron, THEN WENT BANKRUPT AND HAD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BAIL THEM OUT. The ass holes are not going to trash the Elio , the american people will not let it happen WE THE PEOPLE WILL BE ALL OVER THEM BECAUSE WE NEED THE ELIO.

    • kevin says:


  9. Matt McClellan says:

    I to have heard a few, “we intend to” statements. Hope you guys meet them because if you do, you’ll do well.

  10. George Gandero says:

    What is production date. I heard 4th quarter, Could be Oct. to Dec.

  11. Charles B. Stanley says:

    The article is not a bad one but does seem to make a few assumptions that are not founded. First, the GM pant is a done deal and has been for a long time. Second, the 0-60 time of under 10 seconds (actually 9.6 seconds) is as good or better than many small cars. and the Elio was never meant to be a sports car, only a fun to drive economical, American Made vehicle. And the 100mph plus top speed is irrelevant as no state has speed limits that would allow the driver to be driving 100 or more anyway. Lastly, I must disagree with the comment about the Elio likely being noisy. Paul Elio has said several times in the past he wants the Elio to be pleasant to drive. Noise is one of the topics that is being considered. The aerodynamic shape, and body panels that will be of heat formed composite material will greatly help with noise. (Note: this composit is the same material used in the Corvette, and is known to be good as noise reduction.)

  12. LillyMay says:

    There is no threat and there is no conspiracy with the auto industry. Well, except the American Auto DEALTOR Asses. But, they have their own problems squabbling with their coveted manufactures. This doesn’t concern me at all. Elio Legal Team has been well aware of the bills and regulation reviews you mentioned. Just who do you think has been behind most of them? Relax, it’s the government and they are here to help! But, They do need watching. OHIO #1685

  13. LillyMay says:

    The investors aren’t going to be driven away. They will do a bit more reading than you did. They are smart that way.

  14. D jones says:

    It is not smart to advertise a product that is not available, esp a car. I have a lot of experience in the auto world and the decision to buy is primarily based on want, not need, and it is made on the spot. You are wasting money on ads, investors will run from this dumb idea.

  15. Monte says:

    Sixty-plus years these regs have held the Country hostage. The true cost of a mode of transport is roughly twenty percent of that shown on the sticker. The Legislators need to get off their seats and produce disclaimers, active speed limiters, and incentives for entry level innovators, instead of sending these forward thinking ideas abroad. In the forties, fifties, and sixties a better idea existed in almost every household until the campaign was launched to squash this fantasy world. Even Disney ceased to produce any more??

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Haven’t a clue, Monte, where you get your 20% figure. The cost of raw materials, ie steel and glass, comes to more than that.

      Paul E.

  16. R.Pal says:

    Would not be unexpected for the auto industry to attempt to stop concept vehicles like the Elio from being built. No concern for the future of the planet or the well being of future generations. Please find a way to put the Elio on the streets…safety first.

  17. Vivian says:

    With 30- and 60-second spots, the new ad campaign, dubbed “Own the Future,” shows the company’s current P4 prototype, which made its debut at the L.A. Auto Show last autumn.

    This statement is not correct. The P4 is the orange prototype in the ads. However, the P5 is the red one that made its debut last fall. The orange P4 has been around much longer than that.

  18. G says:

    I live in Central Florida and am interested in going ALL IN on the Elio but there is one thing holding me back. I want to see and touch and ride in one first and I suspect I am not alone on that desire. Elio has been to Florida to show their vehicle but they put it in places (a car/boat show and Cape Canaveral Space Center) where you have to pay an large entry fee to enter that event. I do not want to go to those events, I want to see the Elio. I get the idea that you want to expose the vehicle to the masses at a large event but the vehicle was in Florida for over a week between the two events. The vehicle could have been parked in an empty parking with the location posted so people interested in the vehicle could see it and kick the tires. I wrote Elio several times about this and suggested on their web site where they post the vehicle will be located (always in States far away) that they could allow people interested in seeing the vehicle to leave their email address so when they are in the area they could be notified by Elio. You guessed it, they just tell YOU to keep checking their website. Once I called Elio and was told that when the vehicle was here I was not considering the drivers needed their days off and that is why they could not display the vehicle like that. It was a week between events. How many days to the drivers need off?
    As much as I am interested in this vehicle I am very concerned about how this company operates, their commitment to the customer, and customer service in general. If they are like this now what will it be like AFTER they have your $$$.
    You have a great concept vehicle. I am willing and able to get on board but Paul please get your act together if you want us to invest in you.

    • STEVEN BELLMAN says:


  19. Bob says:

    been following elio motors for years. would help by putting a down payment on one after a test drive.

  20. GT101 says:

    I can’t think of any good reason not to require proper safety equipment on all motorized vehicles. I imagine the insurance industry is the one pushing the safety equipment as the insurance companies are the ones paying for poor decisions by drivers and consumers.

  21. Bob Warendorf says:

    I am an “All In” investor and have given you the corresponding $1,000 requirement. However, there seems to be little interest on the part of the Company to keep your investors happy. In my case, I have made a simple request two times for a duplicate T-shirt and bumper sticker, all of which might cost the company less than $10.00. I find it shamefull, that I received no response whatsoever. SHAME!

  22. STEVEN BELLMAN says:


  23. Sean says:

    Eugene, the reservation are money already spent except the $100 reservation. Mine is non refundable.

  24. Sean says:

    Rugen , the reservation are money already spent except the $100 reservation. Mine is non refundable.

  25. Sean says:

    Sorry not Rugen, Pail A.

  26. Bradley says:

    I’m in for the whole hundred! Lol
    Hurry up and build the twenty five “E”car’s!!!

  27. Piet says:

    This is my graduation gift to myself when I finish Berklee…take your time I have 3 years of school left. ;)