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Start-Up Automaker Takes Over Old GM Plant

Elio promising an affordable 3-wheeler by 2014.

by on Jan.04, 2013

Elio plans to sell the tadpole-shaped 3-wheeler for just $6,800. It promises up to 84 mpg.

A small start-up that hopes to begin producing a new high-mileage automobile in mid-2014 has taken over an abandoned General Motors plant near Shreveport, Louisiana.

Elio Motors plans to use about a third of the 1.8 million square foot facility, one of 89 properties GM shuttered in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy.  The company hopes to begin hiring the first of 1,500 new workers about a year from now, though it is unclear whether it will seek out the employees who previously staffed the GM facility.

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“We go into production 18 months from now, and so we will begin hiring around 12 months from now,” said Elio CEO Paul Elio.

The plans call for the production of a significantly different vehicle than what GM had previously built in Shreveport, which included a small Hummer SUV and, just before the factory’s closure, the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.  Elio is developing a tadpole-shaped 3-wheeler that promises to deliver high mileage for a low price tag.

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