The city of Detroit just received one more affirmation that it is indeed The Motor City as upstart EV truck maker Bollinger Motors announced plans to move its operations from upstate New York to Detroit.
Bollinger founder Robert Bollinger visited Detroit during the North American International Auto Show. While originally searching for property along the I-75 corridor, but after a look around decided moving inside the city limits would be a better plan.
Bollinger told Curbed Detroit he wants the company to be closer to the people, i.e. the talent, of Detroit, as well as the vendors. The company will move its eight-person team from New York to Detroit later this year.
The company also may build the reconfigurable electric truck here too, so the site will need to be 15,000 to 20,000 square feet to accommodate development and manufacturing activities.
(Bollinger adds four-door variant on electric truck. Click Herefor the story.)
The plan isn’t all that surprising as many automakers have been opening up operations in the city lately. General Motors moved its headquarters downtown a few years back. Other members of the Big Three have made moves to the city as well.
Ford Motor Co. just moved its mobility operations into an old plant in Detroit’s Corktown District. Called “The Factory,” Ford is renovating the facility to become the headquarters of its aggressive push into autonomous technology and electrified vehicles.
About 220 employees will move to the site, 20 minutes from its main corporate campus in the western suburb of Dearborn. Additionally, Fiat Chrysler established the Chrysler House in downtown Detroit in 2012 where some of its financial staffers are housed.
(Click Here for more about Bollinger’s configurable EV.)
During the auto show, Guangzhou Automotive Company (GAC) announced plans to sell vehicles in the U.S. by the end of next year and as part of that effort it would establish a research and development center in Detroit this summer.
Additionally, there has been at least one other electric vehicle maker in recent memory that called Detroit home: the Detroit Electric Co. Named after a Michigan-based battery-car company that folded during the Great Depression, Detroit Electric was introduced by Hong Kong businessman Albert Lam, a former Apple executive, during a splashy news conference a few years ago.
At the time, he admitted the project walked a fine line “between sanity and insanity,” and would be a challenge to get into production. Nonetheless, the goal was to have a factory in place by the end of 2013, most likely in the Detroit suburbs. The original goal was to produce just 999 of the SP:01 battery sports cars which would share the same two-seat platform as the Lotus Elise.
(To see more about the Workhorse W15 electric pickup, Click Here.)
That model was to be followed by a more mainstream electric sedan. To handle both models, Detroit Electric planned to set up a final assembly operation capable of handling about 2,500 vehicles annually. It was to employ just 100 workers.