The founder of the three-wheel car company, Elio Motors, came to Shreveport Friday morning. His project is supposed to bring jobs to Shreveport, but it’s taken years to start production and the company has faced significant financial setbacks centered around a lack of start-up funding.
Paul Elio pushed back production date again, this time to the fall of next year. He said two new financial partners are helping the process though.
Elio said it will take 76 weeks before the first three-wheel vehicle is ready to be sold. He said Shreveport will see those 15-hundred promised jobs then.
He stills needs 376-million dollars to start production and has spent 115-million dollars on the project so far. The online retailer Overstock.com just announced it’s buying 2.5-million in shares of Elio common stock. Elio is also using a type of cryptocurrency called “security token offering” which he calls “Eliocoin” through a Wall Street Trading Firm known as Jones Trading.
Paul Elio came to Shreveport this time last year and expects criticism from the community.
“I believe this project has to happen. It has an incredible impact to our country. First it’s the jobs. We’re targeting 90-percent North American content. Last time we we rolled it up we were at 87-percent so I won’t guarantee we’ll hit 90 but it’ll be a number we’ll be proud of,” Elio said.
He was invited by Commissioner Louis Johnson who’s district houses the former GM plant where Elio would build the cars.
“I’m encouraged that he came back to our city. I encouraged before the parish to answer questions. I’m encouraged the project is moving forward. That’s my personal opinion about it,” said Louis Johnson, Caddo Parish Commissioner District 12.
Elio Motors was founded in 2009 with an initial production date of 2012. But it’s been pushed back ever since.
After the news conference, Elio met with Caddo Parish Commissioners who agreed to sign non-disclosure agreements, similar to last year. Elio said he cannot disclosure much of his financial information because of SEC rules. Commissioner Johnson said he will sign the NDA just to find more information. He’ll tell his district how he feels about what he heard without disclosing the company’s finances.
Elio also said his company is making 150 prototypes between now and his new production date of 2019. 65-thousand vehicles have already been pre-ordered. He said he’s confident they will meet those orders but didn’t say when.
The 65-thousand vehicles sold is supposed to translate into 700-million dollars for the company. The Elio cars are touted as fuel efficient, getting 84 miles per gallon and cost $7,500.