At a news conference at the former GM plant Thursday, the company announced it will produce enclosed, three wheeled vehicles capable of attaining a highway mileage rating of more than 80 mpg. Targeting a retail cost of $6,800, the company will position the Elio vehicle as a cost-effective alternative to four-wheeled autos. The Elio will be equipped with three airbags, power windows and air conditioning as standard features, and the company expects it to achieve a five-star safety rating. Models will be available with automatic or manual transmission.
The Elio Motors manufacturing facility will occupy approximately 1 million square feet of the more than 3 million-square-foot, former GM site. Industrial developer Stuart Lichter, who has acquired other former GM sites, will buy the 530-acre Shreveport site in conjunction with Elio Motors and lease portions of the site to other tenants.
Elio Motors is purchasing the GM plant from the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, known as the RACER Trust. RACER is an independent trust created by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court settlement agreement to redevelop former GM locations.