Elio Motors to open former GM Plant, create 1,500 jobs
Local officials say they are happy, happy, happy
A new automobile manufacturer has agreed to purchase the former General Motors Plant and plans to be manufacturing new vehicles by the end of the first quarter.
Elio Motors has purchased the GM Plant from RACER, the company set up by a Bankruptcy Court as a trustee for the General Motors Company, and plans to open the Shreveport plant and hire 1,500 workers this year.
“It’s a great day in Caddo Parish and in the State of Louisiana,” said Caddo Parish Commissioner Ken Epperson.
Caddo Commissioner Michael Thibodeaux stated at a news conference held Thursday afternoon that when the Commission learned GM was closing the plant, “we got involved and here we are today.”
“Entrepreneurs have always been people that I have been interested in,” said Thibodeaux. “They are different people. They have a dream.”
Thibodeaux said, “I feel strong, that although it (Elio) is a start-up company, we have some very exciting times coming to Caddo Parish. We, the Caddo Parish Commission, want you to succeed and make huge profits. We want you to succeed and hire even more people.”
Thibodeaux pointed out the success of Phill Robertson, a native of Vivian, Louisiana, who began manufacturing duck calls in West Monroe and is now a millionaire as a result of his dream company, Duck Commander. He also reflected on Robertson’s hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty and Robertson’s famous quote of being “Happy, Happy, Happy!”
“And that’s what we are in Caddo Parish,” said Thibodeaux, “we are Happy, Happy, Happy!”
Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover was also in attendance at the announcement Thursday and echoed Thibodeaux’s sentiments as being “Happy, Happy, Happy!”
“We are here today with a man that will create breadwinners for over 1,500 families,” said Glover.
Glover also thanked members of President Barack Obama’s Automobile Recovery Agency, who were in attendance at the announcement party including Obama’s executive director of that agency, Jay Williams.
Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker said, “It’s not only a great day in Caddo Parish, but it’s also a great day in Bossier Parish.” Walker pointed out the fact that all of the neighboring parishes in the area will benefit with the opening of the plant.
Elio Motors founder and CEO Paul Elio received a standing ovation from about 175 dignitaries who attended the announcement event.
Elio said Shreveport will become the manufacturer of an affordable three-wheel vehicle that will have a sticker tag of only $6,800 and with an estimated fuel economy of 84 miles per gallon.
“Because you guys were able to help us out, you have made this place possible and we can fill this place with jobs,” said Elio.
Elio added, “For the first time ever, it is cheaper to drive a brand new vehicle under warranty than it is to drive a clunker.”
“This will make a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “It will save money and we will create jobs here in America.”
Elio said Americans buy billions of dollars in goods from other countries. “That has to change,” he said.
According to Elio, he would watch the news and get “pissed off” when he saw the number of jobs going overseas. He said he wanted to change that.
Elio said the company has plans of manufacturing the vehicles here and then exporting them overseas.
Elio said the vehicle will make a difference in lives, in the economy, and the environment.