Paul Elio Gets Taxpayers to Buy Him a GM Plant in Shreveport


Elio Motors

The news out of Caddo parish, Louisiana is that the Caddo commissioners have voted to front Paul Elio the $3 million he needs to make his September payment on the old Shreveport GM facility. The move “clears the way” for Elio Motors to focus on raising the $200 million needed to fill that factory with 1500 permanent manufacturing jobs required to push out the 250,000 trikes Elio believes he can sell per year. The news comes courtesy of Caddo parish resident Bruce Rasher’s Twitter account, below …

… whether this should be counted as a “win” for Caddo parish remains to be seen, as at least one commissioner who saw Elio’s financials questioned whether or not investing in Elio, specifically, was a good idea. We’ll all see soon enough.

Here’s hoping Shreveport, LA has better luck than Elkhart, IN did with their foray into alternative transport!


Source: Caddo parish commission, via @BRasher_RACER

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Revxism

    I’m going to be 3 wheeling and grilling

    • LOL!

      • Revxism

        Gold grilling that is

  • Tom

    Wow, I am impressed. A “state the facts” entry. I’m IMPRESSED.

    • damon

      If she saw your finical report you put on your blog, then she has been misinformed since your information of Elio financials is bogus.

      • Really? How is it bogus if it came from the Caddo parish? Do you have the “real” financials? Why would anyone go through the trouble of cooking up bogus projections for a company like Elio?

        Let me guess: NASA faked the moon landings, and you have the proof … ALONG WITH THE REAL FINANCIALS!!

  • AaronD12

    250,000 three-wheeled vehicles per year? Definitely not within the US. Third-world countries might be interested in this vehicle. India, Brazil, China (though they’ll just copy it and make their own)… but not the US. We have not had a good history with three-wheeled vehicles here.

    • VazzedUp

      Brazil, China, India, third world…Really… have you any grasp of global economics?

      • Have you? Why do you think American made cars and trucks aren’t sold there now?

        • VazzedUp

          Yes, Why, because they are over sized, inefficient and unnecessary. The rest of the world has no need for American made vehicles. None of those mentioned countries are considered third world.

  • Campisi

    Yay, another government redistributing taxes gathered from the working poor (taxes are for little people, after all) to the wealthy, so that they can privatise any gains while leaving the public holding the bag for any losses.

  • PBruce

    This doesn’t remind me of the British gov’t and DeLorean Motor Company at all.

  • Paul Kuehnel

    Nice negative! ending to a tweet expansion that leads to another of your blog posts (EV Cup 2011 set to launch…) it would be helpful when you use any bit of news to bash something you don’t like that the link actually help describe what you are talking about. Pretty much any town of any size in the U.S. was the start of an auto company, when starting an auto company was even possible before consolidation. Around the turn of the century, my hometown was the home to several. They told Ford that low volume, high priced cars were the way to make money. Try some positive energy in your writing.

    • That link is to a search result. You’re only looking at the first article, and proving that you don’t know how to internet.

      Try this:

      • Paul Kuehnel

        Ah yes i didn’t scroll down. EV’s don’t sell in general though, unless you are selling jewelry to rich people like Tesla. The EV market is just a subsidized waste of energy resources. Any one of these start-ups has to be viewed as a distinct entity. You are comparing a petrol 3 wheeler to an electric 4 wheeler in your goal to be negative and biased.

  • Sheveport Wille

    WOW. I am impressed too!!!! You are a true anti-American turd Jo apparently. I know that getting paid for bashing an upstart US is the in thing to do with the Chinese, but why are you doing it? You have not done one interview with anyone from Elio, yet you continue to march forward with wild ccusations and assumptions.

    Did you ever confirm the numbers from the commissioner with Elio directly? What is your agenda? Wait I think I may know…..You are getting paid to run a smear campaign. You are a joke and it looks like people can see right through you.

    We need jobs in Shreveport and all over the country. Stop trying to undermine a company that is trying to get off the ground please. Also, tell whoever is paying you to write bullcrap to up what they are paying you because when these cars hit the road your credentials will be poopoo. Not to mention you can barely write an intelligent, fact based article.

    We need jobs. This offers a chance for us who have needs. Like food, housing, steady work. Some of us are willing to take risks. Putting a few million into a Shreveport based company for the local gov’t here is cheaper in the long run that paying welfare benefits for years to come. We are proud people and love the fact that a company is willing to do business in the Parish. We too are taking a risk. You are taking nothing but money for apparently leading a smear campaign. Please stop it and write something positive. You still have a chance to redeem yourself as a human being.

    • Wow, you guys really have no idea what’s true and what’s not anymore, do you? As for leading a smear campaign, when the TRUTH is a smear campaign, that’s a good sign that you’re betting on the wrong horse.

      My advice: look for employment elsewhere.

    • This comment sounds dumber every time I read it. Thanks for the laughs! +1

    • Bill

      I fail to understand why innovation and genius is something to mock? The general populace has been hypnotized into believing they need to drive a $40,000 car that gets 18 mpg. With what continues in the middle east, why are we still driving cars that continue to up our dependency on foreign energies? I currently drive a 1st generation Honda Insight. Overall mpg is 57 The Elio is the only car I’d give up my Insight for. I’ve sent Elio my money.

      • Nobody’s mocking genius or innovation. There is nothing innovative about a concept that’s been kicking around since 1975, and there is very little genius involved in asking people for money.

        That Insight? Great little car. 2 seats. Great MPG. Far from $40,000. Too bad it didn’t sell.

  • Lisa J.

    Do you realize that $7.5 million dollars does not buy a near billion dollar production facility??? It does not even pave the parking lot of the plant. I know because I had worked in plants all of my adult life. I am no longer working in one since many of our plants are closing as a result of import cars and our inability to compete with the foreign market.

    The money was a small a gesture from the Parish(about $500K less than a one minute Superbowl ad for a beer company or foreign owned automaker). Albeit there are risks, but we hold hope that this will be a solid export to China and other countries. American made goods are hot items overseas and this may help us out.

    Also, did you know that the people of the Parish are grateful that Elio chose to do business here and put us Americans back to work? We hold hope.

    I do not see any reference to you talking to Elio directly. Stop messing with our chances at a company. You seem to be on a vendetta for some reason. Stop being a bully.

    • Known American BRANDS are a hot commodity overseas, which is why Buick still exists – but the products selling there aren’t being exported from the US. They’re Chinese-built Buicks, Cadillacs, etc.

      As for the people of the parish being grateful that Elio chose Shreveport, he didn’t. He chose the plant. If the plant had been in Wisconsin he’d be there, too. I hope, in the end, he is worthy of your enthusiasm … but I doubt it.

  • Wow! You go out of town for 3 days and you come back to a bunch of nuts who’ll drink any Kool-aid that promises them jobs!!

    Please note: this is the same area where 29% of the population thinks Obama is to blame for poor FEMA response after Katrina. LOL!!!

  • Ken Charbonneau

    Amazing how you are able to state such lies with a straight face. Oh that’s right, you site says what you say may not be true. Duh

    • Which lies? The one where the taxpayers of LA are buying a GM plant for Elio? I thought you were PRO Elio? That hat may be too tight. Take it off for a while, I’ll make more sense once you’re getting oxygen to your brain.

      • Will

        yes, that one, they aren’t buying it for Elio.

  • Ken Charbonneau

    the sites’ proprietors do not make any warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the sites’ content

    • Neither do its commenters, as I’m sure you know, “sir”.

  • Al Eng

    A people mover is exactly what we need. Most people drive alone to do small things all the time. This is a great idea who’s time is now. I want one but don’t see how they can actually sell them at that price and make a buck. With gasoline at 4 bucks a gallon and combine this with an ELIO we need it!

  • Dan Owen

    I’m still scratching my head as to why none of the giants like GM haven’t been able to figure out that there is a solid market for a three wheeled vehicle that also gets decent gas mileage.

    • Because they’ve done enough research to realize that what demand is there isn’t enough to warrant their investment.

      • Greg

        Liability from rear/side collisions (see Ford Pinto). Lawsuits (see Mc D’s coffee). The lawyers would cost more than the 25% gross profit per unit.

  • I just got called “un-American” by someone who – clearly! – has no understanding of “No taxation without representation”, “free press”, and “free information” mean. Oh well, probably one of those nuts that think Obama messed up New Orleans in his response to Katrina.


  • mchi

    I’ve read two of
    your previous articles on Elio, namely the August 16 and August 19 pieces on
    the financials, and it is obvious to me that you are very skeptical of the
    Elio’s chances of any measure of success. I think that’s good. The press should
    be skeptical. There is too much blind affirmation being passed off as reporting
    in my opinion.

    Your points about
    the overly optimistic financials and unit sales are valid too, in my opinion.
    As are the dealership issues you point out.

    It would seem to
    me that this whole enterprise, by its very nature, is very risky. To start a
    completely new automotive company and offer as your product a single vehicle
    that is radically different than the vast majority of what’s on the road now
    can only be described as a longshot in my opinion. And add to that the fact
    that there may very well be significant obstacles to plating and insuring this
    vehicle in many states, and you’ve got an even longer shot at succeeding.

    So I have to ask
    myself why are so many people lining up to buy one when there isn’t even one to
    buy yet? I don’t believe it is only the gullible that are pre ordering. That
    would seem to fly in the face of statistical market research. This is what I

    First, the time
    is right. Timing is critical in bringing a product to market, as I’m sure you
    know. We are at a unique point in the US where the increasing cost of gas,
    coupled with a young generation that is first in about 80 years that does not
    put car ownership at the top of their durable goods wish list because of the
    high initial cost and the high cost of fuel and maintenance. Add to that a
    growing niche market for non-traditional types of transportation, such as
    electric cars, short distance neighborhood vehicles, and hybrids large and
    small, and I can see where there would be a demand. Probably not for 60,000 the
    first year, but quite possible enough to sustain the business long enough to
    tailor the business plan to reality. Most start up business plans err on the
    optimistic side, but the businesses that survive are nimble enough and smart
    enough to accept reality and plan accordingly. And it is entirely possible that
    this is what Elio is counting on. Enough interest to allow them to capitalize
    and tailor their vehicle. You, as an automotive writer have no doubt heard the
    old Detroit mantra ‘You don’t build the car you want, you build the car you can
    sell’. I don’t know if Elio has heard this though, and it’s possible he’s
    building the car he wants and seeing if anyone else wants it. A very small,
    nimble city driver that can also go on the highway, that is unique, energy
    efficient, cheap to operate, and cheap to buy. That would fit in with the
    generation I mentioned above. It would also resonate with a small but growing
    segment that wants a limited use vehicle at a cheaper price for either a second
    or third vehicle, or as a primary for urban dwellers.

    The plant in
    Shreveport is a good choice, I think. It is one of GM’s more modern facilities
    and it was properly shuttered, so it is in usable condition. The price is
    right, even if it is still a very high price, compared to building a new plant.
    The workforce is available and in a right-to-work state the wages would not be
    as high as in a union state, and as you point out, the state and local
    governments are willing to invest in it as well.

    The dealership is
    still a problem for me. Starting a network of dealers with warranty repair
    facilities is going to require a large outlay, even with franchise fees. I
    think you will see a very limited dealership or a partnership with existing car
    dealers or even motorcycle dealerships at first.

  • Pingback: Gas 2 | What is the future of fuel? What's new? What's next? Since 2007, Gas 2 has covered a rapidly changing world coming to terms with its oil addiction.()

  • chuck

    Jo, what a sad pathetic bully of a person you are, and the saddest part of it all is that you feel important because you have an audience to banter with. Your statement of “facts” reminds me that statistics can be manipulated to prove anything, you are like a little rush limbaugh, I use the term “little” rush limbaugh because when faced with clear cut debate he has pretty much mastered the use of fallacy to “prove” his point, whereas you are still in the name calling, ask a question with a question, avoidance stage of development. You still love the spotlight, look at Jo, look at Jo, he always has a witty comeback… He really “burned” that guy…. I like the ones you don’t answer best, like when someone calls you out on lies, you ask what lies, the taxpayers are buying the plant for Elio, then short and to the point Will points out, “Yes, that one they aren’t buying it for Elio” IRG is backing ELIO for the exact amount of the total cost of the building and has taken responsibility for leasing the remaining two thirds of the building to other potential buyers. The plant sold for 7.5 million, scrap value alone is a million more than the selling price. WHEN Elio starts producing and selling, the revenue from that small investment of 7.5 will be well worth it.