Cycles elio-answers

Published on July 4th, 2014 | by Jo Borras

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Elio Motors Q+A w/ Paul Elio … the A Part

Elio Motors Interview Q&A

A few weeks ago, Elio Motors reached out to us to talk about some of the hard questions we’d been asking about their business plan, their motivations, and their chances of going from pipe dream idea to reality. They agreed to a Q&A, and I opened the floor to you, dear readers, so that you could get some official answers to your Elio questions.

I gave you guys 2 weeks to come up with questions, and now – two weeks later – here are Elio’s answers, free of snarky comment or well-reasoned rebuttal from me (for now, at least) and blessed by Elio Motors and Paul Elio himself. Enjoy!

 

The Paul Elio, Q+A Style Interview


Q1. The trike has been promoted heavily as having a $6800 MSRP, and being made available with air conditioning, power windows, stereo, two seats, 3 airbags, stability control, and ABS (I’ll assume cruise control is in there, as well). Is all that going to be standard at the $6800 price, or will some of those features be optional?

The above content is standard, except potentially cruise control. The drive train has the “smarts” to include cruise control; but ultimately it comes down to the buttons and if we can squeeze them in at the targeted price. There will be a significant amount of additional content available to the consumer at the point of sale. Elio Motors will build the vehicle two ways – standard and automatic. The vehicles will get shipped from our factory to one of seven planned marshaling centers. When a customer comes in and wants a power leather seat or blind spot detecting mirrors, that order will go to the appropriate marshaling center and will be added to the vehicle. We will close our retail centers at 9 p.m., and we will build vehicles until midnight, giving us three hours to “clear the system.” The vehicles will be placed on trucks, and with seven marshaling centers, we will be roughly nine hours away from our retail locations. So theoretically by the next day, the customer will pick up the vehicle they ordered — exactly the way they wanted it. This is part of the reason we can sell the vehicle for $6,800. The package system other automakers use forces consumers to buy a lot of features they don’t want in order to get the features they do want. By making the upscale content a la carte, the customer gets more for less.

Q2. The latest news out of Shreveport seems to indicate that Elio Motors still needs to raise between $145 and $200 million. Is that accurate and, if so, how do you plan to raise the rest of the money you need?

That is the right range. We are completing a $30 million round, which will be sufficient for us to complete product testing. The remainder will be raised once product testing is complete. We are working on several independent, promising solutions, but for obvious reasons, we cannot be more specific.

Q3. Assuming you’re able to raise the startup money you need by the end of this year, will you then be on track to start hiring the UAW workers in Shreveport who lost their jobs in the GM bankruptcy?

Elio Motors and its suppliers understand the timing required to reactivate the plant and begin production. However, the pace at which funding is committed, influences the production timeline. We are encouraged by the response from the investment community. The reservation volume has been a tremendous boost and has helped attract funding, so thank you to all who have reserved a vehicle.

Regarding hiring, one of the hidden assets to the Caddo Parish/Shreveport facility is its workforce. When we are ready to hire, Elio will be able to staff the plant with local folks who already know how to build vehicles, which is a huge asset.

Q4. Assuming you’re not able to raise the startup money, what happens to the deposits you’ve collected so far? What systems and safeguards are in place to ensure that your depositors get their money back?


First, we feel confident that the investments required to get us to production will be secured.

When we established the reservation business model, we wanted to make sure we did the right thing for everyone involved. A few years ago, we read an article in The Wall Street Journal that talked about the fact that other start-ups took refundable reservations and then spent the money in their business. It turns out that practice is legal, but the article questioned whether it was “right.” We feel strongly that it is not. That is why we created two programs: refundable and non-refundable. If someone makes a refundable reservation with us, the money is segregated and he or she can get it back any time. We use the non-refundable reservations very much like companies found on Kick Starter and other crowdfunding sites. As the name implies, these reservations are non-refundable.

Q5. Why go to the trouble of building your own engine? Why not make a deal with Honda or Suzuki or Polaris to get some Kei car or CARB-approved ATV engines?

The main technical reason for not using an off-the-shelf engine is that the Elio vehicle is much lighter than a standard vehicle. Meaning, the off-the-shelf OEM engine was designed to optimally operate at a different speed and load point than if it were placed into a lighter vehicle. Also, when a large carmaker designs a new engine, it is targeting multiple platforms. That often makes the engine good for all, but best for none. By having IAV design a power plant specifically for our vehicle, we can achieve our goal of 84 mpg. This is going to be a very slick engine.

Q6. Speaking of engines, in the financials that the Caddo Parish made public last year, you showed $150 per vehicle for “Warranty and Liability”. Since $150 won’t get you very far at most repair shops (even PepBoys), how do you see that $150 covering a trike for – let’s say 3 year/36K miles?

We have a different business model with company direct sales and PepBoys service centers. As most consumers already know, there are very large markups in service parts from current automakers. Because of our approach, we can price our service parts lower. For instance, it can cost 5 or nearly 10 times more to replace a dipstick on many cars on the road today than it would for an Elio vehicle. This savings in service parts lowers the warranty budget required on each vehicle.

Q7. In that same document, you say that you anticipate selling 250,000 units annually through just 120 stores with 5 employees each. That’s 35 units received, prepped, inspected, sold, closed, detailed, and delivered per month, per employee, per dealership. How did you come up with that number, and why do you think it’s realistic?

The current process of buying a vehicle is very inefficient. Even if you know exactly the vehicle you want, it takes four or five hours, to negotiate a price and conduct the transaction. At Elio Motors, there will be a single price that everybody pays, and if you know what you want, we want to have a process that can get you in and out the door in a half hour. We believe it is reasonable for an employee to sell about two vehicles a day.

Q8. Assuming all of that stuff gets sorted out and Elio becomes a huge success. How do you see the Elio line expanding down the road? In other words: Where do you go from there, as a brand?

We are completely dedicated to manufacturing our first vehicles in 2015 and delivering the first 84 mpg autocycle in the United States. We are seeing inbound interest from Asia, Europe and South America, so after we begin production, we will consider expansion into international markets as well.

Q9. In the photos Neil took at one of your mall displays two weeks ago, the Elio mule was wearing motorcycle tags. Is it still the case that Elio owners might have to carry motorcycle licenses in order to drive the vehicle on public roads?

The Elio is a motorcycle according to the Federal Government. Elio has been successful in getting state laws changed to create a new sub-category of motorcycles called an autocycle. An autocycle has 3 wheels, roll cage, 3 airbags, and a steering wheel.

Autocycle drivers are not required to wear helmets nor are they required to have a license to operate a motorcycle.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has created a document titled “Best Practices for the Regulation of Three Wheeled Vehicles” (http://www.aamva.org/Best-Practices-and- Model-Legislation/) that recommends this approach. We are working through this issue on a state- by-state basis.

 

Reader Questions


One of our readers, Kirk Johansen, pointed out that the “prototype” Elio trikes shown so far were not, in fact, “prototypes”. Rather, they’re “mules”, which lack critical mechanical components like the Elio engine and production spec. transmission. Despite the semantic nature of the argument, the core question (as I read it) remains valid:

Kirk’s Q. Since the Elio has been described as being “80% off the shelf technology”, how soon can we expect to see a production-spec. running prototype?

The orange vehicle is part mule, part prototype. The engine has the longest development time and we are prototyping that now. The next phase of the project is to create 25 prototypes for physical testing to validate the extensive simulations completed so far. As we discussed, the funding process impacts the development timetable, but prototypes will be forthcoming.

 

Another reader, calling himself “John D“, wants to know a bit about the Elio Motors’ market research and overhead to this point. The second question, as written by John D., reads “What is Paul Elio’s annual salary, and any other compensation?” but I’ve tried to ask it in a more politic fashion, along the lines of “How much of my contribution actually goes to cancer research and how much goes to overhead?”:

A fraction of 1 percent has gone to officers’ salaries to date.

John D’s Q1. (two parts) What kind of market research did you/Elio Motors do to convince yourself that there was such a huge demand for a three-wheeled vehicle? How would that demand change if the starting price was $10K or $15K?

I believe Elio Motors is creating a new product segment like the iPad or Sony Walkman. Initially, you have to go on a hunch and prove to yourself and others that the functional targets can be achieved. Our market research validates our assumed volume. Any business model can be successful if applied well. Gucci and other high end brands make significant profits by maximizing margin. On the other hand, Costco and Wal-Mart do very well keeping margins low and volumes high. Elio’s business model is more akin to Costco’s – make a fair margin on each product.

John D’s Q2. According to some sources, Elio Motors had raised some $45 million (if not more). How much of that money is currently being spent on executive salaries, expense accounts, etc., and how much of it is actually going towards tooling, manufacturing, etc.?

A fraction of 1 percent has gone to officers’ salaries to date.

 

A reader calling himself “How Much is Enough” wants to know how much skin Elio Motors’ executives and board members have in the game, which seems like a fair question to ask of a company that’s asking people to put their money down without getting to take anything home with them.

How Much’s Q. How many of the persons involved with Elio motors (the corporate board) have invested their own money and how much? A “total amount” for all the personnel would suffice.

The money raised so far is a combination of debt and equity. Elio board members (and companies controlled by them), account for 95% of the equity investment so far.

 

Similarly, Gary Constantine wants to know what Elio Motors’ current “burn rate” is, and how long the company can keep operating on the $45 million it’s already raised. Since that’s not stated in the form of a question:

Gary’s Q. What is Elio’s burn rate, and how long can the company keep operating with the funds it currently has.

At the current reservation rate, the company is self-sustaining, which is an incredible statement for a pre-revenue start-up and greatly enhances our chance of ultimate success.

 

Finally, “Bieber Before Hoes” (awesome username) wants to know why Elio Motors can’t “start small”, building the vehicles they’ve already “sold” the way car companies as varied in size and success as Ford, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Tesla, Aston Martin, and Smart did. I’ll let him ask the question in his own words:

Bieber Q1. Why do they (Elio Motors) need (the old GM) factory to start production? They’ve only got (20,000) reservations, why can’t they handle those first then expand bigger as income flows?

Our targeted price point depends upon a high volume production strategy. Smart was selling over 100,000 vehicles per year before coming to the United States. The others on the list such as Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, etc. have a very different price point than Elio.

 

Original content from Gas 2.




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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Josef Roesler

    Congratulations, your first factual article!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Oy, you again. Shouldn’t you be screaming “‘MURICA!!” and drunkenly blowing off your fingers due to a low level of personal fireworks safety?

      • Josef Roesler

        I’m doing those things, but I wanted to see Elio give you the answers you could have found by doing a little research. It’s a shame you think “Murica” is a bad thing. BTW, nobody in the south says that. Bigot.

        • Josh McNattin

          I’m bowled over by the loving tolerance. :)

          Thanks for bringing us this interview, Jo.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            No thanks needed, Josh – it was Chip at Elio that made it possible. What did you think of their official answers?

          • Josh McNattin

            I find some of the answers encouraging, I was concerned about the project after some of the revelations about finances as you have revealed in the past. I think there’s a lot of it that I don’t grasp because I’m not an entreprenuer, I’m pretty conservative in my risk taking. I believe in the people who are putting their money into this project (not the reservationists, but the venture capitalists), they don’t invest lightly and I believe in the board they’ve put together. I don’t think anyone is getting rich off of the reservation deposits, so I’m not concerned about this being some fly by night scam as some have cautioned.

            I put $100 down a year ago in April or so and drove down to St Louis to see the mule at that time, the silver one. I was very impressed by how sturdily it was built, the precision of the construction, etc. I’ve been hesitant to put down another $900 in order to jump ahead in line and get an additional $400 off, but after reading this I’m considering it again. I’ve seen Elio do more advertising lately, so I hope that it will catch on more, on the other hand I hope they don’t encounter further delays as those have been very discouraging to me (the product launch date when I first signed on had been this past spring 2014, then it went to November…January and now July 2015?) and we have plenty of time to throw more delays in there, but I understand the explanation of missing the financing deadline last year, but I think I’ll wait to see if the new release date holds for awhile before I put any more money down. When I made my deposit, I made it with the idea in mind, as Paul states, like a Kickstarter donation, I knew I could very well never see it again, but it was an investment in wanting to see something on the road.

            I think they will manage to get laws changed where their special classification of vehicle is concerned, obviously motorcycle laws were not written for enclosed roll caged vehicles with airbags and seatbelts (ESC?).

            I know that for myself, I wouldn’t be interested if the price was $15k, the tradeoff for fuel savings just isn’t there for me since I bus to work, I’m interested in the Elio for cheap roadtrips. e.g. $15 roundtrip to Chicago (270 miles) California for $200!! (and not need a rental car when I get there!)

            I think the Elio would be wildly popular overseas, I hope that they reach a point where they can expand their markets there. At this point, I’m counting on them delivering the first run to the reservationists, I’ll buy one and baby it forever. If they manage to succeed past that point, I’ll be very happy, I have no way of knowing whether it will happen, this is a new category in a country that likes big cars. I can make it work for me because I’m single, no kids, only occassionaly do I need to transport large items. For families, I’m not so sure if they’d go for it, time will tell. Hopefully the Elio will be of better quality than the SMART, from what I’ve read, the manual version is a PITA and the gas mileage isn’t that spectacular, so perhaps Elio will pick up a good amount of disgruntled SMART customers?

            Each salesperson selling two cars a day?? Wow, that seems optimistic. I sold cars for about a year, it can be a discouraging line of work…I would want to know where their dealerships are…maybe they’re averaging out between larger and smaller markets? But that would mean larger markets would be averaging something like 4 cars a day. If you combine the fact that it is in fact a niche product with its low price and attractive features, I still don’t see it adding up to be that popular…so I hope their success doesn’t depend on that kind of sales rate, sounds like pie in the sky to me. Like I said, I’m just counting on that first run.

            One final downer point, I have given more thought to the safety aspect. They are aiming for a Five Star Crash Rating, which is great, except the Five Star rating isn’t everything. If you look at the IIHS statistics for actual recorded fatalities, that tells the real story. The SMART is impressive with how the frame holds up in a wreck, but physics is physics and the soft body inside is still going to take a lot of punishment when the cage its in hits a larger, heavier vehicle. Somehow the SMART is left out of that study, I wonder why? Granted the deadliest car I saw on the list was the Nissan 350Z and other smaller cars fared much better, that maaay have something to do with how the average driver drives it. ;)

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Good point about the NHTSA rating, but it’s not a bad place to start. As for being popular overseas … where? Like, Asia? Why this and not, say, a Tuk-tuk?

          • Josh McNattin

            Haha, an Elio would be a luxury car compared to a Tuk-tuk! I think they like variety like anyone else. I think the Elio would do well in Europe as well.

            My comments on safety come from many occasions where I’ve heard people call the Elio a “deathtrap” and the reply has always been “but it’ll be Five Star crash rated!”…I’m just thinking about how many of those cars on the IIHS’ list that rate around 100 deaths per 100k that were Five Star; so I’m still on the fence about it. Roger Ebert’s film festival is here in Champaign and they screened Born on the Fourth of July, it’s the first time I’ve seen it probably since it came out and I got to thinking about how awful it would be to lose my ability to walk and I thought about the most likely thing to take that away from me, and of course the answer was “a car accident”…so I’ve thought more about going to the other extreme of the safety spectrum. *sigh* That’s where I came upon the IIHS stats.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            I get you. When people ask me what car they should buy, I literally tell them to check the IIHS list, then we start eliminating options based on their needs.

          • Josef Roesler

            Is that what libs think tolerance means? We have to tolerate their bullshit? I don’t think so.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Well played. You’re still awful, and bring down each and every blog you comment on. Go elsewhere.

          PS
          They do, in fact, say ‘Murica in Biloxi, N’awlins, Albany, Atlanta, and Athens GA, Texas, and most of Central FL. You must be used to the accent or something. Idiot. (note: you’re not an idiot because you’re from the south, you’re an idiot for being Josef Roesler, which is to say that I mean to single you out as an embarrassment to an entire region famous for being an embarrassment to the rest of the country)

          • Josef Roesler

            Start “reporting” accurately and I will.
            Must be your Yankee ears hearing Murica. If anything, they’re saying Amerca.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            You mean if I, being a good ‘ol Florida-born boy what done enlisted while living in the great Yankee state of Georgia, just keep on with my reporting as is, you’ll stop reading and commenting here?

            Thank Christ! I thought we’d never be rid of your nonsense.

          • Josef Roesler

            A childish reply from a childish reporter.
            The feeling is mutual.

          • Spyche Chaos

            Your face is childish.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Ha!

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Translation: “Oh, s***! He’s not a Yankee! Once again, I look like a jerkoff on a public forum! I’ll call Jo more names and see if one of those sticks …”

            Please go the f*** away, forever.

          • Josef Roesler

            Really, who’s calling people names? The worst thing I called you is a liberal, which you have displayed here, you are a fine example of. Yet you are supposed to be a journalist and on your website you curse people out and act like a damn fool. You must be so proud of yourself.

  • Politicalcorectnessucksbigtime

    WOW!! FACTS!I am AMAZED after all the self-aggrandizing prejudicially biased expressions of personal opinion from a self absorbed anal retentive filled with mindless Techno Blather and Blarney you have endlessly spewd forth like an eruption of evil Vomitus upon those of us so foolish as to read your expostulations on a continuous basis. This article actually has balance and level handed treatment of the subject Kudos! for once…

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Political correctness sucks big time? I’m guessing (from your excellent use of commas) that you’ve been called a racist/sexist/bigot (or all 3) enough times that I don’t need to speculate about the veracity of such claims here. I will, however, giggle inwardly at your horrific grammatical choices and the fact that your nonexistent comma use makes you sound like a psycho.

      As for “balanced” and “level”, is that what you call giving a company an unedited, free reign to issue official PR in the form of answered questions? Really? REALLY!?

      Stop being what’s wrong with America, please, and learn what “fair” and “balanced” actually means.

      • Josef Roesler

        Funny, you call a guy racist for spelling errors while you slander the entire south with your ridiculous uninformed preconceptions.

        Then after months of absolutely fabricated articles about the Elio, you think you’re balanced because you finally got the company to tell you what’s already been written about.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          You realize “southern” isn’t a race, right? Actually, scratch that. After reading your comments over the last several weeks, *I* realize that you don’t realize much at all. :)

          • Josef Roesler

            You do realize I didn’t say it was, right? I said you’re a bigot, not a racist. You really should quit calling people stupid when you can’t keep up.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            That’s a good point. You actually didn’t back up why you called me a bigot like, at all …

          • Josef Roesler

            You didn’t ask, I called you a bigot for the reason I said several times, but you are too stupid to understand.

        • J_JamesM

          He was referring to the dude’s username. Obviously.

          • Josef Roesler

            Obviously.

  • Steve Hanley

    I give credit to Paul Elio for coming up with some answers, but I thought many of them sounded like the kind of answers you expect to get from a politician – carefully parsed, containing little of actual value.

    It is unfortunate the questions got posed before we read just a few days ago that the Louisiana parish is in active negotiations to lease the proposed factory to someone else due to a lack of forward progress by Elio.

    THAT is the real news, imho.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Yeah, well … he skirted the UAW question. Methinks he’s not interested in the old GM plant workers.

    • J_JamesM

      There are two types of responses a politician can give: the standard bullshitting, and the shameless whoring of one’s accomplishments, statistics, or data. He is doing the former, not the latter. Tells you everything you need to know.

    • Name

      The “news” about them being in negotiations with “someone else” is old news and the deal fell through. Please check your sources.

      • Steve Hanley

        Please post a copy of the signed agreement Elio has with the proper Louisiana officials for use of the former GM plant, then we’ll talk.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Thanks for this, Jo.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the P5, with the IAV designed engine, and the revised roofline, etc.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      It should be good. If they can get the federal funding they’re looking for, they should have plenty of money to build it right.

  • Akagi_Shigeru

    They don’t even have a prototype yet, so your claims of it being able to act as an effective 3-wheeled shield for one’s virginity are premature at best.

  • http://www.nicheaddictions.com scott masse

    I think it is good that the founder of Elio Motors did an interview with this blog which has been tempered in it’s enthusiasm. It is always good to have some healthy skepticism. I myself love the concept and hope it is the next US success story. Having reviewed many business plans myself over the years, I think they have a fighting chance of executing on their vision. If this was a public company, I would buy some speculative shares!

    • milliamp

      If they were public it would be a perfect company to short. It’s so much more difficult to predict which companies will be successful than it is to predict which ones are probably doomed to failure.

  • milliamp

    I don’t get why they can’t just adjust expectations for a “version 1″ and begin manufacturing a 65 MPG car with someone elses engine and some off the shelf parts and then make revisions to the design and release “version 2″ with their own customer super efficient 84 MPG engine.

    The other sticking point I have is that many motorcycles only get 40-50 MPG. Very few motorcycles are above 60 MPG. The ones that are tend to be pretty low displacement (like scooters) and even large scale mass produced motorcycles tend to cost over $9,000 without AC, Roll cages, airbags, power windows, stereos, stability control, or ABS. The $12k+ many motorcycles cost allow them to use lightweight materials like aluminum for construction. A steel crash cage in the Elio is going to make it much heavier than any of the motorcycles with decent gas mileage.

    I also don’t believe his claim about how a 3rd party engine isn’t properly tuned to the weight and size of the Elio. There are numerous different engine variations for motorcycles of all shapes and sizes produced and refined upon relentlessly by companies (like Honda) with billions of dollars at their disposal. It would be easy to make minor customizations to an off the shelf engine from Honda for instance. Any product Elio produces that is actually capable of producing the 84 MPG (typical of a 125cc scooter with a 55 MPH top speed) it would be excruciatingly slow in something comparatively much larger like an Elio.

    The performance claims being made are completely unrealistic and Elio is asking for a leap of faith with $250 million in funding before producing their first motorcycle. There are companies that consist of 2 or 3 guys in a garage that build custom motorcycles with mere thousands in tooling costs.

    They could easily build a simplified (read: Motorcycle) version of this without all the ABS, stability control, airbags, power windows, stereo etc. with a “close enough” off the shelf motor tomorrow but they won’t because they probably couldn’t even build that for $6,800 considering that’s cheaper than most big companies are able to mass produce simple motorcycles. They want to whole pile of $200 million before they produce the first car because by then even if they fail they already got a pile of money.

    Their investors will sue them and all they have to do is file bankruptcy if they lose the judgement and they don’t have to pay back a dime of the money.

    They offer reservations in 100, 250, 500, and 1000 in both refundable and non-refundable formats but even “refundable” means nothing after a bankruptcy filing.

    This car was supposed to launch in 2013 and now its 2015 but they aren’t planning to hire their first employee and begin tooling the factory until June 2015? Are we taking bets as to when they break the news that delivery looks like its getting pushed back to 2016 and that they will announce yet another super special reservation tier of $2000 in both “refundable” and non-refundable formats? They already have 8 tiers of reservation slots for the vehicles.

    If they were anywhere close to production they would be revising some of their ridiculous claims about now but they aren’t which tells me they aren’t being honest here. Instead of revising things like the projected price or MPG they have no hope of meeting they are just backpedaling by saying they need $200 million to get started. If they fail to get it they can just blame the investors for lack of funding and if they succeed in getting 200 million it won’t matter if they fail because they will have $200 million dollars to spend (ahem, stuff away) and then run to the bankruptcy court when people ask for it back.

    They are literally claiming to be able to build an automobile with all the bells and whistles with more than twice the gas mileage for half the cost it takes to build a motorcycle. If they could actually deliver on even some of those claims they could launch profitably tomorrow even just building cheap motorcycles.

    A Y config trike with a low coefficient drag isn’t a bad idea at the heart of it but Elio is a snake oil salesman and Elio will almost certainly not succeed in meeting their claims. When people come looking for their investment money all he has to say is “bankruptcy” and he can keep his assets, his salary while acting as CEO, and probably what ever kickbacks he may or may not have received stuffing some of the money into friends pockets on the way down. Success or failure he probably gets rich either way.

    There is a good chance this might not pass moderation so let me include the disclaimer that I have no inside knowledge of Elio motors and have no first hand knowledge of him, his company, or their operations. My post represents speculation based on things I have read online and is simply my opinion. I welcome any corrections. (ie. don’t sue me for defamation)

  • milliamp

    They are getting more and more desperate to milk this thing on the way down too. Now they are offering a 50% bonus on non-refundable reservations. If you give them a non-refundable $1,000 they will give you a $1,500 credit on the car you will never receive.

    As it’s looking more and more like they will never produce a car they are pushing harder and harder to get non-refundable reservations. They are essentially cashing out. They have yet to even finish designing the motor let alone decide how to manufacture it cheaply at scale and they are still promising a 2015 delivery? Even if they actually got the $200 million they need what stops them from just asking for more?

    I want to know who is willing to take my bet against them at this point because this is going to get interesting.

  • runny

    I can not bet, I wish they would pull it through, but more then likely, it will not make it out on time if it ever comes out, There is an old saying if it’s too good to be true, believe it, it is too good to be true. I own a motorcycle, 1100 cc, and is far less wight, and I don’t get even close to 60 mpg. I don’t see how Elio can come up with the idea of 84 mpg. I own a jetta, diesel, that gets me around 55 mpg. and I own two 72 v electric cars that I use around town here, that gets me around 30 miles per charge, worth 25 cents of electricity. But are very limited on distance. So again if Elio does come true on their promise I will be lining up to buy one. cash on hand.

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