Fishy Investors, New Tenants Bad News for Elio Motors



Following news out of Shreveport that the abandoned GM factory there could soon become home to the Gulf Coast Spinning textile company comes word that Elio’s latest round of fundraising has been plagued with “suspect” investors. All of which is bad news for the Elio hopeful.

Dan Feibus, CEO of Gulf Coast Spinning’s parent company, Zagis, confirmed their intention to settle into the Shreveport plant earlier this week. “We are extremely close — but not finished — to finalizing (a deal), and hope to locate and have an announcement in Shreveport in the very near future. But, we do not have (a deal) yet. And, in regards to why we’re in Shreveport, we’re very excited about it.”

Feibus would not offer details about their plans, such as the number of potential jobs the company could bring, according to the Shreveport Times, but a formal announcement of a lease deal could come as early as this week. If such a deal moves forward, it could be seen as a big win for Louisiana governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal (shown, above, shaking hands with the guys from Gulf Coast Spinning), who needs a positive jobs story in the area to boost his “job creator” narrative and may be tired of waiting on Paul Elio to produce on his jobs promise.

The story about Elio potentially losing its hold on the old GM plant first broke on the 13th, just a few days after Elio announced plans to publicly crowd fund its latest round of investments. Earlier today, however, Autoblog reported that at least $3.5 million of the $25 million “raised” so far was suspect- and those are Elio’s words:



Flame Suit Activated

How these newly-revealed/potential stumbling blocks will impact production of Elio’s proposed $6800 3-wheeler- which was originally promised to buyers in 2012, but was said to be pushed back until “the first half of 2016” at the earliest, back in January- remains to be seen. I think it’s safe to say, however, that only the most feverish true believers and job-seekers still think this thing is going to go anywhere but down.


Sources | Images: Shreveport Times, Autoblog, and Gulf Coast Spinning.


UPDATE: Elio’s PR People Respond

Not long after this article was published, I received an email from Mike DeViling, which I’ve included in (almost) its entirety, below. While I think his “Not sure how you arrived at the conclusion …” talk is pure PR-speak, he’s got some good points that help contextualize the story. Here you go:


Not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that the additional company in the Shreveport facility or that the bogus “expressions of interest” on our crowd-funding page are “bad news” as stated in the headline. Far from it.

We only leased 1.5 million square feet at the Shreveport facility. We’ve known all along that other company’s also would use some of the space. It’s really no big deal.

As for the expressions of interest on the crowd-funding page, again, not a big deal. We simply decided not to count ones that were suspect. We’re still well over $20 million and rapidly approaching $25 million. It’s true, some of those folks might still change their minds between now and a formal offer. But, overall, the crowdfunding campaign is working really well.


Mike DeVilling
The DeVilling Group


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.
  • Rick Deckard

    I don’t know why you have such hate and negative views of Elio. It would seem that you don’t want an American startup to succeed…. or is it that negative views sell and get you a better place in the internet of media?

    I don’t see either item being a negative. Elio Motors will be using 1.5 million square feet of the former GM assembly plant, a 4.1 million square foot building. Stuart Lichter’s company has always stated that they plan on leasing out the rest of the plant… plenty of room to share from what I see. And I feel it is very upfront to try to weed out the true investors behind the crowdfunding platform and those that are suspect to get a better idea on how many people are truly behind this effort.

    • Robert Chow

      the true to the fact is … GM, FORD, CHRYSLER and the Japanese’s car manufactories see this as their forthcoming eulogy. at least EM not using taxpayer fund on startup nor bailout. I’m an “ALL IN” buyer because I believe in buying American innovative product that will support employment within USA, not oversea. evidently this writer has no clue how EM begin this venture and well thoughtout vision any new venture capitalist must atest before building commence. at least for $1000 is a great price to be part of this new transport concept. I can’t hardly wait even at 70 years of age to ride in one of this autocycle. GOOOOOO ELIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with God speed!!!!!!

      • knowhereman

        The other car companies could not care less about Elio Motors. Despite what you seem to think, Elio Motors is seeking government help to get started (ATVM loan) and if they get it and fail it is taxpayer’s money on the line. I am afraid you have been blinded my Elio’s marketing strategy to appeal to the “patriots”. Ask yourself this Robert, as amazing and “well thoughtout vision” this is why is it no one with big money is jumping on board to capitalize on this project? You might want to check this author’s article from a couple years ago regarding Elio Motors financial plan for the answers.

  • Silas Sunday

    Dear frequent readers, The plan has always been to lease the plant to multiple tenants. EM will occupy some 1.5 million sq/ft of the available 4 mil sq/ft plant.

  • rogwild

    Elio Motors is not a ‘New Company’, they’ve been around since 2008, and
    have a ‘history’.
    Just remember, back on (Sep 6, 2013); “Founder Paul Elio told Red
    River Radio that 25 prototypes are – under construction — in
    Detroit as the company enters into the product testing phase. “
    (Never happened)
    – (Jan 11, 2014) When asked; “You will actually be delivering Production
    vehicles of this car, WHEN?” Paul Elio answered, “ First Quarter
    of 2015!” (Never happened)
    – BEWARE — Elio Motors has been taking ‘RESERVATIONS’ for 2 ½ years, but is
    still short $230 MILLION needed to reach ‘production’. –
    In fact, their $100 – $1,000 reservations DO NOT guarantee that you
    will ever get a vehicle; Elio Motors says: “ we are under no
    obligation to supply you with a vehicle.“
    – And when asked, they refuse to provide which ‘reputable financial
    institution’ is responsible for their “Refundable” escrow account.
    – Even with the “$17 million collected for “reservations”, they have
    NOT BUILT nor TESTED one complete Pre-Production Prototype with
    operable systems to ‘validate their claims’ of fuel economy, or safety!” …. since 2008.
    – In the past, If you asked any ‘difficult’ questions, or express
    ‘discontent’ on their FaceBook page, it was [DELETED], and you were
    “BLOCKED”! Interesting ‘concept’; but NO WAY they will be in
    production and on the road, by Mid-2016, as they ‘claim’. – Their
    ‘Production Date’ has already ‘slipped’ from Jun/Jul 2014 → 1st
    Qtr 2015 → 3rd Qtr 2015 → to First ½ 2016! (now mid to late 2016?)
    They have NOT demonstrated their “84mpg” and do not guarantee
    their ‘selling price’ of $6,800. They have never ‘demonstrated “at
    least 75mpg” to QUALIFY for the ATVM LOAN. They are ‘fleecing’
    our citizens.! Please do your ‘Homework’! Paul Elio said that they
    will be producing 207,000 vehicles the FIRST year (only 43,000
    reserved); so no need to “Reserve” … if you are ‘interested’!

    • Silas Sunday

      Hey Roger, how about some perspective in your twisted little world of, I’m Roger Wildermuth, I used to love Elio Motors, but after they postponed production twice and hurt my feelings, I’ve decided to burn their little entrepreneurial startup company to the ground, but I’m going to disguise it by saying I’m looking out for everyone’s interest.

      Yes, it’s important to reserve an Elio if you’re interested in owning one. Elio Motors offers a refundable option for as little as $100.00. That signals to investors that you’re a future owner and it also secures your spot for an Elio when production starts.

      Yes Elio Motors is seeking funds to being production, a very well known fact and something those of you with pride in the entrepreneurial spirit of U.S.A. can participate in if you wish. Those of you that support U.S. manufacturing and building a stronger future for our nation while at the same time helping hundreds if not thousands of people through Elio Motors affordable transportation vehicle, I encourage you to stand up and let others know about Elio Motors. You can either decide to build something to be proud of or, in Rogers Wildermuth’s case, look for ways to stop Elio Motor’s startup company and proclaim your support for China manufacturers.

      • Roger Wildermuth

        Yes, Silas; READING is important. After reading my post, please point out any ‘inaccuracies’ in it. People should have ‘factual information’ to base their financial decisions upon, NOT just ‘Marketing Fluff’! In your reply; “they postponed production twice”. How about; “Jun/Jul 2014”, then Paul Elio said, “First Qtr. 2015”, then slipped to “3rd Qtr 2015”, then “First Half of 2016”, NOW, “this time next year”! That is FIVE (5) by my count! How can ‘one person’ “stop Elio Motor’s startup company” by exposing their ‘HISTORY’, when their ACTIONS and poor ‘Business Plan’ have already done it?

    • Thanks for the summary. Yeah… I don’t see the avenue from here to production. Crowdfunding certainly isn’t it.

      • John Painter

        Crowd funding is only one of several paths Elio Motors is utilizing to get to production. This particular crowd funded revenue will allow the company to build out and test the next 26 production version prototypes. Often times, this is what investors need to see to be convinced the product will perform the way the manufacturer claims. This is a straight forward and logical way for Elio Motors to proceed.

        • rogwild

          Are these the “next 26 production version prototypes” that Paul Elio said were “under construction in Detroit”…. back on Sep 6, 2013?

    • John Painter

      Roger, the need to be heard, and to feel valued is important to me. When I read your long, angry and caustic comments, I do not want to have a conversation with you. Possibly, if your writing was not to the exclusion of others experiences which have been positive with Elio Motors, I and others may want to have a conversation and hear you.

      • Roger Wildermuth

        No need to have a “conversation”; just point out any statement that is “inaccurate”!

  • Sue Pritchard

    Wasn’t there some other so-called “journalist” complaining just last month that the rest of the plant had yet to find companies to lease the space? Inferring that Stuart Lichter was somehow turning away business for some mysterious reason? Now we’ve got this idiot that thinks he is a journalist complaining because they appear to be about to lease the unused space. Could you people please make up your minds? And maybe do a little research before you try to create an uproar with your utter stupidity?

  • John Painter

    So far, I am very impressed with how Elio Motors has handled the challenges they have faced in their journey to bring their vehicle to market, including the latest suspect interest with their future offering. Elio Motors has handled this with exceptional business acumen.

    I am equally impressed with the lack of journalistic investigation into what may be the real story, who and for what reason, would someone(s) attempt to inflate interest in Elio Motors investment opportunity? Over zealous supporters wrongly assuming high interest might spur Elio in to production sooner, or equally over zealous Elio Motors haters, who, when no legitimate problems exist, have no qualms about creating problems, etc. I’m surprised there was no mention of Paul Elio’s recent AMA on Redit and questions from a blogger about the legitimacy of people asking questions. I’m a reservation holder #12436, hopeful future investor, and a very real person.

    • knowhereman

      Oh, John Painter is “very impressed” with Elio Motors, we can all rest easy now.
      Too bad those with the business acumen and funding to get this thing into production are not as “impressed” as John.

  • Kathy Vincent

    Do your research before donating to Elio Motors. The money you send Elio Motors is a donation to Paul Elio’s American dream.

    Paul Elio admitted over a year ago that he has not been able to achieve the $6800 sales price. He advertises it for $6800 to entice people to place deposits and then has a disclaimer on the payment screen that says he does not guarantee price, mpg or to ever produce these. Many don’t see this disclaimer on the payment screen because its hidden in a drop down box. Most that place deposits think they are placing a deposit on a car they can purchase a year later for $6800. This is not the case. He has to include many start up cost that other car makers have paid years ago. Also he is spending the deposits on salaries, travel, entertanment, lodging and marketing in order to collect more deposits to pay salaries. These years of collected deposits that are being spent will have to be recouped in the price of the car if its ever produced. He still needs over $250 million to start production. Even if someone gave him $300 million tomorrow he would not be ready for production for at least 2 years.

    • Silas Sunday

      Palm to face. What Kathy Vincent leaves out is she placed a refundable reservation which she has received a full refund last year. Non-refundable reservation monies are used to propell this project forward. Kathy puts on her Captian Obvious uniform, badge, whatever, and says they’re spending the money on the tour team which travels the U.S. Showing the Elio to various markets. Her complaint is that their spending money to promote their product and they’re paying their employees. Seriously, those dang gas stations, hotels, should be free, oh and the Elio Motors tour team employees Kathy Vincent says they should be indentured servants. Then she wraps up with the last burn your vision starring into the sun till your blind obvious statement, they are seeking funds. Shocking revelation.

      Yes Elio Motors is seeking funds, and you can show your pride for a fledgling U.S. Manufacturing startup through Elio’s refundable option for as little as $100.09. This tells investors your desire to own this product and also give you a reservation for one in the future.

      I say we Americans stand up and take pride in our country and support U.S. Manufacturing.

      • Kathy Vincent

        Silas…..When do you think these will be for sale and what do you estimate the base retail to be?

        • Silas Sunday

          Paul Elio answers that question on Reddit. link to Paul’s statement on production.

          • Kathy Vincent

            That was not what I asked Silas. Please reread the question.

          • Silas Sunday

            I’m not your typical must
            have it coursing through my blood veins now consumer or anything for that
            matter. I’m a patient individual. One of the lifelong qualities
            learned from my parents as a child and re-enforced during my 6 years of service
            in the U.S. Army, which GI’s quickly learn “hurry up and wait”. Those
            who have served will understand that comment very well. I preface my
            reply with the previous information so yourself and others can have some
            understanding of my reply to your question, asking me to speculate on
            non-public internal financials of Elio Motors and their production start date
            based on my personal thoughts.

            When will they be for sale?

            Scenario 1: Funding needs are achieved according
            to current re-adjusted project time line to being production in 2016.
            Silas says: Production will begin most likely in the second half of

            Scenario 2: Funding needs fall short. Silas says:
            Production will not begin in 2016 and I cannot say when it will begin
            without understanding the non-public financial portfolio of Elio Motors.
            Silas says, it will happen when it happens, be patient.

            What will be Elio’s base price?

            Scenario 1: Paul Elio and their group
            of suppliers reach their goal on design, function, and parts to use. (this internal goal is not public knowledge,
            as it’s less than their $6,800.00 base price advertisements) Paul Elio has said they are with a few
            hundred dollars of that goal. Silas
            says: That’s a lofty goal and they will probably figure out a way to reach it,
            so the base price will be $6,800.00 before adding any options, tag, tax, title,
            shipping, etc….

            Scenario 2: They do not achieve the
            price point goal. I have no clue what
            that is, because that information isn’t shared.
            What I do know is Paul Elio has said they are within a few hundred
            dollars of that goal. Silas says, base
            price of an Elio will probably be between $7,500 to $8,500 is my non factual
            guess. Then of course add the other
            charges that any new vehicle purchase from any manufacture in all 50 states
            such as Tag, tax, title, shipping, etc….
            That will vary state to state and by person and their benefits. For example I just purchased a brand new
            Nissan Juke for 26K. I paid a total of
            $150.00 for tag, tax, & title via my Native American tribal affiliation
            which also recognizes veterans, and gives additional rewards for service
            medals. My out the door cost for an Elio
            in this scenario, including TTT, I’ll probably pay $8500, assuming I add no

            Yourself and Roger W.
            absolutely love to exploit the facts in your emotional post’s all over the net
            inciting fear and distrust for what goal you secretly do not share under the
            guise of we’re just protecting the little people.

            When I enter into a financial arrangement I read and investigate thoroughly. In the case of Elio Motors, I first
            discovered them and saw all the same advertisement on price, mpg, etc,… That
            peaked my curiosity so I began vigorously investigating Elio Motors, who,
            where, and what they were about. I also
            printed and read the Reservation Agreement for Elio Motors non-refundable
            reservations, as there wasn’t a refundable option at the time. At that time I was also about to place a
            $10,000 reservation to Lit-Motors. After
            seeing Elio Motors, I quickly decided I liked their future product more. Elio Motors Reservation Agreement is
            extremely clear and concise on all the points you and Roger W. consistently proclaim
            as hidden. I do not enter into nor
            release cash to anyone before fully understanding the terms and
            conditions. Those who do are
            irresponsible with their finances. I’ve
            seen this time and time again. People
            are lazy, do not read the contract, then later find out, wait a minute why am I
            getting charged late fees and a finance charge at 25% interest, the guy behind
            the counter said it was 6 months same as cash no interest, I’m only 3 months
            into this deal. Had they taken the time
            to read the terms and conditions, they would have noticed the section titled “minimum
            payment” which outlined the small little payment each month that must be made
            in order to meet their zero interest for 6 months.

            So, you asked for it, you got it. Next
            time read, understand, and make an informed decision before leaping off the
            cliff only to find out you did so without a parachute.

          • Roger Wildermuth

            Silas, NOT emotion, just FACTS; you have yet to ‘refute’ one statement in my original Post. Elio Motors and Paul Elie have LIED. They continue to ‘raise money’ with unproven ‘claims’ of economy, MPG, and safety. Maybe their P5 will validate some of these assertions, but it is ‘not built’, nor have they shown an IAV engine for it yet! As for ‘leaping’; I have over 1,000 parachute jumps!

          • Steve Moyers

            You guys are on the same side but attacking each other. The ones with the facts are disappointingly much easier to discuss things with. The ones that have been baptized with whatever oils the Elio machine uses are at times too simple to agree with, but more fun. Face it, this odd vehicle will never sell as required to meet the quantity lowers cost goal. The designing their own engine was a failure, if it were a success the test results would be plastered all over the place making “naysayers” look silly. Non of you have a grasp of what personal transportation is anyway. Priorities. Why did the supporters as well as the doubters let the engine issue die so easily? You fight amongst yourselves over dashboards and where the iPod will be mounted. In a car that does not exist. That is to be made by a manufacture that has never existed. Step back, what is Elio Motors today? What was it 7 years ago. They had a custom car shop build custom cars, you may do the same. They have a extensive marketing plan that does not directly apply to proposed product. They look like a marketing company to me. The baptized followers can be entertaining, in their spouts they confuse Tesla the inventor with Tesla the manufacture. They carry on like they have paid $6800 for a car that gets 84, not 83, not 85 mpg. Lately they have been trying to akin Paul Elio to Henry Ford. If they knew true history they would not. Hmm, all on the same side, some spout BS, others bore you with facts.

          • Robert Gillaspie

            OK lady and gentlemen, you’ve warned us about the pitfalls. Now shut the fuck up and let us idiots decide for ourselves!

      • Roger Wildermuth

        I agree; for an HONEST American Company, with a ‘solid’ Business Plan (not 250,000 units to be profitable), and one that actually BUILDS and TESTS their vehicle, BEFORE they start taking ‘Reservations’, and can actually PROVE their ‘claims’, of Economy, “off the shelf parts”, MPG, and Safety”!

        • Silas Sunday

          Readers, Roger Wildermuth has received direct responses from Paul Elio, CEO and Founder of Elio Motors directly answering his questions. As you can see by his post above, nothing will satisfy RW.

          Roger W(doubleU) says: Honest American Company – Paul Elio’s business is as open as it gets short of having a go-pro mounted to his head with direct feed to the internet.

          Roger W(doubleU) says: Solid Business Plan – Paul Elio has answered this so many times, I nearly have it memorized. High volume slim profit or low volume high profit. His personal reason for starting this project in the first place was to help people and retain wealth in our nation, well, I’ll quote him so you can make your own judgement about his character. “”Hi All. I’m an engineer by trade, but an entrepreneur at heart. I was tired of seeing wealth pour out of our country and I decided to do something about it. I launched Elio Motors. We believe in the American Dream, American manufacturing and creating American jobs.”

          Roger W(doubleU) says: Actually Builds. Elio Motors has built 4 prototypes they’re on the final iteration called P5. Soon to be completed and touring the nation. Not sure what R DoubleU’s point it here.

          Roger W(doubleU) says: Prove it. Elio Motors is using the same computer modeling the major OEM’s use to vet their creations in computer simulations before spending vasts amount of cash producing the first unit. Elio Motors has done the industry standard of computer SIM testing and are now about to begin the testing phase Roger DoubleU points out.

          Roger W. When you reply see if you can incorporate some of these keyboard characters and no lower case words.
          ~`!@#$%^&*( ) _ + = ?/{}[]:;,.

      • Steve Moyers

        You are forgetting that Elio Motors claims to be a manufacture and has never built a thing. The arguments here are based on what Paul Elio says vs facts that can be referenced. Made in America??? You claim that is important to you? Why as a consumer have you not cared about that until now? A Chevy is only assembled from 0%-68% American made goods depending on model. A Honda Accord is assembled from 87% American made goods. Sorry, 7 years of fund raising is not a move forward, it is a job choice. Since 2008 the only changes made at Elio Motors has been the probability of the car. Sometimes it looks good, sometimes not so good. Still it is only in theory, Elio has never built nor tested anything. What if it gets built and you find a 3 wheeler with 75% of the weight up front makes a horrible car to drive all the time? You only paid $6800 so you can’t sell it, Elio Motors is making 250,000 units a year, no market for used ones. At that rate why place a reservation? What is really scary is the demand for the first 40,000 units. Untested unproven design, new manufacturing facilities, newly trained work force. Not a product most are eager to buy. Does not sound like something safe that I would want to share the road with. Everything that you say is planed, not one word is based on fact or truth.

  • “We’ve known all along that other company’s also would use..” This is their PR guy?

  • smartacus

    Easy to assume the fishy investors with newly fabricated emails are actually people who stand to lose if Elio’s disruptive product comes to market

  • GEC

    Quackery best describes this post!

  • knowhereman

    This whole farce is really hilarious. You are nuts if you actually believe they are going to sell 250,000 of these odd little things per year in the US, the land of the SUV.
    Buyer beware, I have a suspicion that the “supporters” might have a financial stake in Elio Motors and therefore unable to have an unbiased discussion about Elio Motors.

    • Silas Sunday

      I am a supporter 🙂 I support Elio Motors largely due to the benefit this vehicle will have to so many in need of reliable affordable transportation, great alternative to two wheeled motorcycles which I love to drive, fantastic projected fuel economy, excellent platform for customization, can drive all year long in most weather conditions that aren’t extreme. Basically a great commuter vehicle.

      I have two reservations aka spot in line (SIL).

      • knowhereman

        I agree with you Mr. Sunday, in concept.
        However, this odd little thing just isn’t going to sell in the numbers that Paul Elio’s business plan calls for, not even close. It’s a quirky little vehicle that will only appeal to a small niche market. Obviously you feel quite passionate about it and I think it’s clouding your better judgement.

        • Silas Sunday

          ha, love the keep calm. image. Roger DoubleU & Kathy V could use a significant amount of that.

          • Roger Wildermuth

            Just stating ‘History’ and FACTS (that you have yet to ‘refute’), trying to ‘educate’ people BEFORE they fund this RISKY venture.

  • KenGribble

    With Elio bashing aside, let me edit that title for you:

    5,000+ Investors Express Over 20 million Dollars of Interest, Co-Tenants Not News for Elio Motors

    Maybe editors have forgotten the mission in the quest for “fresh” content?

    Important Media — Our mission is to provide information and resources to empower people who care about making the world a better place and increasing their health and happiness.

    in·for·ma·tion (ˌinfərˈmāSH(ə)n/)
    1. facts provided or learned about something or someone.

    More facts, less sensationalist click-bait please.

    Thanks for listening!

  • Kerry Carter

    Went to the Nashville showing in a motel parking lot. Give it a rest! NEVER HAPPEN!


      And your the CEO of TV watching REALITY SHOWS ? Kerry you have to have a dream and an education to be a success. My family was in the oil business and I welcome this ELIO American company because I believe in his dream…….WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS,,,,,crickets LOL

  • Steve Moyers

    Whoa! After reading the posts that follow this editorial it seems some joined a religion, not just supporting a car that they think will be nice to own. Nothing about this car can be proven. No test models have ever been made and tested. Some even argue that if it were not for the “Big 3” Elio Motors would be up and running last year. The existing or left over manufactures known as American brands don’t have much weight in today’s market. As far as this editorial it does raise an observation. It could be bad for Elio after all the claims he made over 2 years ago and has done nothing for the people of Louisiana. Now somebody is moving into an abandoned industrial park, finally. They care about the jobs, the increased tax revenue that will show in spending for the public. Not about who is in the buildings. Having one tenant will attract more tenants, when all that is left is the vacant space Elio is supposed to be supplying jobs in the real pressure will be on Elio. These people want jobs, they don’t care about a goofy car.

  • Matt Lukes

    Jo, I am disappointed in your lack of negative enthusiasm. I was looking forward to some high energy nay-saying about the evil genius of Paul or some other fact manipulation proving a multi-million dollar money scam conspiracy. sigh…