Fishy Investors, New Tenants Bad News for Elio Motors

bobby-jindal

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
President
The DeVilling Group

 

 

Jo Borrás

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.