Elio Motors to Buy GM’s Shuttered Plant in Louisiana image

Elio Motors, a start-up automaker, will buy GM’s shuttered plant near Shreveport, La., planning to add 1,500 workers.

Elio Motors, which is an ultra-small automaker, already signed a deal with Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust, which is responsible for selling and cleaning up former GM properties, to buy GM’s plant in Caddo Parish. The agreement is considered by Louisiana politicians as an economic victory for a community devastated by GM’s contraction.

Elio Motors plans to use the plant to manufacture three-wheeled vehicles and the production is expected to begin in mid-2014. The cars will have three airbags and will deliver an average of more than 60 mpg. According to the automaker’s announcement, its $6,800 vehicles will be “the next big thing in transportation.” According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the company was to raise $10 million in 2011 through an offering, but managed to raise only $150,000.

“There were three driving factors in the purchase of the plant: The business-friendly economic environment; the quality of the local experienced workforce; and our unwavering commitment to build Elio vehicles in America, with American workers,” Elio CEO Paul Elio said in a statement.