V-Vehicles started making noises back in 2006 about building an environmentally friendly car that ran on compressed natural gas, and doing it here in the U.S. The company is backed by oilman billionaire T. Boone Pickens and the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the latter of which also backs Fisker. Its head designer is Tom Matano of Mazda Miata and RX-7 fame. In May of this year, Pickens was still talking about the car being on the way, even though all anyone's ever seen of it is a few teased angles, like the headlight above.

It looks like things are finally getting serious, though. V-Vehicles had planned to build its car in a former General Motors plant in Louisiana, but that fell through. Now the company's been rechristened Next Autoworks and the top spot has been taken by Kathleen Ligocki, whose resume includes top positions at Ford, Tower Automotive and Mexico's GS Salinas. It'll probably be a while before Next is in a position to announce anything, but with an experienced auto and turnaround veteran in the lead, they've got a much better chance of hanging around at all.

[Source: Inside Line]

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