Elio originally told the Securities and Exchange Commission that the automaker would use these pre-production vehicles for internal purposes, but it now decided to sell them. By getting the trikes on the road, the company claims there's a better opportunity to evaluate how they perform in real conditions. This also offers a chance to improve the three-wheelers before the full launch.
The company admits that selling the trikes also generates increased revenue, which the business needs. Elio's announcement doesn't disclose the exact price of these pre-production examples, but the final version is supposed to start at just $6,800.
The final version is supposed to start at just $6,800.
While it's good for the trikes to hit the road, there's bad news for Elio's reservation holders. The business now expects "the bulk of the consumer launch will have to be moved into 2017 at a date to be determined, as the company continues to seek additional funding," the statement says. It originally planned deliveries to start in July 2014 and later claimed late 2016.
If the trikes ever see full production, they'll have a 900cc three-cylinder engine that can get the vehicle to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 9.6 seconds. We wonder how much longer the wait might actually be, though.
Vehicles are Key Step To Refining Final Consumer Production Projected to Begin in 2017
PHOENIX, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Elio Motors, Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO), the startup vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 MPG with a targeted base price of $6,800, today announced it plans to sell 100 pre-production vehicles built at its Shreveport, Louisiana, production facility fourth quarter of 2016.
"Elio Motors is ecstatic to announce that we are taking a major step forward in our development of the Elio," said Elio Motors founder and CEO Paul Elio. "We now intend to sell the first 100 pre-production vehicles built to one or more fleet customers, rather than use them for internal purposes as previously disclosed in our offering statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This will help us generate additional revenue, it will allow us to evaluate vehicles under real-world driving conditions and it will allow our supplier team to refine our design."
This limited run of pre-production vehicles will be a major step forward for Elio Motors as it works toward mass production. The pre-production vehicles will allow Roush, which was named lead engineering partner earlier this week, to provide a quieter, smoother vehicle with refined driving characteristics. Ultimately, this will raise customer satisfaction with the final production vehicle.
"We are chomping at the bit to get started on these 100 vehicles, as it's an important step in our evolution,"said Gino Raffin, vice president of manufacturing for Elio Motors. "The work we do on these vehicles will provide important insight that will make for a smooth transition when we begin hiring production workers for the consumer vehicle launch. We're getting closer every day and we are moving forward with relentless passion to get this done."
Although the fleet vehicle build is a step in the right direction for the end consumer driving experience, the bulk of the consumer launch will have to be moved into 2017 at a date to be determined, as the company continues to seek additional funding.
"As we have stated in the past, building an ultra-low cost, high efficient vehicle for the masses is not an easy task. It takes solid engineering and supplier partnerships, which we have, and substantial funding, on which we continue to make progress," Elio said. "We recently had a successful stock offering, which showed there is investment interest and enthusiasm for this project. We raised significant funds, moving us even closer. Our team will keep fighting to get this done. The key is to not quit, and to continue to move forward toward our goal. We have a number of other financial strategies that we are pursuing relentlessly to help get us to our consumer production launch."
In addition to bringing Roush on board and announcing the pre-production-vehicle build, Elio Motors has been aggressive in pushing toward production of its Elio vehicle in other areas:
In November 2015, the company introduced the P5, its fifth generation prototype, featuring a 0.9 liter, 3-cylinder engine designed by IAV specifically for Elio Motors.
On Jan. 12, Elio Motors announced it will begin building its E-Series of prototype vehicles for testing and engineering purposes.
On Feb. 12, Elio Motors reached 50,000 reservations for a place in line to buy the vehicle.
On Feb. 19, Elio Motors became the first organization to raise capital using Regulation A+ and then have its shares publicly traded on the OTCQX Best Market (OTCQX:ELIO).
Elio Motors is using nearly 1 million square feet of a nearly 4 million square-foot former General Motors production facility. When Elio Motors reaches full production, it estimates that the Shreveport facility will have nearly 1,500 workers.
About Elio Motors
Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2009, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing an ultra-high-mileage vehicle. The three-wheeled Elio is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg, while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock and air conditioning accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio's first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements." These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from planned operations include, without limitation, delays in receipt of adequate financing, delays in commencement of production, decreased consumer interest in the Company's products, downturn in general economic conditions, increased production costs and availability of raw materials, competition, and unfavorable market and regulatory conditions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the Company's control. Readers are referred to the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The information contained in this press release is a statement of the Company's present intentions, beliefs or expectations and is based upon, among other things, the existing business environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and the Company's assumptions. The Company may change its intentions, beliefs or expectations at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in its assumptions or otherwise, and it undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this press release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that the Company or persons acting on its behalf may issue.