Aptera hires Paul Wilbur as new president and CEO, looking to build new plant

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Aptera has been making some key hires these last few months in an effort to bring together the best team possible, to make its three-wheeled electric vehicle as good as they can be and to bring them to market as quickly as is feasible. The latest hire from the California-based company is Paul Wilber, who will now serve as the expectant-automaker's new president and CEO. Wilbur had been serving as president and CEO of Detroit-based American Specialty Cars and Saleen.

Just a little while ago, Aptera brought on Neil Hannemann to serve as its VP of program management and manufacturing. Hannemann had previously been on both the Dodge Viper and Ford GT programs. Just a wee bit later, the eco-friendly company hired Tony Kirton to serve as its Chief Marketing Officer. Kirton had been working in similar roles for Audi of America and BMW's South African subsidiary.

In other interesting news, Aptera says in its latest press release, pasted after the break, that it is scouring the Southern U.S. for manufacturing plants. Nothing yet has been finalized, but we do know that California is keenly interested in keeping electric car companies in state, so this is a situation that bears watching.

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[Source: Aptera]


Aptera Hires Seasoned Auto Executive Paul Wilbur as Its New President and CEO

Automotive Expert to Lead Growth Strategy as Company Prepares for a 2009 Rollout

CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 3, 2008 - Aptera Motors announced today that, after a thorough search, the company has hired Paul Wilbur as its president and chief executive officer. Wilbur is an automotive industry veteran who brings 26 years of extensive automotive experience, ranging from product planning and finance to marketing and product development for leading car companies such as Ford and Chrysler. Most recently, Wilbur was the president and CEO of Detroit-based American Specialty Cars, a tier-1 supplier of open air and convertible roof systems and Saleen, a leading manufacturer of high performance specialty cars and trucks.

"We have searched long and hard for exactly the right leader to help us fulfill the promise of this vehicle," stated Steve Fambro, co-founder and chief technical officer of Aptera. "Paul Wilbur is that leader. His hands-on style and wide-ranging automotive experience will be invaluable as we move from design and development into the manufacturing and distribution phase. His reputation as a consummate car guy and a leading-edge automotive thinker are also qualities we wanted in our new CEO."

Wilbur joined Aptera effective August 25, 2008 at their technical center in Carlsbad, California. Near term production and distribution will be predominantly based in California, although long term plans for high volume assembly locations have not been finalized. Aptera is starting to work with a few southern U.S. states for a high volume assembly plant location.

"The chance to join the Aptera team at a time like this is a wonderful opportunity," stated Wilbur. "Aptera Motors is a company built on the belief that dramatically rising energy costs, combined with escalating global environmental concerns, will challenge the automotive industry and create an unprecedented opportunity for a revolutionary new kind of vehicle. I don't know of any vehicle currently in development, world-wide, that matches the game-changing possibilities of Aptera."

After closing its series C funding round, Aptera is now in the process of building a high powered, laser-focused product team to not only develop new products, but to also change the world's mindset towards automotive efficiency.

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