Aptera may have recently refunded all deposits, but that doesn't mean the company itself is gone. Following up on recent news that it is looking at facilities outside of California, Aptera today announced that it has settled on one of four possible states, all in the Midwest, as possible new locations for a manufacturing facility: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio or Wisconsin. The company is now studying these sites and negotiating with local officials to select the location for the factory that will crank out the highly aerodynamic (but not currently available for reservation) 2e.
The company headquarters are not moving and will remain in Carlsbad, CA. The production plans, too, are apparently still on track. Aptera vice president Dave Oakley stated that the company expects to employ around 1,500 people, though how those employees would be split between the headquarters and the Midwest facility isn't clear.
Despite the change of locations for manufacturing, Aptera's web site continues to indicate that only Californians need apply when it comes to the first batch of vehicles. No date is currently listed for availability.
We informed you in May that Aptera was planning to look beyond California to find a production facility for our vehicles. This decision followed an exhaustive review of the financial and logistics implications of building vehicles in California versus other states.
Aptera then hired Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate firm with experience in 21 national markets, to perform the search process for us east of the Mississippi. The team consists of Jeff Bender from the Cincinnati office leading the real estate search, Tim Monger from the Indianapolis office leading the state and local discussions, and Dennis Visser, Arick Stark and Andrew Ewald from the San Diego office who are co-leading the master planning of the state-by-state review.
Since that time, Aptera management has had discussions with a number of state and local officials throughout the United States and we've conducted an exhaustive search to locate the ideal location.
As of today, the exploration has been narrowed to locations in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. These Midwest locales - with close proximity to railroads / rail loading facilities, freeways and airports - are situated near an array of major automotive supply companies that Aptera has already partnered with for the development of our vehicles. Additionally, state policy makers have offered attractive support packages that will enable Aptera to provide first-rate training to our workforce and to quickly begin assembly operations.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, but we've made tremendous strides toward narrowing our field of options," said Paul Wilbur, Aptera president and CEO. "The next step is to finalize negotiations on specific facilities and partner with local officials who share our vision of a more sustainable future for transportation."
Aptera Vice President, Operations Dave Oakley added, "Between our corporate headquarters in California and our Midwest assembly facility, we are going to bring nearly 1,500 new, clean technology jobs to areas that have been hard-hit by the changes in our economy. Collectively, we'll all work to build the world's most energy efficient vehicles from the ground up."