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Elio taps The Onion in political ad for efficient trike

Satirist news site will work with Elio as company prepares product launch.

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Startup automaker Elio Motors is working with the satirists at The Onion on a politically-oriented marketing campaign for the start-up automaker's three-wheeled vehicle in advance of the presidential election this November. And in an attempt to not alienate either Red or Blue states, Elio is calling itself "Purple." We'll think of it as a tribute to Prince.

The marketing campaign will include videos, social infographics, and other targeted media, Elio Motors said Tuesday. The campaign starts this month and will, naturally, run through November.

Elio wants to broaden its brand reach as it prepares to build its first production trike, which will sell for $6,800 and get up to 84 miles per gallon. The company says it has taken more than 50,000 reservations and that it will sell 100 pre-production vehicles by year-end. While there was a setback earlier involving federal regulators saying they may re-classify such three-wheeled vehicles in order to boost their safety requirements, Elio raised $17 million with a stock sale earlier this year and began trading shares on the over-the-counter stock market. The company also tapped high-end auto engineer Roush to help out with the build-out process, and has spent much of the year tweaking the vehicle's design and suspension layout.

Elio was founded in 2009 and initially pegged its sales debut to a date that was a lot closer to the last presidential election than the upcoming one. Full production out of its Shreveport, Louisiana, factory is now, finally looking likely for next year and a new President. Until then, take a look at Elio Motors' press release below.

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Elio Motors Partners With Onion, Inc. To Fuel 2016 Political Coverage
June 14, 2016

PHOENIX, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Elio Motors, Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO), the start-up vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg and with a targeted base price of $6,800, has partnered with digital media company, Onion, Inc., for a politically 'driven' digital media campaign leading up to the 2016 election.

As America's Finest News Source, The Onion is known for its equal-opportunity satire, poking fun at both sides of the political spectrum. With the presidential election looming, The Onion was the perfect fit for Elio Motors' bipartisan message.

"Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, from a Red state or Blue state, we know Elio Motors has a message everyone can get behind," said Paul Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors. "We are building a low-cost, fuel-efficient vehicle that will create American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help the environment. We see ourselves as "purple" politically – a mix of both parties that everyone can rally behind."

The marketing campaign, developed by Onion, Inc.'s creative services division Onion Labs, includes custom social infographics, election-inspired video, as well as targeted media surrounding The Onion's political content, which will run from June to November.

"Political opponents can't seem to agree on anything this election season – except they both want to drive The Elio," said Rick Hamann, Onion, Inc. Chief Creative Officer. "We worked with Elio Motors to find a way to insert humor into party disagreement."

"The Onion has an incredibly loyal audience from a wide spectrum of the American population and we look forward to sharing our message with their fans," Elio said. "It's going to be a long road to November, and by working with The Onion we hope to bring a light-hearted view of an otherwise serious moment in our country's history, as humor is often the best way to find a common ground between political parties."

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