The cars were supposed to start rolling off the assembly line in 2012. But the plant has yet to be built. The company now hopes to start producing cars next year. And while they say they still plan to build a plant in Tunica County, all that was on the land on a recent afternoon was a construction trailer, a few pieces of equipment and a few workers strolling around.
The company instead now uses a former elevator factory 30 miles away in Horn Lake. A McAuliffe spokesman says about 100 small electric vehicles were built by the time McAuliffe resigned from the company in December. The thousands of promised jobs have yet to materialize.
“It takes time to build a brand new company in a capital-intensive industry like electric vehicles, and we will not cut corners on quality or safety as we progress. We have a plan. The plan is working. We’re sticking to it,” GreenTech said in a statement.
The company now says it has more than 100 workers and “once production is ramped up” should employ at least 350 – the same number of jobs required under the state loan agreement.
Jeff Rent, a spokesman for the Mississippi Development Authority, says the company has assured MDA that they’re on track to meet production and hiring goals outlined in a memorandum of understanding.
But industry analysts say the company faces hurdles to succeed.
“A brand-new electric car company without an established U.S. partner, or global partner, is a lofty goal,” said Joe McCabe, president of AutomotiveCompass, which forecasts global vehicle and power train production.
“They’re one of several other electric manufacturing startups entering a tough market. They have to come with something better to the game, not just an also-ran.”
Other analysts say GreenTech exposes problems with the program used to attract foreign investors – known as the EB-5 visa program.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >>
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