Car Company’s Big Plans Haven’t Materialized


Of GreenTech’s 91 foreign investors, only one has received permanent residency status, according to an internal USCIS document obtained by the AP that outlines background information about the firm; the name of that one investor was not disclosed. Neither USCIS or the companies have said whether the slow pace of reaching production goals has affected the immigration status of its other foreign investors.

Christopher Bentley, spokesman for USCIS, said in an email to the AP that he couldn’t comment on details on the plans by GreenTech and Gulf Coast Funds.

In May, the SEC subpoenaed unspecified documents from GreenTech and banking records from Gulf Coast, according to nearly 100 pages of documents recently released by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

The documents indicate that GreenTech allegedly improperly guaranteed investors returns on their money. GreenTech has acknowledged receiving the subpoenas and said the company is cooperating with investigators.

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general also is investigating allegations that USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas – President Barack Obama’s pick for the No. 2 slot at DHS – used his influence to help Gulf Coast obtain a foreign investor visa for a Chinese executive.

Since the 2009 groundbreaking, GreenTech has changed its business plan. Instead of producing versions of the four prototypes it showcased then, including hybrid cars, it now says its plant, when built, will have the capacity to make 30,000 electric vehicles – a sedan and small electric vehicles known as MyCars – each year.

It now aims to have the first ones rolling off the line in Tunica by next April.

In the meantime, GreenTech has been using space at an old elevator factory in Horn Lake, Miss., where the company says it’s building MyCars, neighborhood electric cars that are a cross between a golf cart and a fullsized vehicle. It’s not clear how many of the MyCars – which are not legal to drive on U.S. highways – have been sold.

GreenTech recently declined an AP request to tour the Horn Lake facility. The company won’t say how many MyCars it has produced or sold, but says it has “international distribution agreements for 30,000 vehicles over the next three years.”

Local officials haven’t lost hope it will all still happen as advertised.

“I still look at this as an ongoing economic development project,” said Lyn Arnold, president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce.

But some residents are ready to see results, like 33-year-old waitress Shaquita Pickett, who says a car plant would be a big boost for the county.

“We really do need one here because we need better jobs,” she said.

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Posted by on Sep 3rd, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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