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Jambe, thanks for posting this very informative summaryFifth, but some things we did learn. One, that Paul agreed to step aside when another company contacted LED with their desire to acquire the plant. An approximate 4 month option was granted, which Paul agreed to. That gave the company time to decide whether they wanted to move from Houston to Shreveport. Paul Elio, LED, Racer Trust, IRG or anyone else stopped the company from moving into Shreveport. Contrary, Paul Elio, at considerable damage to his company, agreed to step aside. That is a fact, even though Rep Glover seemed to think that wasn't the case. I khope he understands now. The company decided it wasn't in their best interest. The company didn't say they didn't have enough time to make the decision(like Rep Glover suggested might be the case), They said it didn't make economic sense to them. They could have easily asked for an extension (and I'm sure LED would have granted) but they didn't. So, the final paperwork was completed and all parties finalized the agreements. Elio Motors will be manufacturing in Shreveport. Period. IRG will be own and manage the facility.
Sixth. Someone on the committee (could have been Rep Glover) suggested that the state should have come up with 5 million and Caddo Parish the rest, to buy back the facility.. and I assume manage it themselves. The facility costs IRG 200,000 per month to manage..insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. If the LA decided to do that, the cost would probably balloon to 500,000 per month since IRG are experts in running these operations, not the government. And, other than Elio, no one else has viable interest in the plant.
Seventh. We know for certain that Elio Motors is the ONLY company that has committed to manufacture in Shreveport..until recently..when an Elio's seat supplier committed to investing and building seats for the Elio there, in direct support of Elio. None of the previous "enquiries" followed through and most didn't even both to call back and say why.
Eighth. I don't have inside knowledge to comment on the "take Elio or leave it" suggestion that a few politicians claim was said. I never was present when they claimed this happened. I base my opinion in my conversations with RACER, that RACER Trust didn't have ANYONE else viable who was interested in the plant. Racer has seen many plants, especially MI scrapped for lack of interest. They didn't want that to happen to Shreveport. That's a fact. It's a fact that Racer Trust contacted LED to tell them about Elio and helped arrange a meeting with LED about Elio acquiring the plant. Fact is Racer Trust has done everything to try to move that plant into production(and Elio only has a 1/3rd of the plant. 2/3rds still available) but I assume there would be a limit as to how long Racer can manage a facility (costing 200K per month) before the decision to scrap has to be been made. That's part of the reason for the sale to IRG. IRG has purchased, successfully contracted with new tenants, job producers in at least 3 other Racer Trust properties. Shreveport is darned awful lucky to have IRG managing that facility. We only have to look at headlines of Ford moving to Mexico.. manufacturers manufacturing in China etc.. to see the difficulty in finding tenants for any facility, including Shreveport. We only have to look at Michigan to see the destruction of plants because of lack of demand..and continuous deterioration of these facilities.
In regards to the supposed threat of scrapping, we had one Caddo Commissioner (Mathew Linn)testify that he voted for the agreements because he wanted the jobs..but he did so under duress.. he "wanted to see the contract" but "they wouldn't let me see it" "I wanted the jobs so I voted yes" Well, I have heard a lot of explanations about voting records over my time, but that was a good one. Commissioner, you should have voted no if you didn't know what the contract was. If you felt you needed more information, and they wouldn't provide it to your satisfaction, you could have abstained and given the reason why. That's how you handle voting. Let your Yea be Yea, your Nay be Nay, and if you want to weasel a little, just abstain. Nobody would have faulted you for that.
In summary(finally) At one time, I was Shreveport's worst enemy. I wanted our manufacturing to be in Michigan. Michigan lost 315,000 manufacturing jobs in 8 years. I was with Paul at the Pontiac meeting. They loved Elio.. everything about it until we asked them to invest 5 million from their pension funds. (Yes it was 5 million, not 200 million which Rep Glover mentioned.) Instead, Pontiac plant was sold to a scrapper. Willow run was toured as well. No equipment in the plant ..the equipment was sold or scrapped..just basically a warehouse. Wixom..that huge plant ..destroyed. I think they left enough of the facility for a Menard's warehouse.
Agreed; it was enough to bring the trolls out to sniff the mood and start feeding on it.I have been doing some digging. I have been given substantial grounds for optimism. I don't have any detail to add to that, except to say that EM really doesn't want to run afoul of the SEC, and fear of that has kept them from letting us know some things we'd certainly like to hear about. But, I am assured, things are cooking along. I can't say more because I was asked not to, and because I really don't know a great deal more.
I'm only saying this much because the tone around here -- including mine -- has been pretty low for a while. Keep the faith.