Elio Motors’ scam worries rise after recent woes

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Elio Motors, the upstart three-wheel vehicle manufacturer, continues to attract potential buyers willing to place a deposit for an economic and performance wonderment that hasn’t been built.

In September, according to the company’s website, more than 34,000 people have pre-ordered the vehicle with a variety monetary commitments, $100 to $1,000, to purchase the proposed $6,800 vehicle. Three months ago, the deposit list total was 28,000.

Paul Elio, the company CEO, believes Elio Motors is getting closer the financial goal to make good on his proposed hiring of a production staff of around 1,500 to assist in the car’s manufacture starting next year.

Elio Motors months ago purchased a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, where it’s planning to assemble the car that boast gas mileage of 84 mpg in highway driving and 49 mpg for city driving.

But there are plenty of detractors who believe the idea is a scam. Two recent occurrences add fodder to the non-believers’ argument.

Overhead views of the Elio Motors concept vehicle.
Overhead view of the Elio Motors’ concept vehicle.

First, the company is reportedly short on funds, and is selling unneeded equipment from the former GM plant in order to raise capital.

Second, a recent scheduled company appearance at the Texas State Fair in Dallas was abruptly canceled. Elio Motors has been promoting its creation across the country, showing off the car in dozens of cities where its largest target markets were located.

Elio has reiterated the company is set to begin hiring in early 2015 with production to start later in the year.

The original manufacturing date has already been delayed once.

Some skeptics of the project have expressed their opinions of the fledgling project.

Commenting on the website www.product-reviews.com, one would-be buyer said:

“I may wind up having a very expensive T- shirt in my closet, but just the thought of a vehicle at half the price of anything today makes me want to believe. Even if it only gets 50mpg and costs $8,000, I’d be happy.

Another potential customer was optimistic.

“I’m all in at $1000.00,” the customer wrote. “In the meantime, my 11-year-old Chevy cavalier will have to do. Cars to me have always been a means to get from point A to point B with as little out of pocket cost as possible. Cheep price, good mileage, as few bells and whistles as possible. That’s what I’m looking for and Paul Elio says he can deliver.”

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5 thoughts on “Elio Motors’ scam worries rise after recent woes”

  1. This Elio review is full of distortions:

    (1) The factory was purchased with literally tons of useless and excessive equipment that was, from the start, announced by Elio that it was going to be sold off or scrapped. This is a necessary process to clear the factory in preparation for a new assembly system and was a consideration in the original price of the factory.

    (2) The company announced that it has set its hiring date about three months ahead of the expected beginning of factory operation to train the new employees for a start date of about the 4th quarter, 2015. This is standard procedure.

    3) The development of the car was not completed by the earlier projected production date. Most cars take three years for conception to production. Elio underestimated the amount of time it takes to design and integrate all the sub-systems. The result of the delay will be a much more sophisticated design that has already gone through valuable prototype consumer exposure and feedback, resulting in design changes to address consumer desires.

    4) Both of the comments you quoted are positive. The first expressed the general opinion of most of those who made a reservation that we are investing in a new concept. Investments have their risks and that is accepted.

    There is no evidence the Elio is a scam. On the contrary, the excellent management team is creating a new model for manufacturing in partnership with suppliers to lower the materials cost. It’s biggest risk is that the target $6,800 price might have been a bit optimistic. The final price to reservation holders was not specified. As of the last Elio company statement, the price was down to $7,300, still a bargain.

  2. First, the company is reportedly short on funds, and is selling unneeded equipment from the former GM plant in order to raise capital.

    -Lets just ignore the 180 million Federal Grant and make it appear as if they *NEED* to sell the unneeded equipment. They bought the factory and everything inside, what would you expect them to do with all the equipment inside that they don’t need or can’t use?

    Second, a recent scheduled company appearance at the Texas State Fair in Dallas was abruptly canceled. Elio Motors has been promoting its creation across the country, showing off the car in dozens of cities where its largest target markets were located.

    – How about getting some facts straight. The appearance wasn’t canceled by Elio, it was canceled by the Texas State Fair. They adjusted rules and regulations at the last minute preventing Elio from being there…

    The original manufacturing date has already been delayed once.

    – Actually, it’s been delayed more than once. But that happens quite often with start ups. The biggest thing to take away is that Paul is not giving up. He is adapting while keeping his original promise. 84 mpg, $6,800. Anyone actually interested will agree to some timeframe leeway as long as those 2 points are met.

    Here is the link to those comments, you know, so people can see where it actually came from, and the information it contains.

    http://www.product-reviews.net/2014/08/21/elio-motors-attempts-to-alleviate-scam-fears/

    And before you ask me to cite sources. You first.

  3. WHO is the ‘author’ of this poorly researched article? First, any well run company would ‘sell off’ excess and un-needed equipment that is not required for their business. Elio Motors has stated that this was their plan since they first acquired the old GM machinery. Second, Elio Motors explained the ‘reason’ for not attending the Texas State Fair on their FaceBook page: “Regrettably, Elio Motors is not participating in the Texas State Fair on Sept. 26-30. Texas has recently modified the permitting process required to display a vehicle in the state. Given Elio Motors did not receive notification of this new requirement until earlier this week, we are not able to secure the required approvals from the state in time to participate. ” A little ‘research’ on the author’s part would have made this entire ‘article’ unnecessary.

  4. I was in early on Elio motors in 2014 and had my doubts two years ago and asked for my money back. I bought a SmartCar for local grocery shopping with 45K miles on it and one owner, it runs fine is reliable and safety proven. It’s 9 FT X less than 5 FT with two doors and a hatch. I paid half the money it have would cost to buy an oversized 13 ft. long by 9 ft. wide monstrosity and only one door. Good luck in case of an accident Elio stock at one time $ 75 per share. Today it’s down to $6.51. I hope they make it, but I have my doubts.

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