Emerald Automotive Issues a State-of-the-Company Report
After selecting Hazelwood last July as the site of its assembly and office facilities for hybrid electric vans, Emerald Automotive announced Tuesday several progress updates as it continues to work toward rolling out the first production of its models.
It appears the City of Hazelwood may be getting closer to housing another automotive manufacturing plant as Emerald Automotive progresses in its plan to build a $175 million plant in Hazelwood to make hybrid delivery vans. Tuesday, the company released a state-of-the-company report as to what its plans for 2012 include, as well as testing currently in the works on two prototypes of its t-001 vehicles in the United Kingdom.
“2012 will be a pivotal year for Emerald Automotive as we build toward production in 2014,” said Andy Tempest, CEO of Emerald Automotive in the statement. “Our team has completed the first two t-001 demonstrator vehicles, which are now undergoing full testing at a world renowned vehicle test center and proving ground.
"Furthermore, we are adding strong talent to our executive and development teams to deliver against our business plan.”
In 2011, the Emerald team checked one big task of its to-do list. It settled into its US headquarters by announcing the Knobbe House as its office. which will support the company's initial employees. According to the statement, the team has been evaluating several locations in Hazelwood for the company’s permanent assembly and office facility. The final location will be announced in 2012 when full selection is complete.
After the company launched its website last October, more than 1,000 individuals submitted online applications for the initial sales, engineering, operations and administrative positions. Hiring of the initial line workers to be on payroll has not begun yet, but the company said to continue to check the website for the job listings.
Emerald plans to have the first vans off the line by 2014. It's not until 2013 when Emerald executives plan begin to really hire and to have line workers in place. At that time about 300 position will be filled. By 2014, that there should be close to 600 employees in place, according to the company.
Emerald hired the first local employees before the end of 2011, including a sales and communication director, management accountant and business administrator.
The company also said it "is delighted to announce" Gary Marble as the sales and communication director. Marble is the former district director and deputy chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo. Prior to that, he served as president of Associated Industries of Missouri.
So how will the company build this $175 million plant?
Emerald Automotive said it is in "advanced discussions" with several equity groups and has a number of loan applications in progress, one of which is through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Program.
"The executive team is very confident about its financing plans and further announcements will be made, in due course," the company said in the statement.
Emerald Automotive signed a $5 million incentive package with Hazelwood City Council at a special meeting last July, making it possible for the company to build a plant and manufacture the vans.
The City of Hazelwood is planning to loan the company $3 million, to be paid back with interest in 10 years or less. Another $2 million is coming from the Missouri Technology Corp. The United Kingdom also provided a $5 million grant to help Emerald globalize its technology.