Experienced executive brings global automotive experience, track record of automaker and supplier successes, strong personal/product ‘values’ to startup
PHOENIX, April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Elio Motors, Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO), has named Jeffrey W. Johnston as vice president of Engineering for its three-wheeled vehicle that will have a targeted base price of $6,800 and estimated to achieve up to 84 miles per gallon. The announcement was made by Paul Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors.
Johnston, 54, will be responsible for all engineering of the full Elio vehicle, validation, safety, program management and vehicle launch. He will report directly to Paul Elio.
“Jeff Johnston’s personal values of high product quality, exceptional value and on-time delivery perfectly align with those of Elio Motors, making him a natural choice as our vice president of Engineering,” said Elio. “His industry experience and successes with other automakers and top suppliers in the areas of product development and engineering has raised him to rock star status and has prepared him well to help make the Elio an affordable vehicle of enviable quality that’s fun to drive.”
Johnston has more than 30 years of experience working for Top 10 automakers and suppliers in the international automotive arena. During his career, he has held a number of key leadership positions in Engineering, Interior Launch, Purchasing, Sales, and Program Management. His strong technical abilities and natural talent for managing people has proven immeasurable to the success of his employers.
While attending Lawrence Technological University full time, Johnston began his professional career working full time with General Motors, first as a technician, and later as an engineer, a role which continued post-graduation. Following General Motors, he accepted an engineering position with TRW Automotive to work with occupant restraints, where he played a leading role in the early stages of airbag system development for the automotive industry.
After TRW, Johnston worked for Morton ASP (now Autoliv), where his valuable experience and skills in occupant restraints and airbags hit full stride, just as the U.S. began phasing in a mandate that all vehicles be airbag-equipped.
Following Autoliv and prior to Elio Motors, Johnston was with Takata Corporation, a global supplier of occupant restraints, including seat belt systems and airbag systems. While there in an engineering sales capacity, he helped the company achieve market share of 20 percent.
Johnston began his education in automotive technology by attending the Motech Automotive Education Center, a vocational school that was a subsidiary of the Chrysler Corporation, while working in a variety of prototype and job shops. He later received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He resides in Shelby Township, Mich., with his wife and children.
About Elio Motors
Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2009, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing an ultra-high-mileage vehicle. The three-wheeled Elio is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg, while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock and air conditioning, accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio’s first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, Louisiana.
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