The Elio Motors plant has been, and continues to be, a major topic of conversation. There seem to be two topics in particular that dominate public discussion. First, our status at the plant has not changed. We still intend on building the Elio in Caddo Parrish. We not will be using the entirety of the facility which opens opportunities for other companies and suppliers to share the plant. This is happening today with another manufacturer currently utilizing a portion of the plant. We welcome other companies to the plant because it creates jobs in the area. Second, our activity at the plant currently consists of selling excess equipment we will not be using to produce the Elio and fine-tuning the design of the production line. There will be significantly more activity when the time is right which, according to our timeline, will accelerate approximately 6 months prior to the start of production. Today’s Momentum is from the archives and will take a closer look at our production home in Caddo Parish.
Every successful project is driven by a collection of valuable assets. At Elio Motors, we possess several crucial aspects that we believe will allow our mission to be successful. One of our most important assets is our manufacturing plant in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. As a part of taking our supporters along the journey and providing a view behind the scenes, we will give an inside look at our manufacturing and launch plans through a series of Momentums. Today, we will take a look at the location we call Elio Caddo Operations (ECO.)
We are very fortunate to have aboard our Vice President of Manufacturing and Product launch, Gino Raffin. Mr. Raffin is responsible for the launch of the vehicle and the successful startup of the Shreveport plant. Mr. Raffin has an accomplished track record with Chrysler including the launch of The Viper, Chrysler Minivan, and the 300 are just a few of the successes listed on Mr. Raffin’s resume.
Our 1.7 million square foot plant was previously home to General Motors. The plant was built in 1981 and was significantly expanded in 2002. The plant is connected by a Trestle conveyor system and has exceptional rail/truck access. Additionally, it is a modern facility in which full conveyance and transfers are automated. There are two separate buildings, aptly called Building A and Building B.
Building a vehicle can be likened to building a house: it all starts with a strong foundation. As part of a traditional manufacturing environment, we will start with the body shop, then to paint, and finally general assembly.
Let’s take a look at the two different buildings.
Building A- General Assembly
Building A is home to all the “hang on” parts of the vehicle, or put another way, is the trim chassis and powertrain section. This building is structured in a highly-efficient X layout. This allows us to quickly move materials throughout the plant. It is especially efficient for the movement of inbound parts from our supplier partners, minimizing the ground to cover from receipt to workstation, and allowing for a just in time delivery process.
Building B- Paint/Body Building
Ironically, this is where the vehicle’s construction begins. The primary functions of Building B include the body, frame, body panels and paint processes.
Activity at the plant to date has involved several different teams making visits to verify equipment, the condition of the equipment, verifying blueprints and layout, and to sell excess equipment we will not be using. Activity to date has been quiet but will pick up aggressively as we near the start of production.
The ultimate mission of ECO is to ensure the safety of our team, to ensure that we are building a quality product and that our plant remains a world-class manufacturing facility.