U.S. specialist automotive manufacturer AM General has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to purchase the DOE’s secured loan to The Vehicle Production Group (VPG). VPG is the Michigan-based company that originally developed and manufactured the MV-1 and MV-1 CNG, the only American-built vehicle specifically designed from the ground up to meet or exceed the needs of wheelchair passengers and the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Previously, AM General acted solely as the vehicle assembler for VPG. Following this transaction, AM General will own and operate the MV-1 business.
The agreement creates a path to revitalize VPG and form a new company called “Mobility Ventures LLC”, which will acquire the assets of VPG. Production, sales and product development of the MV-1 is expected to resume in approximately 45 days.
Assembly of the vehicles will continue to occur at AM General’s world-class, 675,000 square-foot Commercial Assembly Plant in Mishawaka, Ind., which is fully tooled for the MV-1 and ready to resume vehicle assembly. AM General has also begun planning with the more than 100 suppliers of the MV-1 to support the accelerated restart of production and sales. It is anticipated that resumption of MV-1 production and sales will stimulate the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
The MV-1 is the only vehicle in its class available in U.S. with a factory-installed clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel option. With its 290-mile range, the MV-1 CNG version contributes to the efforts to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and substantially reduces light-duty fleet emissions and costs, while at the same time dramatically increasing the quality of life for millions of Americans with physical disabilities.
(Source: AM General)