Elio Update: It Does Not Look Good

elio e1c

If you use the search box at the top right of our website, you’ll see we’ve been covering Elio Motors for over two years.  It has been up and down for the three-wheeled car company, but news of late calls into question whether this company will ever get off the ground.

The Arizona-based startup – which still continues to tout its three-wheeler at auto shows around the nation – is reportedly burning through cash, fast. It’s not the first sign of financial troubles, however. Elio’s already had to delay production several times and most recently asked potential owners to plunk down deposits in order to raise funds.

The situation though appears to be more dire than anyone thought. A United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals Elio Motors had just $101,317 in cash on September 30, 2016.  The same document declares recurring net losses caused an accumulated deficit of over $123 million. The company explained it’s uncertain about what the future holds.  This is particularly bad news if you are one of the people who plunked down $1000 deposit on one.

“If we are unable to continue to obtain financing to meet our working capital requirements, we may have to curtail our business sharply or cease operations altogether,” wrote Elio Motors in the SEC filing. More recent information about the company’s finances hasn’t been released to the public. 

Elio Motors made headlines when it purchased a former General Motors factory in Shreveport, Louisiana. GM closed it in 2012. Elio promised to create 1,500 jobs by building its three-wheeler there, but so far, that hasn’t happened. It’s also been widely speculated that the city of Shreveport helped Elio out by heavily subsidizing the move.

Displayed at auto shows around the nation, Elio Motors’ first car was touted to be a fuel-efficient, three-wheeled two-seater named P5. It has a narrow, highly aerodynamic body, and two front wheels that are completely enclosed to reduce drag. A 0.9-liter, three-cylinder engine developed specifically for the P5 was supposed to deliver up to 84-miles per gallon.

We saw the Elio for ourselves at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall. It’s also where Elio announced plans to launch the P5 by the end of 2017 with a base price of approximately $6,800.

To date, the company has taken 64,000 refundable and nonrefundable reservations, according to its website. Despite its precarious financial situation, it’s still taking reservations.


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