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Today, another new American car company, V-Vehicle Company (VVC), headquartered in San Diego, announced that it has selected Monroe, Louisiana to be the sight of its new manufacturing location.  VVC said that its initial product will be “a high quality, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market. The goal of the company is to provide the American car buyer greater product value and a superior automotive experience.”

The project will create over 1,400 direct jobs at an average annual salary of nearly $40,000, plus benefits, as well as a capital investment of at least $248 million.

The project is funded by Silicon Valley venture capital firm KPCB (which has also made significant investments in Fisker Automotive, Th!nk and Segway) and T. Boone Pickens, author and chief promoter of a plan to turn most of the midwest into a giant wind farm.  Ray Lane, KPCB partner, said, “The thing that excites me the most about V-Vehicle Company is that it is a holistic change.  We’re thinking about, from beginning to end, how to reconstruct a car company. The V-Vehicle Company has the opportunity to change the automotive business in the United States.”

While no photos were released of the vehicle, the lead designer is Tom Matano, formerly of Mazda, so it is likely to be a good-looking car.

Matano, whose Mazda Miata design was recently recognized by BusinessWeek as the most iconic car of the last 25 years said that “this car will be another icon of American industry. Miata was recognized as the iconic car of the last 25 years; this will be the iconic car of the next 25. Not many designers have the opportunity to work on such a project, so I’m really excited that I have an opportunity to do another one.”

VVC will assemble the cars at the former Guide Corp. plant in Ouachita Parish, which has been closed for years. The 425,000-square-foot plant currently occupies 189 acres of land; this project will increase the size of the facility to approximately 750,000 square feet.

Is the influx of new car companies recently related to the troubles plaguing the incumbent US car companies, or is this timing coincidental?  It takes years to design, develop and produce a new vehicle for sale, and you can add a LOT more time if the company is a start-up.  VVC plans to begin manufacturing next year, so this has been in the works for some time.  Of course, we’ve only seen the drawings below of the proposed vehicle, so the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.  Or the transmission.  Whichever.


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