T. Boone Pickens Backs New Car Company
6/16/2009 10:00:00 PM
V-Vehicle to build a ‘high-quality, fuel efficient’ car for US Market…
Monroe, Louisiana, June 17, 2009 -- A new auto company using a plant once owned by General Motors and backed by billionaire T. Boone Pickens plans to build "environmentally friendly" vehicles in Louisiana. V-Vehicle Co., headquartered in San Diego, CA, will bring about 1,400 workers to a Monroe plant that once belonged to General Motors, according to a statement today from the Louisiana Economic Development Web site. The workers will be paid an annual salary of $40,000. According to Gov. Bobby Jindal the move will not only reinvigorate the town of Monroe but the entire auto industry as well. "Today, we are here to announce that through quick, aggressive action to pursue a transformative opportunity, we have a chance here in Louisiana to re-energize the entire U.S. auto industry. Indeed, this project also has the potential to transform the entire Monroe area, and this project could be a game changer for the economy of Northeast Louisiana.” The Governor continued, “"The thing that excites me the most about V-Vehicle Company is that it is a holistic change," said Lane. "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." According to VVC Founder and CEO Frank Varasano, "I am delighted to see our vision for a new American car company coming to life here in Monroe…we've designed and engineered this car from start to finish to give the U.S. consumer a quality car with great value made right here in America." 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. State and local officials assembled a customized incentive package to help secure the project. If all performance requirements are met, VVC will receive a state incentive package worth approximately $67 million, which will fund improvements to and expansion of the facility. In addition, Louisiana FastStartTM will provide, at no cost to the company, customized workforce recruitment, screening and training for VVC and its on-site suppliers. Private sector investors include the Silicon Valley venture capital firm KPCB, and T. Boone Pickens, who recently invested in a proposal to reinvent U.S. energy resources by promoting oil alternatives, such as natural gas, wind power and solar energy.