Archive for the ‘GreenTech’ Category

GreenTech’s Tunica facility construction hits Phase 2

July 17th, 2013 No comments

Construction of GreenTech Automotive’s facility in Tunica has entered Phase 2.

That encompasses the main building phase, a company press release said Wednesday.

“After more than a year of planning, testing and site preparation, we are excited for GreenTech’s permanent home to start taking shape in Phase 2,” said Charles Wang, Greechairman and CEO of GTA. “The new facility is being designed for a production capacity of 30,000 vehicles per year. We are looking forward to completing the new facility early next year and continuing to create new jobs in northern Mississippi.”

Phase 2 will include the construction of GTA’s manufacturing facility, offices and meeting space, and will run through the end of this year. Production is scheduled to start by April 2014. GTA currently operates a pilot manufacturing facility in Horn Lake, where it builds MyCar, a two-seat Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, and GTA’s new five-seat, All-Electric Sedan. Production at the Horn Lake plant started last summer.

GreenTech has until the end of 2014 to create a minimum of 350 jobs at its Tunica facility, per the terms of a $3 million loan the Mississippi Development Authority made the company in 2011.

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GreenTech adding new model to Horn Lake production

April 22nd, 2013 No comments

GreenTech Automotive announced Monday at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition that it will build a five-passenger electric sedan in Horn Lake.

GreenTech already builds the MyCar, a small electric vehicle, at its facility in Horn Lake’s old Dover Elevator building. Production started last summer.

The company said in Monday’s press release that the sedan will feature a 19kwh battery with a range of more than 100 miles on a single 6-8 hour charge. Assembly of the vehicle will start late this year, and will be distributed in North America. GreenTech is partnering with JAC, a Chinese automotive manufacturer, to build the vehicle.

“JAC is recognized worldwide for the caliber and quality of its manufacturing. GTA’s innovative electric powertrain is a perfect fit for JAC’s EV platform, which has won numerous national awards in China,” Charles Wang, GreenTech chairman and CEO, said in a release. “Our meetings clearly revealed that there was good synergy between the JAC platforms and our technology and both companies immediately understood that a strategic partnership is in each company’s best interest.”

After a pilot assembly of 2,000 vehicles, GreenTech plans to build the new vehicle at an additional facility somewhere in the U.S.

GreeenTech, in 2011, borrowed $3 million from the Mississippi Development Authority for site work on the company’s facility. The terms of the loan call for the company to create a minimum of 350 job by Dec. 31, 2014. Loan payments will begin after production starts, an MDA spokesperson told the Mississippi Business Journal last week.

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Want MyCar video? You’re in luck

June 5th, 2012 No comments

If you’ve read this week’s issue of the Mississippi Business Journal, you probably saw on the cover the news that GreenTech Automotive will launch the MyCar July 6 in Horn Lake.

It’s the first tangible product GreenTech will have since the company’s arrival in Mississippi a couple years ago. (Plans for the Tunica facility include starting production there late next year. The company isn’t saying what the facility will produce.)

The MyCar isn’t street legal in the U.S., meaning you couldn’t, for instance, commute from Fondren to Downtown Jackson in it. You could, however, go from one neighborhood house to another. That’s a big reason why a lot of the MyCars will be sold overseas initially, where they are more common and less frowned upon legally.

Included with the story is a photo of the MyCar. For a better understanding of its size, look and capability, click here. It’s a video from an event in Bornholm, Denmark, in 2010 that features a lot of talking by GTA chairman Terry McAuliffe — who political folks will recognize as former head of the Democratic National Committee — but does offer some pretty good footage of the MyCar.

GTA plans to hold some kind of ceremony July 6, when it launches the MyCar in Horn Lake. It most likely won’t be as audacious as Toyota’s kickoff last November. Nevertheless, the MBJ plans on being there.

Categories: GreenTech, Horn Lake, Terry McAuliffe, Tunica Tags:

MDA, GreenTech finalizing incentive package

August 14th, 2011 No comments

A Q&A with GreenTech president Terry McAuliffe that appeared in early August on the Washington Post‘s website has a lot of the same information the Mississippi Business Journal has reported since the first part of this year.

In it, McAuliffe says the production of the company’s MyCar neighborhood electric vehicle will start in Horn Lake late this year, with the first production run scheduled for sale in Denmark. The Tunica facility, where GTA hopes to build its midsize sedan and sport electric hybrid cars, is under construction. The company will also produce parts in the U.S. for a Chinese automaker.  McAuliffe’s claims back up what GreenTech CEO Charles Wang said in an emailed statement to the MBJ earlier this summer. Neither man put a timetable on production starting in Tunica. Site work there started a few months ago.

What’s new, though, is McAulife’s mention of an incentive package the company and the state are putting together. Since the groundbreaking ceremony for the Tunica facility nearly two years ago, the Mississippi Development Authority has waited for the company to raise private capital – at least some of it through the EB-5 Investment Visa, which grants permanent residency to foreign investors who pump at least $1 million into an economic development project, or at least $500,000 into one in an economically depressed area.

That is no longer the case. MDA spokesperson Melissa Medley said last week that the economic development agency and GreenTech are applying the final touches to an incentive package, and hoped to have it finalized and a memorandum of understanding signed in the next few weeks. Medley did not release details of the arrangement.

“They’ve met all the requirements we’ve set for them so far,” she said, without elaborating.

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MDA, GreenTech finalizing incentive package

August 9th, 2011 No comments

A Q&A with GreenTech president Terry McAuliffe that appeared over the weekend on the Washington Post‘s website has a lot of the same information that Magnolia Marketplace has reported since January.

The production of the company’s MyCar neighborhood electric vehicle will start in Horn Lake late this year, and the Tunica facility, where GTA hopes to build its midsize sedan and sport electric hybrid cars, is under construction. We’ve known that for a while now.

What stood out, though, is McAullife’s mention of an incentive package the company and the state are putting together. It’s notable because since the groundbreaking ceremony in Tunica nearly two years ago, the Mississippi Development Authority has sat back and waited for GreenTech to raise private capital.

That is no longer the case. MDA spokesperson Melissa Medley said Tuesday afternoon that the economic development agency and GreenTech are indeed applying the final touches to an incentive package, and hoped to have it finalized and a memorandum of understanding signed in the next few weeks. She did not release details, but it’s common sense to think that the numbers won’t be very big. Maybe they will. We’ll just have to wait and see.

To read the full Q&A with McAuliffe, click here.

Wang: GreenTech on track for production this year

July 20th, 2011 No comments

In a couple months, it will have been two years since GreenTech Automotive CEO Charles Wang showed up in Tunica and announced his plans to manufacture electric hybrid sedans and sports cars there.

Since then, GreenTech has acquired a company that built the MyCar, a neighborhood electric vehicle, and said it would build that in Horn Lake in the old Dover Elevator building, hopefully by the end of the third quarter.

We recounted all of that in a story in this week’s Mississippi Business Journal. What didn’t make the story is any comment from GreenTech, due to us not having received a response from a company spokesperson before we sent the paper to the press.

Tuesday afternoon, we got a reponse to a list of questions we submitted. Among the questions were if the MyCar production was still scheduled to start this year, if construction had started on the Tunica facility, what sort of timetable GTA had for starting production in Tunica, and for an update on the raising of private capital via the EB-5 Visa investment program. Through the EB-5 program, foreigners can acquire permanent residency status by investing a minimum of $1 million into an economic development project in the U.S., or $500,000 in a project in an economically depresseed area.

Tunica would qualify as an economically depressed area, so we’ve been operating under the assumption that EB-5 money related to its GreenTech facility would have to meet the $500,000 minimum. We’ve been unable to confirm that, though, because GreenTech has been short on details in the rare public comments it makes.

The same was true of its latest offering.

“We are making progresses in accordance with our business plan and we will have our SOP (start of production) this year,” read an emailed statement attributed to Wang. “We have already begun construction in Tunica.”

So it sounds like the MyCar will start rolling off the lines in Horn Lake sometime this year; whether it’s by the end of the third quarter is still unclear. And Tunica? Construction has apparently started on the facility, but when production will start is a secret only GreenTech knows, and it’s not telling.

GreenTech news leads off the week

May 24th, 2010 2 comments

Since Charles Wang announced plans last fall to build a hybrid vehicle manufacturing facility in Tunica County, not much has happened, and even less has been heard.

The state’s economic development officials, from the county level all the way up to Gov. Haley Barbour, repeat variations of a theme whenever they’re asked about GreenTech, Wang’s company: The state is waiting for the company to raise capital. Until then, there’s just not much to talk about.

Well, now there is something to talk about, and I’m going to be taking a look at it for a story in next week’s MBJ.

GreenTech has acquired EuAuto, a Hong-Kong based company that designs and builds what are called “NEVs,” or neighborhood electric vehicles. Check out the small story we had about it on our website here.

In a statement, GreenTech Chairman Terry McAuliffe, former head of the Democratic National Committee and failed candidate for governor of Virginia, mentions Mississippi — but not Tunica specifically — as one of GreenTech’s target areas for green job creation. But McAuliffe doesn’t provide any insight into how this acquisition will affect the plans for Tunica. He also doesn’t explain what exactly a NEV, which sounds an awful lot like a golf cart, is. We’ll try to find out answers to those questions and more.

Familiar name among GreenTech leadership

April 22nd, 2010 No comments

In this week’s edition of the MBJ, we took a look at the latest with GreenTech Automotive, the hybrid vehicle company that supposedly wants to build a $1 billion manufacturing facility in Tunica.

Long story short, not much has happened in the six months since Charles Wang, GreenTech’s founder and CEO, held a bizarre groundbreaking that wasn’t really a groundbreaking. The party line from the Mississippi Development Authority and Gov. Haley Barbour then was the state would sit back and wait for GreenTech to raise capital. That’s still the same.

What is new, however, and didn’t really fit into the print story, was an addition to GreenTech’s leadership team.

Terry McAuliffe, whose time as head of the Democratic National Committee was marked by record fundraising, has taken over role of chairman for the company. Since at least a portion of the capital needed to get the project moving will come from the EB-5 investment program, which offers Visas to foreigners who invest a minimum of $500,000 in U.S. economic development projects, GreenTech will need someone who can separate investors from their money. McAuliffe has shown remarkable skill at just that.

When he chaired the DNC from 2001-2005, McAuliffe led an effort that pulled in over half a billion dollars and hauled the DNC out of debt for the first time in its history. He went on to manage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008 and made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Virginia last year.

Barbour, who will tell anybody willing to listen that his first priority is job creation, clearly  has to be intrigued by GreenTech, though he won’t say anything beyond the standard wait-and-see response he’s given since last fall. Barbour sees the energy sector as one that holds a lot of promise for Mississippi.

So it’s interesting that one of Barbour’s long-time political adversaries is playing a major part in what would be a major energy project for the state.

“Terry’s an old friend of mine,” Barbour said recently when we asked him about McAuliffe’s affiliation. “Our politics are different, but I’m grateful he’s involved. I hope they’ll be able to put together their financing.”

GreenTech has been surrounded by a pile of skepticism (and rightfully so) since news of the company broke last fall. A lot of smart automotive folks think the project is a pipe dream; honestly, it probably is. But McAuliffe has a solid fundraising track record. Still, he needs to pull a lot of money-covered rabbits out of a lot of hats.

Barbour confirms special session for next week

October 21st, 2009 15 comments

Gov. Haley Barbour confirmed at the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob this morning that he will call lawmakers to Jackson for a special session late next week to deal with an economic development project in the Delta. The project, Barbour said, is a $300 million advanced manufacturing deal that will crete 500 jobs. He didn’t offer any other details.

Obviously, the first thing that leaped to Magnolia Marketplace’s mind was GreenTech, the Chinese start-up that wants to build hybrid cars in Tunica. The job count or the cost Barbour announced doesn’t match, though. GreenTech’s first phase will cost $1 billion, according to the company, and create 1,500 jobs.

Speculation after Barbour’s announcement centered around some sort of steel manufacturing facility. Really, without somebody coming out and saying it, it will be hard to tell exactly what Barbour has up his sleeve. But Magnolia Marketplace is sure going to try to find out.

Updated at 1:02 p.m. : Just wrapped up a conversation with a source who requested anonymity, and who said that all signs point toward an automotive-related project in Tunica, but not GreenTech. Rather, the source said, an auto parts manufacturer is planning to set up shop. There were no details available as to the name of the company or if it was affiliated with either of the state’s current automotive manufacturers, Nissan or Toyota.

Special session on the way?

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Magnolia Marketplace has had a hard time getting anybody in state government to acknowledge the existence of GreenTech Automotive, the hybrid car manufacturer that has plans to build a facility in Tunica. Getting a comment on the record, to this point, has been impossible.

That trend continued this afternoon. There have been whispers the past few days that there was a special session in the works whose call would include GreenTech. Dan Turner, spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour, said he had heard of some “discussions” regarding a special session but would not confirm or deny whether the agenda, which Barbour would control, would include GreenTech. For that matter, Turner did not confirm or deny there would even be a special session.

“There’s just not much I can tell you,” he said.

So that’s where we are. Magnolia Marketplace will be at the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual Hobnob tomorrow. Barbour is scheduled to speak. We’ll ask him about it then.