Elio Motors, the ambitious company that claimed it would revolutionize transportation with its weird but super-cheap three-wheel car, is pushing back its production start date again. Some people say Elio Motors is like a giant Ponzi scheme, which might be a little extreme. But at this point nobody who’s being honest can say they’re shocked that the company is delaying production again.
Supposedly, people are lining up to get their hands on this 84-mpg vehicle. Elio Motors has claimed 55,000 reservations for it. Plenty of mainstream media outlets have showered the company with praise, and yet so far it seems Elio has produced… vaporware.
So hold your breath, because this time for real, guys, Elio Motors will fire up production in 2018.
Oh, but there’s a one big hang-up. As local news station KTBS in Louisiana, where Elio’s factory is located, pointed out, the company’s in a financial bind. It’s all spelled out in a filing with the SEC: Elio has generated not a red cent in net income since 2009, has paid nothing to shareholders, and so far has only produced five prototypes (they’ve been on Fox News and CNBC!).
When the report was filed last September, Elio had a whopping $101,317 in cash reserves. At the beginning of last year, it had almost $7 million. Also interesting, the $25.9 million it’s generated from non-refundable customer deposits are being used to “fund operations.” What operations is a good question.
If you invested in an Elio, you might want to make other plans.