HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) — A British firm looking to build electric hybrid delivery vans in Hazelwood — possibly at the old Ford Plant — says it’s not worried about another recession.
Emerald Automotive CEO Andy Tempest says he is still planning to begin production in 2014 of the low-emission, diesel/electric delivery vans. The project could eventually employ two-thousand people, after production gets up and running, Tempest said.
“At ten-thousand vehicles we’ll employ nearly 600 people,” Tempest said, “And if the market demands more than that, then we can go up in modules of ten-thousand vehicles and 600 people.”
When asked if he plans to employ United Auto Workers, Tempest would only say “we are very open.”
“We’re looking to get the best skilled workers and pay the appropriate wages for them,” Tempest said.
Tempest says financing is “progressing very well” and negotiations are continuing for three possible sites.
“They’re all in Hazelwood. They’re all ideal. Two of them are more new-build, and one’s an existing build.” He declined to identify the sites other than the Ford plant.
A demonstration model of the delivery van remains “under production.” Tempest says he expects strong demand from the Royal Mail in Britain and eventually from the U-S Postal Service. Gasoline in Europe is near $10 a gallon, making the fuel-efficient hybrid attractive.
Emerald Automotive also announced plans today to hire some advance workers.
Here’s the transcript of the press release the company sent out this morning:
After months of planning and behind-the-scenes work on financing and infrastructure development, Emerald Automotive today launched its new company website at www.emeraldautomotive.com. The website offers the first detailed look at its lightweight, electric-hybrid commercial fleet vehicle, the t-001, as well as lists the first open positions with the company.
“After months of secrecy about the t-001, we are delighted to launch a comprehensive website that details all of the product attributes, technical details, the team, and, most importantly, the first job opportunities,” said Andy Tempest, CEO of Emerald Automotive. “This is just the beginning of the very exciting journey we have started. Through the site, we will be able to keep everyone updated on our progress, post all current job vacancies and allow online applications.”
Highlights of the new site include a Careers section, which currently has listed the 11 open positions for Emerald’s liaison office in Hazelwood; the News section, which will provide regular updates and new information; and the company’s address for its liaison office – 420 Brookes Dr. in Hazelwood. “We selected this location because it is perfect place to start our planning and recruitment. It is an exquisitely restored property with real charm and character, which make for a great working environment. The easy access from the airport along N. Lindbergh Blvd. plus the central location in Hazelwood make it easily accessible for any of our visitors,” said Tempest. The location for Emerald’s permanent assembly and office facility in Hazelwood will be announced early in 2012 when final selection of three sites is complete.
“We are so excited that things with Emerald Automotive are really starting to take shape. The City of Hazelwood is absolutely delighted to play a part in bringing this company and sustainable jobs to town,” said Mayor Matthew Robinson, City of Hazelwood. “Residents and potential employees can now check out Emerald for themselves online.”
Core features of the website include:
· Home – Five key reasons for fleet users to select the t-001 as their fleet vehicle of choice.
· Product – Key features and information on emissions savings – including an interactive 3-D view – as well as details on the vehicle specifications, dimensions and features.
· Technical – A unique look at the vehicle layout with an interactive graphic. Also lists detailed information on the Advanced Hybrid Drive Train and data on the vehicle’s performance, range and safety.
· About Us – Profiles of the Executive and Development teams, including CEO Andy Tempest, CFO Rian Urding, Operations Director Jim Hadden and General Counsel Sharon Heaton. Also, information on the Technical and Commercial partners, including the City of Hazelwood, MTC and RCGA.
· News – Current list of key company milestones. Will feature information and updates on new developments, as available.
· Careers – Easily the most anticipated section of the site, current list of job descriptions for the 11 open positions. Applicants can submit resumes and applications online through this page, or send written applications to the Hazelwood office. While recruiting for manufacturing positions won’t begin sometime in 2012, which information, once available, will be posted here.
About Emerald Automotive
Emerald Automotive Holdings, Inc., based in Hazelwood, Mo., was formed through the partnership of Intelligent Energy (IE) and AGT Strategic Consultants, with the purpose of overseeing the development and production of the t-001 in North America. Emerald’s management team has a wealth of experience bringing low-volume, niche vehicles to market.