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WVPE News

Mishawaka electric vehicle manufacturer ELMS to file for bankruptcy, ending local production plans

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Electric Last Mile Solutions

Local electric vehicle manufacturer Electric Last Mile Solutions plans to file for bankruptcy, meaning hundreds of planned manufacturing jobs at its Mishawaka plant are unlikely to materialize.

ELMS wanted to build a series of small electric utility vans with a range of 150 miles — think what your cable technician or plumber might use.

Last summer, the company purchased the old AM General Hummer plant from Chinese-owned SF Motors, which had been re-tooling it for EV production before pulling out in 2019, and the first vehicles rolled off the line in September.

The long term plan was hundreds of new manufacturing jobs, but ELMS announced Monday that it plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means its assets will likely be sold off to pay back creditors and investors.

The company first ran into trouble in February when its two co-founders — CEO James Taylor and chairman Jason Luo — unexpectedly resigned and an internal investigation determined they, along with some other executives, inappropriately purchased discounted shares in the company before it went public.

Because of that, the company’s past financial statements were declared inaccurate and had to be re-issued. The board subsequently named Shauna McIntyre Interim CEO, but Taylor and Luo remained as consultants.

Despite the leadership change, ELMS said in a Monday news release that those events and a pending SEC investigation made it “extremely challenging to secure a new auditor and attract additional funding,” and so the decision was made to file for bankruptcy.

ELMS was set to receive millions in state tax credits — up to $10 million from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and an additional $2.8 million from the IEDC’s Hoosier Investment Council — but didn't actually get them as the credits were tied to its job creation plans.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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