Mobility Ventures LLC Picks Up MV-1 Production After Initial Manufacturing Stall
The Vehicle Production Group MV-1 was among the biggest feel-good stories in the auto industry over the past few years. Carrying a face only a mother could love, the VPG MV-1 was still a marvelous idea in that instead of being a rickety converted minivan, it was a purpose-built vehicle to help disabled passengers get around in comfort. Alas, it appeared as though it was not to be. Despite selling every vehicle the company could make, it folded. Said former CEO John Walsh when the company folded to USA Today, "I hung in there as long as I could. I saw the handwriting on the wall months ago. We just couldn't get the capital to keep it going." But the company is back. Purchased in September by AM General--the maker of the Humvee--the now-South Bend, Indiana-based automaker has changed its name to Mobility Ventures LLC and is slated to go back into production within mere weeks. Walsh recently rejoined the reformed company and is now the president of sales and marketing for it. And AM General, which produced the MV-1 under contract for VPG, has purchased all of the government loans that helped jumpstart the automaker in the first place. VPG earned its funding through the same green vehicle program that spurred Tesla and Fisker, owing to the fact that its Ford-sourced 4.6-liter V-8 could run on compressed natural gas. Before the shutdown, VPG had talked about expanding to use Ford's naturally aspirated and turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines, focusing on efficiency and overall refinement. Now with an imminent production restart, it will be interesting to see what all Mobility Ventures does with the MV-1 as part of the empire that is AM General. Sources: Mobility Ventures, USA Today
Volkswagen plans to start rolling out new modes with an updated design language.