Aiken still in the running for auto plant

Two states have been thrown out of the running for a new auto manufacturing plant.

 

That leaves Aiken alive, although it is not the only site in South Carolina that’s caught the attention of Carbon Motors.

The Atlanta-based company that wants to make police cars said today that it narrowed its search to South Carolina, Georgia and Indiana – three states, but five cities. North Carolina and Michigan didn’t make the cut.

Carbon Motors is still saying July 31 is the target date for the final decision.

The niche automaker was in Aiken County in May to look over property in Graniteville.

Most police cars are modified sedans from the major manufacturers. This company wants to make a car that is designed from the ground up to be just a police car.

The vehicle will have radiation-, chemical- and biological-threat detection, bulletproof door panels, an automatic license-plate-recognition system, vehicle life of 250,000 miles and fuel efficiency 40 percent better than police cruisers. The company unveiled its E7 police cruiser at a national convention of police chiefs in San Diego in November.

The plant itself will have more than 500 jobs and represent $100 million in investment.

When Carbon Motors calculates the entirety of its job creation, the plant will directly and indirectly create 10,000 jobs nationally, a heafty ripple effect.

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