Automaker eyes area for plant

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A niche automaker is considering land in an Aiken County industrial park to construct a manufacturing facility for its line of police cars.

Executives with Atlanta-based Carbon Motors Corp. will be in Graniteville today to show political, law enforcement and economic development leaders the Carbon E7, a diesel-powered car designed for law enforcement.

The manufacturing campus could cost more than $100 million and create more than 500 jobs, said Fred Humes, the director of the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield counties.

Carbon Motors has five states on its finalists list. South Carolina is the only state with more than one potential site, said company spokesman Stacy Dean Stephens. He confirmed that Graniteville is one. The other is Greenville.

Other areas in the running are Charlotte, N.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Plymouth, Mich.; and Connersville, Ind., the company said. Mr. Stephens said the company will announce its choice within the next three months.

"I think we've got a good site there at Sage Mill," Mr. Humes said. "Having Bridgestone would be a plus for us."

Mr. Humes said the company likes several aspects of the industrial park: It is a certified site, so there are no environmental hurdles, and it has water and sewers.

"I think they like the reputation of our work force," Mr. Humes said. "The training program at the state and Aiken Technical College has also been mentioned as a plus."

He said an incentives package hasn't been discussed.

The company unveiled its E7 police cruiser at a national convention of police chiefs in San Diego in November.

"It's really a homeland security machine, not a cop car," William Li, CEO of Carbon Motors, said in a statement.

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 says. Carbon Motors officials say its operations would create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over the course of a decade.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Officials with Carbon Motors Corp., of Atlanta, will decide among its final list of potential manufacturing sites reportedly by the end of July. Carbon Motors says the economic impact of its industrial campus will be 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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ss30809
44
Points
ss30809 05/21/09 - 12:25 am
0
0
it is about time for new

it is about time for new police car models...I am so sick of the Ford Crown Vic and other stereotypical police car models. And I am kind of excited that they may be manufactured in this area.

dhd1108
1
Points
dhd1108 05/21/09 - 04:23 am
0
0
while I admit it looks pretty

while I admit it looks pretty badass, the distinctive profile will be a whole lot easier for crooks & criminals to I-D

Riverman1
93481
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Riverman1 05/21/09 - 05:25 am
0
0
Are they sure there is a

Are they sure there is a market for these? They have to cost lots more than regular cars. How many local and state governments can afford them?

champagne
0
Points
champagne 05/21/09 - 05:42 am
0
0
Riverman, I wouldn't think in

Riverman, I wouldn't think in this day and time many local and state governments will be able to afford these. We can only hope that by the time this place is open that the economy has picked up.

RU4Real
0
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RU4Real 05/21/09 - 07:42 am
0
0
Their cost target is equal to

Their cost target is equal to the cost of a production model (suchas Crown Vic or Charger) and the upgrades and extras required to make the vehicle patrol ready. However, most production models do not withstand 250,000 miles on duty. Also the benefits of design with purpose in mind makes this concept a great opportunity. There is a market for these cars, but it will still be three to five years before deliveries will be made. Interesting thought to think that their destinct design would make them easier to spot than a existing patrol car. How many times have you slowed down for a Crown Vic, only to realize it was just Granny out for the groceries? Everyone can already spot patrol cars and that is a good thing. Even when they are not patrols but wanna bes.

LWEST
0
Points
LWEST 05/21/09 - 07:49 am
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0
I am hoping, no praying that

I am hoping, no praying that this does not get off the ground. The car does look tough but my thing is that if this thing goes it will put a lot of people out of work , including myself. There are several manufacturers that this will put out of business ( Whelen, Code3, Nova, Federal Signal just to name a few) as well.
These companies are HUGE and it would hurt alot of people.

curly123053
5359
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curly123053 05/21/09 - 07:54 am
0
0
We'll take the jobs they may

We'll take the jobs they may bring. Hope Aiken County Government makes a good impression on this company.

curly123053
5359
Points
curly123053 05/21/09 - 08:10 am
0
0
This new company would not

This new company would not put the manufactorers listed in the 8:49 post out of business. This vehicle is not intended to replace all patrol vehicles if you take the time to read the article. I see this vehicle being a good tool for officers involved in SWAT and SRT's and I would assume that is what would happen. There will still be plenty of business for the above manufactorers without pushing PANIC buttons. And, if this vehicle works out well for police agencies then good for them ! We will still take the jobs this brings to our area.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 05/21/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
this is the 2nd time aiken

this is the 2nd time aiken cnty was in the final running for a manufacturing company...i guess the governing body of augusta doesn't think it is important enuff to make an attempt to go out and look for businesses that are looking to relocate...the 10 "mental midgets" sitting on the commission would rather raise taxes on the poor home owner for useless things such as baseball stadiums, canals, or trolley's than go out and solicit a manufacturer to relocate to augusta and bring decent paying jobs. well if aiken is chosen the commission in their infinite wisdom will try to sell richmond county taxpayers a bill of goods by claiming we will benefit because aiken is close to augusta and the workers will want to come to augusta to spend their money...good luck aiken

LWEST
0
Points
LWEST 05/21/09 - 08:26 am
0
0
My PANIC button is always

My PANIC button is always being pushed but that is what happens to someone that has panic attacks and depression issues. I have a good job and I don't want to lose it is all.
Sorry to have bother you.

drumbeater1
1
Points
drumbeater1 05/21/09 - 08:34 am
0
0
cute,looks like a matchbox

cute,looks like a matchbox car

Boogaloo
1
Points
Boogaloo 05/21/09 - 02:00 pm
0
0
I wonder if the backseats are

I wonder if the backseats are roomy and comfy?

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 05/21/09 - 09:35 pm
0
0
The state of South Carolina

The state of South Carolina offers more tax incentives to lure auto manufacturers then Georgia. If you are going to locate a large manufacturing facility in the CSRA, then SC is more attractive from a tax standpoint, and you still have easy access to the workforce in Augusta.

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