Production of MV-1 Disabled Access Vehicle Resumes Under New Management
AM General Acquires Assets, Forms Mobility Ventures, LLC
Last May, we reported on the closure of Vehicle Production Group, the company responsible for the MV-1 disabled-access vehicle, which is the only purpose-built vehicle that comes off the factory line fully optimized for use by wheelchair-bound passengers or driver. VPG was the recipient of a $50 million Department of Energy loan for development of the MV-1, which was available with a natural gas option that qualified it for the loan. Like Fisker, and many other alternative-fuel startups, VPG had difficulty meeting the terms of its loan, and the Michigan-based company shut its doors. The actual manufacturing of the vehicles was by AM General, of Hummer and HMMWV fame, which promised to provide ongoing service and parts support for vehicles already sold.
Last week, AM General announced it’s resuming production of the MV-1 under the guise of Mobility Ventures, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of AM General. This move brings both management and manufacturing of the MV-1 to Indiana, with the headquarters of Mobility Ventures just down the road from AM General's Mishawaka plant in neighboring South Bend. There are currently 55 dealers nationwide selling the MV-1. MV-1s are powered by a Ford 4.6-liter V-8 and four-speed automatic transmission, although future models may have a different powertrain. While the design of the MV-1 is definitely focused more on function than form, its jumbo London Taxi look does have a certain appeal to it.
Source: Mobility Ventures, LLC