Rendering for Emerald Automotive's new delivery van.
Hazelwood, MO (KSDK) - A new auto manufacturer launched its website Sunday, posting the first local positions available for the public.
Hazelwood will become Emerald Automotive's North American manufacturing hub. The company believes there are tremendous growth opportunities in the United States and Hazelwood's location is a perfect fit.
As of Monday morning, the company posted 11 openings on its website, but will ultimately create hundreds of auto manufacturing jobs. Emerald Automotive has already started talks with the UAW.
The City of Hazelwood is planning to loan the company $3 million, to be paid back with interest in 10 years or less. Another $2 million is coming from the state. The search for a site has been in the works for more than a year. Representatives from the City of Hazelwood took a secret trip to the United Kingdom earlier this year to explore the deal. So did a group from the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.
The Hazelwood plant will produce a fleet of electric and diesel powered delivery vans. The vehicle is a lightweight, electric hybrid commercial van, to be initially sold in Europe. England's postal service, Royal Mail, is said to be the first customer. Other potential customers include delivery services and utility companies.
Emerald Automotive expects to hire just below 600 people over the next five years. The supplier market, which includes plastic panels, fuel cell assembly, batteries, cabin frames, and interior trim, will create an additional 400 jobs.
The vehicles will be built using existing component parts like bumpers, some of which will come from Ford. But the biggest differences will be the aluminum chassis from Lotus, and what's under the hood. The engine will run on electric power, and also draw on other fuels.
An Emerald Automotive executive said the diesel engine will have a range of about 475 miles. However, this engine will also be able to run on gas, CNG, or biofuels.
Emerald Automotive is a U.S. company, but it's owned by two entities in the U.K., Andy Tempest, a senior partner at AGT Strategic, which helps develop ultra-low emission, lightweight delivery vans. Tempest is also a former executive with Lotus.
The second owner is an international company called Intelligent Energy, which employs 150 people and makes clean power systems for everything from consumer electronics to vehicles.
Emerald Automotive will be run locally, with Tempest and a management team from the U.K. and U.S. initially at the helm.
The company plans to produce 5,000 vehicles by 2014 and 10,000 by the following year.