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Carbon Motors pulls equipment from Indiana plant

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A company that had hoped to open a high-tech police car plant employing as many as 1,500 workers in eastern Indiana has cleared out its plant amid the resignation of a key official.

Mayor Leonard Urban told the Connersville News-Examiner that crews removed equipment from the Carbon Motors plant in early March. Connersville Street Department employees have painted over the Carbon Motors logo on the entrance and exit signs at the plant, and removed the "Carbon Motors Drive" street sign.

The company had leased part of a vacant Visteon plant, but its lease with the city was to end Sunday, and no extension has been sought.

Carbon Motors arrived in Connersville, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis, in 2009 amid great fanfare, pledging to build its high-tech police cars at the idled auto parts plant. The plant's closing had left the county with the state's highest unemployment rate, and Carbon Motors was seen as a way to help turn things around.

But the U.S. Department of Energy rejected Carbon's bid for a $310 million loan to finance the start of production in March 2012, throwing the company's prospects in Connersville into doubt.

Company officials continued developing the vehicles and working to secure private funding.

The city is trying to sell the former Visteon plant.

Urban said he received an email from Alan Bratt, who served as plant development officer for Carbon Motors, saying he had resigned from the company. But he had few other details about the company's plans.

"No one has said anything about where they are going or what's going to happen, we just know they came and got their stuff," Urban said.

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  • really!!
    310 million is that all? People are so stupid, if every single person in the United States would have donated just one dollar this company could have had more than they needed to get going and without having to repay a loan, this would mean Carbon Motors could have put more money back into the company, and the workers paying taxes to help the local schools and to get our debt down, but no the individual US citizen only cares about themself and getting a cup of bad coffee that is gone forever in 10 minutes then help to get 1500 people to work and support their families. Way to go US at times I lose faith in this country and it is not the politicians, but the citizens themselves that causes me to be embarrassed to be an American.
  • How is it GOP's fault?
    This "company" was created with the sole purpose of getting a grant. The grant was denied by the current administration and without it the company folds. Instead of blaming a governor who did not have a thing to do with the loan, turn your attention to the Energy Department. Someone said it perfectly, unless this vehicle runs on solar, battery, or plug in electric/hybrid, you will not get a loan. This car ran on diesel.
  • energy department
    does anyone really think that the department of energy (that is filled with progressives hell bent on saving the planet from excess carbon) is going to give CARBON MOTORS a loan for there non hybrid (NON GM/CHRYSLER) cop car, that would compete with with union companies, in a right to work state? they pick our pockets while we argue amongst ourselves about D vs. R. PLEASE try and put your country before your party!
  • Wisconsin Too
    Seems the conservative leadership of Wisconsin is sinking that ship also. Gone from 11th in job creation to 44th in just two years. http://www.nationalmemo.com/lol-of-the-week-scott-walker-keeps-blaming-workers/
  • Rod and Lib
    Go get a room!
  • Rod
    We get the government we paid for. Yes, you got a budget surplus and a tax refund of $111 only because state employees have not gotten a raise in years and we increased the number of students that teachers are responsible for. Our unemployment rate is now higher than the national average and we have actually declined in academic performance and wage growth when compared to the rest of the country. Are we better off than we were 8 years ago? Hell No!
    • Hmmm
      So, with decades of increasingly conservative local government and policies, Indiana should be a job-creating machine, right? A conservative utopia that's top-rated in education, wages, etc. with legions of citizens clamoring to live and work here, right? Right....?
    • Yes! Way to Go! Thanks!
      Hmmmm, what did the last eight years of the Daniels administration lead to: a budget surplus that led to a tax REFUND!, lower unemployment than the national average, and a fiscally sound state that our midwest neighbors wish they had. (not to mention a BMV that actually gives customer service!) Now, before all the liberals line up to list Daniels defiencies, I realize there are several. But, painting with a broad brush, Indiana is in much better shape than not only our midwest bretheren, but nationally.
      • Way to go state GOP!
        Yet another highly touted "job creation" PR-stunt that fell flat on its face (anyone recall LightBox?). Did the Daniels administration actually create any net jobs over the past 8 years? BTW, do you know what right-to-work legislation, lower business taxes, less business regulation, a gutted state government / social safety net have created? Here's a hint, lots of high-paying jobs with minimum wage jobs and continuing brain drain. Good luck promoting that in your upcoming Presidential campaign Mr. Pence!

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        1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

        2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

        3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

        4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

        5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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