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Hundreds show interest in jobs at police car maker

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Hundreds of people attended information sessions Monday to learn about possible jobs at a startup company planning to build high-tech police cars in eastern Indiana.

Carbon Motors Corp. is awaiting approval of a $310 million federal loan before it starts hiring potentially 1,500 workers for the Connersville factory.

Company executives told those at Monday's sessions that many jobs will require an associate's degree in engineering and computer literacy to operate assembly-line machines.

Carbon Motors CEO William Santana Li says he's "extremely confident" that its federal loan request will be approved. Production could start in 2013 at the vacant Visteon plant that the company picked last year.

Late last month, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, better known as BMW, won a contract from Carbon Motors worth more than $1.35 billion to supply engines.

BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, will supply more than 240,000 six-cylinder diesel engines, cooling systems, exhausts and automatic transmissions to Carbon Motors, the Munich-based company said.

Carbon Motors, established in 2003, is developing the E7, billed as the first vehicle designed exclusively for U.S. police authorities. The company, seeking to capitalize on efforts to reduce law-enforcement costs and curb emissions, is applying for the $310 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Tom Ridge, the former U.S. Homeland Security secretary, serves on its board.

The company announced last year that it had selected Fayette County and a 1.8-million-square-foot facility formerly occupied by Visteon Corp.

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