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Police car maker not giving up on Indiana plans

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A company with plans for building high-tech police cars at an eastern Indiana factory has added a venture capitalist on board as it tries to raise millions of dollars to get off the ground.

The move by Carbon Motors Corp. comes after the U.S. Department of Energy's in March rejected the company's request for a $310 million loan to finance the start of production at a former auto-parts factory in Connersville, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis.

New board member Ron Nash is a member of InterWest Partners, a California-based technology venture capital partnership. Nash said he believes the company has a "breakthrough product" with its car.

Carbon Motors announced in 2009 its plans to move into a former Visteon plant and hire perhaps 1,500 workers.

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  • smoke and mirrors
    The Carbon technology is now at least 5 years old. It would be almost a decade old before cars could be delivered. This one-trick pony needs to leave the stage.
  • bad investment
    Carbon Motors sounded like a business which was destined to fail from the very beginning.

    I can't imagine that any police department would seriously consider paying $50,000 - $60,000 for a vehicle from an upstart company when a Dodge Charger can be had for $30,000. The Carbon Motors police car looks good on paper but the company has yet to build a single production vehicle. We have no idea how much the cars would cost to maintain or how reliable they would be. What happens if they start falling apart after a year of wear and tear?
  • All Wheel Drive
    IMHO they should be AWD too.
  • BMW Powered?
    I was impressed right up to the point the video mentions the BMW powertrain. Law Enforcement is spending American $$ for their cars and should be buying American...I get that the chassis is fabricated here, but the drivetrain should be too. The linked article (http://www.ibj.com/carbon-motors-prototype-police-car-is-crammed-with-technology/PARAMS/article/19310) says "Chairman and CEO Bill Santana Li anticipates sourcing 70 percent of the car domestically..." but in my view the powertrain is a lot more than 30% of the car, at least in $$, if not by weight, and likely more than 30% of the jobs directly and/or indirectly driven (no pun intended) by this product.

    Upgrade an American V8 or drop in a twin-turbo and then you'll have it right.

    PS...I know some track hounds that would love to flog this thing around a road course...too bad a public version with all-carbon-fiber body isn't offered without the police-centric bits.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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