Connersville a finalist for police-cruiser plant-WEB ONLY

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Connersville is among three finalists in the running to produce a new police cruiser that runs on clean diesel and biodiesel technology.

Atlanta-based Carbon Motors Corp., the developer of the Carbon E7 police car, said today that it has whittled finalists for the manufacturing plant from five to three. Connersville is about 70 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

The company also is considering cities in Georgia and South Carolina. Michigan and North Carolina have been eliminated from contention.

“We are honored and tremendously appreciative to have such great choices on where to produce the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle for our nation’s law enforcement first responders,” company CEO William Santana Li said in a prepared statement.

Carbon Motors is expected to choose the winning location this summer, with an announcement possibly coming by the end of the month, the company said today.

The company said it plans to invest more than $350 million in the development of the vehicle, which is slated for production in 2012. If successful, the vehicle could directly or indirectly create up to 10,000 jobs.
Fayette County certainly could benefit from the plant. The county’s unemployment rate in May was 14.6 percent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than the state average of 9.9 percent.

Connersville officials have been trying to buy a 1.6 million-square-foot plant that Visteon Corp. closed in 2007 to entice Carbon Motors.

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