FINDLAY, Ohio (Nov 11, 2013) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is considering supplying OE tires to Elio Motors Inc., a maker of three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicles, according to a letter of intent the firms signed recently.
Troy, Mich.-based Elio Motors is an automotive startup that aims to compete in the ultra-high-mileage vehicle category beginning in late 2014. Once the agreement is finalized, Cooper said it intends to supply Elio with tires for the company's innovative three-wheeler, which Elio expects to achieve up to 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in the city.
The futuristic-looking Elio, weighing in at about 1,200 pounds, runs on a three-cylinder, 55-horsepower, fuel-injected engine. The company plans to produce the car in Shreveport, La., using components primarily made in North America, and expects it to retail for approximately $6,800.
"We are delighted to have Cooper as our tire supplier. This letter of intent signifies a step forward in American manufacturing and assembly," said Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors.
"We are proud that the Cooper tires supplied for the Elio will be manufactured in a U.S. plant and our vehicle will be manufactured in Shreveport, creating American jobs.
"Elio Motors is determined to use only quality suppliers while pioneering this affordable new road in the automotive industry.We cannot underestimate the importance of a quality tire in making a vehicle both enjoyable and safe to drive."