AM General has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to purchase the DOE's secured loan to The Vehicle Production Group (VPG).
VPG is the Michigan-based company that originally developed and manufactured the MV-1, the only American-built vehicle specifically designed from the ground up to meet or exceed the needs of wheelchair passengers and the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previously, AM General acted solely as the vehicle assembler for VPG. Following this transaction, AM General will own and operate the MV-1 business.
The agreement creates a path to revitalize VPG and form a new company called "Mobility Ventures LLC", which will acquire the assets of VPG. Production, sales and product development of the MV-1 is expected to resume in approximately 45 days, with AM General bringing more than 50 years of experience and knowledge in the automotive industry to the benefit of passengers who rely on specialty vehicles such as the MV-1.
Assembly of the vehicles will continue to occur at AM General's 675,000 square-foot Commercial Assembly Plant in Mishawaka, Ind., which is fully tooled for the MV-1 and ready to resume vehicle assembly. AM General has also begun planning with the more than 100 suppliers of the MV-1 to support the accelerated restart of production and sales. It is anticipated that resumption of MV-1 production and sales will stimulate the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
While this transaction is being finalized, AM General will continue to provide service parts and technical support to the network of more than 80 MV-1 dealers and distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada.