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Detroit Electric Returns To Motor City; 180 Jobs To Be Created

The new Detroit Electric sports car will be revealed in April 2013. (PRNewsFoto/Detroit Electric)

The new Detroit Electric sports car will be revealed in April 2013. (PRNewsFoto/Detroit Electric)

After an absence of over 70 years, Detroit Electric has returned to the legendary Motor City, promising job creation and a range of exciting 100% electric vehicles for the mass market. Heralding the rebirth of the original electric car brand, Detroit Electric has announced the establishment of its corporate headquarters on the 18th floor of the iconic Fisher Building, located in downtown Detroit, with Don Graunstadt, CEO, North America Operations at Detroit Electric, signing a long-term lease.

A site has also been identified to assemble the first ever pure electric sports car in Michigan, with production to start in August. The dedicated production facility will have an annual capacity of 2,500 sports cars. Detroit Electric aims to create over 180 sales and manufacturing-related jobs over the next 12 months.

Following five years of research and engineering development, the first model to carry the renowned Detroit Electric logo will be a limited-edition two-seat sports car. This new sports car will be launched early next month in Detroit, ahead of a global public reveal at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20.

“We are proud to become the fourth car manufacturer born out of Detroit, and the first to manufacture a pure electric sports car from Michigan,” said Graunstadt. “We are committed to doing our part for this great revival of Detroit through innovation, entrepreneurship and determination—what we like to call ‘Detroit 2.0.’  Our investors and management team are thankful to the State of Michigan for the help provided in allowing Detroit Electric to carry on the legacy that began in Michigan so many years ago.”

Detroit could be regarded as the home of the electric car. Early in the last century the electric vehicle industry was flourishing in Detroit and a company called Detroit Electric was at its very heart, innovating and selling more electric vehicles than any other company. By 1912 there were numerous American electric vehicle makers, with Detroit Electric both the market leader and the most prolific, going on to make around 13,000 cars—an electric vehicle production world record for the twentieth century. Notable customers included Thomas Edison, Mamie Eisenhower, John D. Rockerfeller Jr. and Clara Ford, the wife of Henry Ford.

To safeguard its sustainable growth, Detroit Electric employs an ‘asset light’ business model, similar to brands such as Apple and Nike, focusing investment on R&D and marketing. Detroit Electric’s Chairman and Group CEO, Albert Lam, brings to Detroit Electric various operational disciplines from his time heading up technology and innovation-driven businesses in Asia, including Apple and Sun Microsystems.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) welcomed Detroit Electric to the community.  “Detroit Electric’s decision to establish its new headquarters in Detroit is great news, because it builds on Michigan’s automotive heritage and places the company in the world’s automotive epicenter with a business climate that will enable its success,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We look forward to Detroit Electric’s continued growth in the state as it creates innovative vehicles and new job opportunities for Michigan workers.”

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Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager. In September 2012, she transitioned to a new role dedicated to developing online content for Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager. Schwartz can be reached at [email protected]

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