GreenTech Automotive, EuAuto, McAullife, Clinton, and other bigwigs
By: +David Herron; Date: Sun Dec 04 2016 15:42:46 GMT-0800 (PST)
On July 6, 2012, GreenTech Automotive launched production and sales of the MyCar, (see http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/greentech-automotive-unveils-revolutionary-all-electric-mycar-marks-creation-of-426-manufacturing-jobs-in-mississippi-161587895.html) a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) that was said to be the result of a marriage of American and Chinese companies. It would have been non-noteworthy, but for the appearance at the launch of Pres. Bill Clinton, former Miss. Governor Haley Barbour (who'd also formerly served as RNC National Chair), and that the company Chairman is Terry McAullife, who was formerly a senior aide in the Clinton Presidency, formerly the DNC National Chair, who had run for Governor in Virginia, etc. In other words, this is a company that's highly politically connected.
The CEO is Charles Xiaolin Wang, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Xiaolin_Wang) a business entrepreneur, financier, and lawyer with an extensive background in capital markets financing and international business transactions. Wang grew up in China�s Hunan Province. Got initial law training in China, and worked as a court clerk in 1991. Came to the U.S. studying at The Ohio State University, getting a Masters of Arts degree in International Development Studies and then went to Duke University School of Law to get an American law degree. In 2008, Wang was one of the founders of WM GreenTech Automotive (GTA) and remains the company�s President and Chief Executive Officer. GTA is a company dedicated to the research, development, marketing, and production of energy efficient, affordable hybrid vehicles. GTA announced its project in October 2009 with a ceremonial groundbreaking event, and the company presently has a 400,000-square-foot (37,000 m2) production plant under construction in Northern Mississippi. The company has 5 automobiles in its product line, including 2 electric vehicles and 3 hybrids. The project is expected to substantially increase employment in the project's region and promote economic development.
Is there any history of government subsidy in any of these companies
EuAuto, prior to its acquisition by GreenTech Automotive, described itself as a "Hong Kong company, having been funded by Innovation and Technology Commission, HKSAR Government." That company received at least HK$2 million in funding, and company development assistance.
An unknown portion of the $1 billion required for the Tunica MS factory is coming from the EB-5 Investment Visa program. See http://greentransportation.info/greentech-automotive-euauto-mcaullife-clinton-and-other-bigw#toc10 for more on this.
GreenTech Automotive received a package of tax whatevers arranged by then- Gov. Haley Barbour, who is described as a long-time associate of McAullife. The Bloomberg report linked below described how the company was shopping around the country for "depressed localities" in which to set up factories, and coupling it with money from the EB-5 program to entice foreign investors to invest in the company, in return for which they get permanent residency status.
What is the EB-5 Visa Program?
US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as �EB-5,� created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:
- Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
- Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs
Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
A sole proprietorship
Partnership (whether limited or general)
Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years
Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs
In 2005, a Government Accountability Office report found that investors were not utilizing the program because of "an onerous application process; lengthy adjudication periods; and the suspension of processing on over 900 EB-5 cases�some of which date to 1995�precipitated by a change in USCIS�s interpretation of regulations regarding financial qualifications." (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EB-5_visa)
However, in 2011, USCIS began making a number of changes to the program in hopes of increasing the number of applicants. By the end of the 2011 fiscal year, more than 3,800 EB-5 applications had been filed, compared to fewer than 800 applications in 2007.
USCIS defines a targeted employment area (TEA) as an area which, at the time of investment, is a rural area OR an area within an MSA or the outer boundary of a city or town having a population of 20,000 or more which has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate.
In U.S. visa program, money talks The little-known federal EB-5 visa program lets would-be immigrants invest their way into the U.S. - http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/03/business/la-fi-easy-visa-20110904 - Described as a way to "woo wealthy foreigners as a low-cost source of capital." The deal is the investor ponies up money, and gets permanent residency. "Some immigrants have faced deportation when their investments failed to create enough jobs or otherwise didn't comply with program rules. Others have secured their green cards but lost their entire investments when projects foundered."
Chinese operations of GreenTech Automotive
The Chinese operation is named Ordos GreenTech Automotive Co., Ltd. and is located in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. It is a partnership between GTA and Shengyang ZhongRui Investment Co., Ltd., a Chinese investment holding company. Led by Chinese entrepreneur Mrs. Shao Jinglan, Shengyang Zhongrui Investment Holding Co., Ltd., has been investing in banking, commercial real estate, and Chinese airline industries.
The site is 500 acres, and the factory is supposed to be building vehicles solely for sale in China, while using drive train parts built in GTA's factories in the U.S.
MyCar entry on German Wikipedia
The German Wikipedia page for MyCar (see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovech_MyCar) or via Google Translate, http://translate.google.com/translate?&u=http%3A%2F%2Fde.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FInnovech+MyCar&sl=de&tl=en has a good history of the car shown on July 6, 2012, as well as the corporate history behind it.
The development of the MyCar began in 2002 as a joint collaboration between the Design School of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the School of Design in Milan. The Italian side was led by Italdesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro. In 2003 the car design was spun-off of from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as Innovech International Ltd. in partnership with Kingdom Fine Metal Ltd. and the Jingmei Group, and was "equipped with a pro rata capital and know-how." The new company presented revised design concept at the Bologna Motor Show December 2003.
A variety of difficulties arose, and the MyCar did not start production until the second quarter of 2006 in Hong Kong. That same year Innovech International was renamed to EuAuto Technology Limited.
Initial sales were only in South East Asia, supposedly due to popular demand. In 2008 the MyCar began export to France, Britain and Austria.
Product Launch - series production
In October 2009 official series production of the MyCar launched in Hong Kong. An article from that time said its range was 110km on flat roads and top speed 64km / h, and that charging time required 6-8 hours. PolyU President Prof. Tong said at the ceremony, "PolyU prides itself on its quality application-oriented R & D and close ties with business and industry. The development of mycar has truly testified to the practical value and commercial potential of PolyU's R & D pursuits. Not only does mycar go in line with the Government's policy address in promoting the use of electric vehicles, but then turns over a new leaf in pioneering the advancement of Hong Kong's automotive industry. "
The car had a price of HK $ 97,000 and the HK government exempted the First Registration Tax Waiver as an incentive, and the license fee was only HK$440.
There was a grant of HK $ 2 million from the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission to support its further research and development. The press release from that time described the company as:
About EuAuto Technology Limited EuAuto Technology Limited is a Hong Kong company, having been funded by Innovation and Technology Commission, HKSAR Government. We specialize in design, development, manufacture and sales of environmentally friendly vehicles for global markets. Our first landmark project is mycar. The stylish design was originated by the world class designer - Mr Giorgetto Giugiaro. The electric driving system was co-developed with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Our team of expertise composes of professionals from Italy, France, Australia and local industries.
Extracts from press release accompanying launch
The press release listed these merits:
- Environmentally friendly - zero emissions with energy saving (no need to switch off when left idling engine The design of mycar is based on the concept of saving energy as making use of renewable tested brake system, LED taillights, etc.)
- Low noise level - Experiencing quiet driving
- Special offer - Exemption from First Registration Tax
- Cost-saving - HK $ 440 for annual vehicle license fee (For conventional private cars, minimum charge of annual vehicle license fee is HK $ 3.929).
- Economical -. No more expensive fuel (HK $ 14 / Litre [current price of fuel] vs HK $ 0.87 / unit [charged by CLP] Charging up the battery of mycar, Which requires 6.17 units, costs HK $ 4.15 for Kowloon side When. Fully charged, mycar can travel 100 km. The consumption is around HK $ 0154 / km. It just costs a little bit more than 15 cents! Even if HK Electric charges $ 1.25 / unit, it only costs 22 cents in every kilometer.)
- Saving more money - Very low maintenance cost annually (Its maintenance cost is only 10% of conventional private cars)
- Super convenience - Easy to be recharged (13A domestic socket can be applied after running on the road for 20 km, it takes only 1.5 hours to recharge fully again)..
- Chic and Trendy - A masterpiece of modern design (According to individual preference, the micro-car with Italian style designed by famous Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has seven basic colors and 50 special color options for selection It is a micro car but. with full sets of equipments, including electric windows, electric rearview mirror, panoramic sunroof, leather seats, etc.)
Additionally the press release listed these milestones
- In 2003, a brand new concept of first Hong Kong-developed eco-car originated from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), intrigued many people, but the PolyU researchers and the shareholders of EuAuto Technology Limited had faith in its feasibility. The eco-car project, mycar, started with a seed called "innovation". At the end of 2003, this concept vehicle, mycar, which debuted at Bologna Motor Show in Italy and immediately drew attention from the media and its European automotive industry upon completion of its outlook design by famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro automobile.
- In 2004, the development of mycar was started in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong had no foundation of automobile production, developing this' first home-grown vehicle "not only needed the support from the PolyU researchers, but also the participation of the automotive experts from the overseas to lead the research team.
- In mid 2005, a diesel-fueled micro-car was successfully developed. However, the oil price Increased Rapidly in 2005 and Hong Kong was one of the cities being affected most. It led the research team to switch to producing of electric vehicle (EV). The research team Considered the importance of finding alternative forms of energy to replace oil as an eco-car is mycar. At the same time, the team realized that the local automotive industry had not paid much attention on EV and mycar Believed that could hit the EV market and take the lead. With full support of the shareholders, the development of mycar, therefore, shifted to the EV direction.
- Market in September 2007, the original model of mycar, an eco-car, which launched and drawn the attention of the Subsequently overseas. This has facilitated mycar to launch in the European market.
- Year 2008 is the most important milestone for mycar. From the original model to its production, mycar had tackled many difficulties and was being recognized for its product and production plants in Europe.
- In 2009, its mass production was commenced. Since the beginning of this year, mycar officially went on sales in many European countries, Extending from the United Kingdom to France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Ireland and so on.
- In August 2009, mycar has successfully met the requirements stipulated roadworthiness by the Government's Transport Department and has recently been granted the vehicle type-approval as a private car. The NEV version of mycar available in the local market has also been on sales in the European market. It can reach a maximum speed of 64 km / h and travel a distance of 80-110 km to subject road condition. It is now available for sale in Hong Kong on the condition of traveling on roads with a speed limited at or under 50 km / h At the beginning of next year, lithium battery-driven and upgrade versions of mycar will be launched. There will be a significant improvement for the vehicle in terms of mileage and speed, in order to meet the expectation of Hong Kong's eco-car drivers. The environmentally-friendly, zero-emission mycar will be sold at HK $ 97,000. To promote the use of EV, the HKSAR Government has extended the First Registration Tax Waiver. The annual license fee costs only HK $ 440 and the battery charging fee is around HK $ 0.15 / km. Annex 3
China's EuAuto to use Bornholm as EV test island
From June to October this year, visitors to the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea will be able to test drive a small two-seater electric vehicle (EV), as a result of a deal struck during the UN Climate Change Conference COP15 last December in Copenhagen between the Chinese firm EuAuto Technology and Business Center Bornholm, reports the latter in a press release.
EuAuto will deploy five of the EVs, called MyCar, with the objective of using the island as a test laboratory for studying customers' experiences of going electric. The project will also be used to develop a user-friendly GPS-based guidance system. Long-term, the idea is to establish a fleet of EVs for use in the tourism and visitor sectors.
Danish Consulate General and Invest in Denmark were involved in setting up the project.
Acquisition by GreenTech Automotive
On May 17, 2010, EuAuto was acquired by GreenTech Automotive. http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/major-expansion-of-gta-with-acquisition-of-euauto-award-winning-electric-car-specialists For the rest of the history see that section.
On June 7, 2010, a report appeared in The Standard (China's Business Newspaper) giving EuAuto's side of the acquisition. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_print.asp?art_id=99052&sid=28496801
GreenTech splurged HK$100 million to buy EuAuto and plans to produce 10,000 MyCars next year in the United States.
TBD [EuAuto chairman Peter Sun Kwok-wah] said that Hong Kong was never the target market of the electric vehicle.
"The original idea was to produce a hybrid car powered by diesel, petrol and electricity, but we decided to channel all our resources on an electric car as we saw then that it was becoming a global trend."
MyCar has a brighter future following the deal with GreenTech, under which EuAuto becomes a subsidiary of the US firm, Sun said. "It's like my son needing the support of his stepfather to go to a good college and have better prospects."
Currently, GreenTech currently has only about 60 employees working on MyCar at its Dongguan plant in Guangdong. They include two or three overseas specialists and around eight automotive engineers in its R&D department. EuAuto chief executive Chung Sin- ling said after the acquisition, the Dongguan factory will be expanded to boost production capacity. Current production is 1,000 cars per year.
NOTE: This is not what has happened in the due course of time, instead GTA chose to set up a large factory in Inner Mongolia.
"The US factory will begin operations by the end of this year and is expected to produce 20,000 cars annually in two years' time," Chung said.
NOTE: We know now this has not happened, it's two years later and a temporary factory is just barely started up in Mississippi.
The company sold 200 cars in Europe in the past year and signed an agreement with Denmark to supply MyCars to Bornholm island for the use of tourists.
NOTE: We see below the agreement with Denmark was continued by GTA
GreenTech Automotive History
After a Bitter Feud, Hybrid Car Startup GreenTech Plans $6.5B Plant
Oct. 6, 2009 http://gigaom.com/cleantech/after-a-bitter-feud-hybrid-car-startup-greentech-plans-6-5b-plant/ - GTA's existence did not begin with EuAuto's acquisition, but a couple years beforehand.
References a October 6, 2009 Memphis Business Journal piece, http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2009/10/05/daily15.html saying that "Tunica County will become home to a new hybrid automobile development and manufacturing facility that will initially employ 1,500 with a $1 billion investment."
1,500 acres at Tunica County�s Metro industrial megasite, with an option to purchase more land as needed.
The plant will produce 150,000 vehicles annually in phase one.
The company plans to produce a full line of sub-compact cars, compact cars, midsize cars, full size cars, and SUVs in different models.
Core technologies that will be used in the manufacturing process have been developed in Europe, according to the company. Wang said a German corporation will design the engineering of the automobiles, while the hybrid engine will be designed by another German independent engine research and design company.
The GigaOM report says GTA had originally been known as Hybrid Kinetic Automotive. Charles Wang and former partner Benjamin Yeung had started that company. The two had a legal battle, and then split to form separate companies, with Yeung keeping the Hybrid Kinetic name.
A June 25, 2009 in Commercial Appeal http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jun/25/suit-reveals-auto-plant-plan/ goes over part of the lawsuit details. The $6 billion project in Tunica County, discussed elsewhere on this page, was publicly revealed for the first time. The site of the project is the Tunica Metro Mega-site, ust east of Casino Center, where U.S. 61, Miss. 304 and Interstate 69 come together in northeast Tunica County about 30 miles south of Memphis.
Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Corp. planned to start construction of the plant this year and begin production in 2011.
A later report on July 11 gave few extra details. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jul/12/lawsuit-puts-brakes-on-car-02/
An October 2009 report in the Alabama Press-Register http://www.al.com/business/press-register/index.ssf?/base/business/125482055975900.xml&coll=3 discussed the plans of the two successor companies, with GTA proceeding with the $6.5 Billion project in Tunica, while Hybrid Kinetic was seeking $1.5 billion for a similar competing project north of Bay Minette. The article described both projects as so ambitious as to raise doubts they could ever get going.
The GigaOM report said: GreenTech said in an announcement today that funding for the project is coming through the Gulf Coast Automotive Fund and �strategic investments.�
GreenTech Automotive Reveals Prototypes
October 7, 2009 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/greentech-automotive-reveals-prototypes/ - A ceremony to reveal prototype cars from GTA. The prototype cars were "made in China" and brought to the U.S. for display. The video below is a little difficult to discern the details, but one of the cars shown here appears to be the same as the hybrid sports car shown in the Feb 2011 video further down the page.
In GreenTech unveils Tunica car plans http://www.desototimes.com/articles/2009/10/06/news/doc4acbe095c4a5b667622224.txt it's said
The initial phase of the project is estimated to cost $1 billion and provide 1,500 jobs locally, according to company officials. GreenTech plans to produce 150,000 vehicles annually in phase one.
Company officials say the hybrid coupe can deliver 45 miles per gallon and go from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The four-door, mid-size hybrid should deliver 50 mpg, a zero-emission electric sub-compact can travel 80 miles on a three-hour charge and the high-efficiency gasoline sub-compact can reach 65 mpg, according to GreenTech.
Acquisition of EuAuto
In McLean, Virginia, on May 17, 2010, GreenTech Automotive announced it had acquired EuAuto http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/major-expansion-of-gta-with-acquisition-of-euauto-award-winning-electric-car-specialists (whose history you can see above). To underscore the political connectedness of this, the announcement was made during US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's Clean Energy Trade Mission in Hong Kong and during World Trade Week. Some promises made were:-
- The addition of EuAuto's NEV to GTA's product line extends its current family of energy efficient automobiles into even more affordable niche markets and will enable American families to purchase this electric car as early as 2011.
- GTA plans to create thousands of "green collar" jobs across Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. At full production, GTA will create over 4,000 new US jobs. The acquisition of EuAuto will bring an additional 300 jobs to the US.
- Concurrently with GTA's acquisition, EuAuto entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Business Center Bornholm as part of the Bright Green Island project in Denmark. Mr. Christiansen, Acting Consul General of Denmark's Consulate in Hong Kong, witnessed the signing of the partnership agreement.
A report in the Mississippi Business Journal http://msbusiness.com/2010/05/greentech-buys-hong-kong-based-euauto/ said:
In late April 2009, Greentech announced it would locate a $1-billion hybrid vehicle manufacturing facility in Tunica in the Mississippi Delta. The plant would produce 1,500 vehicles a year and employ 1,500 people.
Since then, no news has been released concerning the proposed plant. In April, Lyn Arnold, president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce, reiterated her belief the facility would eventually become a reality.
A report in Bloomberg News (written by a clueless reporter who claimed the MyCar competes with Toyota's Prius) said: http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-17/greentech-automotive-buys-hong-kong-s-euauto-to-build-mycar-model-in-u-s-?category=
GreenTech aims to sell �hundreds of thousands� of mycars in the U.S. within a few years of production, McAuliffe said. �Potential demand for this kind of car is huge,� he said.
The two-seater coupe can be charged from any regular household socket and the standard version retails at 10,495 pounds ($15,000) in the U.K.
The company has spent almost $500 million developing prototype cars and plans to invest in wind and solar energy in the future, TBD [McAullife] said.
Clinton Fundraiser Seeks $1B to Launch Electric Cars in U.S.
GTA is described as a "a holding company chaired by McAuliffe" and "reportedly paid $20 million for" EuAuto.
An organization chart is shown with these subsidiaries of WM GreenTech Automotive Group:
- GreenTech Automotive Inc. - U.S. based company
- EuAuto Technology Inc. - NEV manufacturing company (the China end?)
- NOV Company Ltd. - Worldwide Marketing & Sales Company
- NOV Luxembourg - Technology Development Company
- Dongguan Electric Technology Ltd. - Manufacturing Facility (a subsidiary of EuAuto)
GreenTech said in an announcement last fall that funding for a planned hybrid development and manufacturing facility in Tunica County, Miss. would come through the Gulf Coast Automotive Fund and �strategic investments.�
Terry McAuliffe Announces Commitment to Affordable Green Transportation and Creating New Green Jobs by Selling First 100,000 U.S.-Built MyCars for $10,000 Apiece
September 21, 2010 http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100921006996/en/Terry-McAuliffe-Announces-Commitment-Affordable-Green-Transportation - After buying EuAuto, the announcement was done at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting
Terence R. McAuliffe, Chairman of GreenTech Automotive (GTA), announced at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that GreenTech Automotive is committing to build and deploy affordable green hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States.
�Lack of affordability has been one of the primary barriers to mass market adoption of electric vehicles,� McAuliffe said. �GreenTech is committed to bringing this technology to wide audiences of Americans. We will make the first 100,000 U.S.-built MyCars available to consumers for $10,000 apiece. Green technology cannot be truly green unless it is affordable. We believe that our MyCar pricing will offer tremendous potential to introduce consumers to electric vehicles.�
Terry McAuliffe Pursues a New Shade of Green With MyCar Project
Oct 7, 2010 (Bloomberg) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-07/terry-mcauliffe-pursues-a-new-shade-of-green-with-mycar-project.html - "Photographers and tourists swarmed former President Bill Clinton as he admired a Day-Glo orange electric car, barely bigger than a golf cart, parked in Times Square. As cameras flashed, best pal Terry McAuliffe gave Clinton a personal tour of his latest project, proudly describing the tiny car�s features as if it were a new baby. "
McAuliffe has raised prodigious sums for lawmakers and presidents and ran the Democratic National Committee
made millions in real estate, banking, homebuilding and credit cards, sometimes investing alongside the donors and union officials contributing to the campaigns he financed
chaired Hillary Clinton�s 2008 presidential bid
ambition to become Virginia governor didn�t survive the state Democratic primary
GreenTech Automotive, which he aims to build into a $1 billion powerhouse
In February 2010 he bid to convert a shuttered paper factory in Virginia�s southeast corner into a biomass power plant
He plans to invest up to $1 billion in wind power with a Chinese company, A-Power Energy Generation Systems
secured from Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour a package of state incentives to build a 400,000-square- foot facility in Tunica, Mississippi. Barbour, the former head of the Republican National Committee, is a longtime McAuliffe associate and former Washington lobbyist.
GreenTech plans to buy parts abroad and assemble the cars in the U.S., creating around 5,000 jobs in economically depressed areas
At this point the article makes it clear GTA is looking at any location willing to give the company a tax break, and is shopping around for the best tax breaks. -- �You want this, you�ve got to offer incentives,� he says. �I want to see legislation. That�s part of our negotiations.�
When climate legislation died in the Senate last spring, green entrepreneurs were denied billions of dollars in government incentives they craved. McAuliffe says he plans to mount a lobbying campaign to revive some of the proposals, including federal tax breaks, requirements that electricity producers use renewable sources, and subsidies for stations where electric vehicles can recharge.
McAuliffe says he won�t be tapping his sizable donor network. He has raised foreign capital through the EB-5 program, which offers permanent green cards to foreigners who invest $500,000 in distressed areas, producing 10 full-time American jobs. McAuliffe says he has attracted many investors this way, yet the total amount of money is �infinitesimal,� considering the hundreds of millions he needs for the four cars.
Letter to Homeland Defence Secretary Janet Napolitano regarding EB-5 Visa Program
Terry McAuliffe wrote a letter, dated December 15, 2010, to Secretary Napolitano pleading for her assistance in greasing the wheels to approve the EB-5 investor program that's meant to funnel investment into GTA.
Video from a Democratic Party convention
This video dated Feb 23, 2011 shows an appearance by GTA at a State-level Democratic Party convention. It shows the electric MyCar as well as a future model, which is a hybrid electric sports car. Terry McAullife is interviewed.
Rick Wade joins as the Senior Vice President & Head of China Operation
June 21, 2011 - Mr. Rick C. Wade has joined the company as the Senior Vice President & Head of China Operation, after his departure from the Department of Commerce on 27th May, 2011. As we see, this is yet another highly politically connected person associated with the company.
As a senior aide and spokesman for Secretary Gary Locke, Mr. Wade had a hand in all major policy and personnel decisions at the Commerce Department. Mr. Wade helped develop and manage the Commerce Department's annual budgets and programs for all 12 of the Department's bureaus, and had been a forceful advocate for the Department's priorities at many domestic and international forums including the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.
Mr. Wade worked closely with the White House to ensure President Obama's business and economic programs, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, were implemented effectively and efficiently. Representing the Department of Commerce, Mr. Wade was a member of The White House Auto-Recovery Task Force, participated and played essential role in reconstructing plans for Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corporation. The Task Force was a cabinet-level group that includes the secretaries of Transportation, Commerce, Labor, and Energy.
With site underway near Tunica, officials hopeful for announcement soon
July 17, 2011 http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/greentechs-mycar-dream-set-for-reality - Mississippi Business Journal published an article on GTA, and while the copy on their site is not available GTA reposted it on their site.
GreenTech Automotive is on schedule to begin production of the MyCar at the old Dover Elevator Building in Horn Lake by the end of the third quarter.
That would be by October-ish 2011. As we know, they did not reach this milestone until July 2012.
Lyn Arnold, president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce, told the Mississippi Business Journal in an interview last week that she hopes an announcement related to the beginning of construction at the company's planned Tunica facility will be made "within a couple of months."
Shortly after the May 2010 purchase of EuAuto, GreenTech bought the old Dover Elevator building in Horn Lake with the intentions of building the MyCar there.
The facility in Horn Lake is one of three where the company plans to build the MyCar.
GTA plans to build the Tunica plant in phases hoping to produce its midsize and subcompact sedan and sports car model while employing 1,000 people. Supposedly "site preparation work had already started" in July 2011, with space being cleared for "the first phase of construction, and had begun the process of setting up a drainage system and configuring an acceptable runoff system."
The estimated $1-billion cost of the Tunica facility is being paid at least in part by money raised via the EB-5 Investment Visa program, in which foreigners can obtain permanent residency status in the U.S. if they agree to invest a minimum of $1 million in an economic development project or $500,000 in a project in an economically depressed area. GreenTech has repeatedly declined to say how much of the facility's cost will come from the EB-5 program, or if there is a private capital target that must be hit before serious steps can be taken toward getting the plant built and operational.
The EB-5 program is scheduled to sunset next September, and because it does not enjoy the expedited process of other residency programs, some applications can take a year to come to fruition. Wang said in January that GreenTech would continue to employ the program as a fundraising mechanism, and that he was confident Congress would renew it.
GTA would appear to qualify for EB-5 because the CEO, Charles Wang, is a Chinese National brought into the company with the purchase of EuAuto.
Agreement w/ Danish Company Greenabout To Provide American-Made MyCars For Sale In Denmark
McLean, Virginia, September 7, 2011 - announced a distribution agreement with the Danish partnership Greenabout A/S for the American-made MyCar. http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/greentech-automotive-announces-agreement-with-danish-company Greenabout, a Danish company that distributes electric vehicles and related products and services, will purchase a sizeable percentage of GTA's MyCar production through 2014.
"This agreement is a major step in the relationship we have proudly formed with Danish leaders," said McAuliffe. "We share a desire to create and utilize affordable green transportation and with this MyCar agreement, we are making broad strides to begin selling our American-made MyCars throughout Europe. Not only does this agreement reflect our principles of affordable green energy, it also means new manufacturing jobs in America."
Greenabout CEO Per Boesen expressed excitement for the new MyCar agreement. "GreenTech's MyCar is proof that it is possible to create high-quality, sustainable products. We will be helping to reduce carbon emissions and creating new jobs in Denmark and elsewhere across the globe," Boesen said. Earlier this year, Denmark released its ambitious, highly-praised "Energy Strategy 2050," which calls for the creation of a fossil-free energy network, independent from oil, coal, and gas by the year 2050. In 2010, the government eliminated its massive 180% car registration tax for those who purchase an electric vehicle, which significantly encouraged electric vehicle usage.
Virginia-Based GreenTech Automotive Announces Joint Venture to Produce And Sell Energy-Efficient Cars In China
Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, August 6, 2011 http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/greentech-automotive-announces-joint-venture-to-produce-and-sell-energy-efficient-cars-in-china - announced a new joint venture for GreenTech to produce and sell green vehicles in China. The joint venture is called Ordos GreenTech Automotive Co., Ltd., and is a partnership between GTA and Shengyang ZhongRui Investment Co., Ltd., a Chinese investment holding company. Led by Chinese entrepreneur Mrs. Shao Jinglan, Shengyang Zhongrui Investment Holding Co., Ltd., has been investing in banking, commercial real estate, and Chinese airline industries. SCIVIC Engineer Corporation, the world's largest automotive civil engineering firm, will provide civil and production engineering services.
joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by high-ranking business and government officials
fast-growing region that has become the energy epicenter of China
new facility will produce a full line of vehicles powered by U.S.-made high-efficiency combustion engines, hybrid powertrains and pure electrical drivetrain
product line will include subcompact, compact, midsize and sports vehicles, all to be designed specifically for and sold exclusively in China
production capacity will be 300,000 vehicles per year and the core components of these vehicles will be made at GTA factories in the United States
"Our new partnership is a tremendous step forward for the green energy industry in both China and the United States. We can achieve two important goals at once. We can provide China with clean technology and help reduce carbon emissions in the country," said McAuliffe. "And because our core components will be made in America, we will create 2,000 new American jobs when we reach full production capacity."
"Currently, the aggregated import duty and other taxes in China make imported electrical and hybrid vehicles out of reach for average Chinese consumers. GreenTech's goal is to make our products affordable," said McAuliffe. "This partnership provides us with an entry into the growing Chinese green transportation market and allows us to increase production of core components in the United States. Much like our recent agreement to sell our vehicles in Denmark, we are proud of what this new venture means for the future of green U.S. manufacturing jobs and green energy."
GreenTech Automotive: Too Good To Be True?
July 9, 2012 http://www.hybridcars.com/news/greentech-automotive-too-good-be-true-48087.html - Raises a number of questions about GTA but doesn't come to a concrete conclusion.
- Production goals of 10,000 MyCar's per year
- Doesn't divulge funding sources
- NEV's sell in very low numbers
- The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety sees NEVs as potentially a major problem due to low safety standards
- Initial claim the MyCar price is $10,000 has given way to a more realistic price of $15,000-20,000
- As we've seen above, the company has claimed several deliverable dates but did not meet the projected dates, meaning the company is behind schedule
McAuliffe begins campaign for Governor of Virginia, "quits" GreenTech Automotive
During the fall of 2012, McAuliffe entered the governors race in Virginia touting his experience as the Chairman of GreenTech Automotive as a major plus factor. He's painting himself as a Green Tech Business Executive based on GTA. It should be clear from the information above this that he seems to be more a political opportunist than a real Green Tech Business Leader.
His experience with GTA became a political hot potato during the campaign, and in April 2013 he announced that he'd quit GTA back in December 2012.
An example of how hot the issue of GTA's legitimacy and McAuliffe's involvement with the company, is an undated letter sent by the Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia to McAuliffe. The letter obviously was sent during the 2013 Campaign, and asks a string of sharply pointed questions about GTA's funding and legitimacy.
Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had �substantial risk�
Cites internal memmoranda and a business plan from 2009 showing that while GreenTech Automotive had huge plans (hire 25,000 workers, build a million cars a year) internally they knew the plan was extremely risky.
A 2009 private placement memorandum from Gulf Coast Funds Management acknoledged a high degree of investor risk.
�GreenTech is a new company that has a challenging business plan to execute, beginning with the difficult task of raising between $2 billion and $10 billion in investment capital,� stated the document.
�An investment in GreenTech Automotive involves substantial financial risk.�
GREENTECH AUTOMOTIVE TO DEVELOP ALL-ELECTRIC SEDAN FOR NORTH AMERICAN MARKET
(April 22, 2013) - GreenTech Automotive and JAC Motors announce a plan to develop an all-electric sedan for the North American market.
The claim is they'll start building a "pilot assembly of 2,000 vehicles" at GTA's facility in Horn Lake, Mississippi.
GreenTech mailing suggests McAuliffe is still involved
This report was originally from the Washington Post, summarizes a confidential "prospectus" that GTA handed out to potential investors dated March 12, 2013. The prospectus outlines GTA as a business, pitching them to invest in the company. The Post received the prospectus from Cause of Action, which is described as a nonprofit watchdog group. You can view the document here originally retrieved from http://causeofaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Exhibit-6-GTA-2013-PPM-English.pdf
It describes Terry McAuliffe as "Chairman Emeritus" and noting that he's still the largest shareholder in the company. This despite his having "resigned" from the company months earlier so he could focus on the Virginia Governors race.
The 70-page document includes photographs and references to McAuliffe's close ties to former President Bill Clinton. It recounts his political pedigree in detail, from serving as finance director for Jimmy Carter's 1980 presidential re-election campaign to breaking fundraising records for the Democratic Party and chairing Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
The Post article says this document, like others they've reviewed, fit a pattern where
McAuliffe, a Democrat, has used government programs, political connections and access to wealthy investors of both parties in pursuit of big profits for himself.
That formula has made McAuliffe a millionaire many times over, paving the way for a long list of business ventures, including his law firm, from which he resigned in the 1990s after profiting � along with his partners � from fees paid by domestic and foreign clients seeking results from the federal government.
McAuliffe has made many such investments, the most conspicuous example is Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm whose demise in the 1990s cost investors billions of dollars. McAuliffe worked for Global Crossing as a consultant and was able to amass a large stock holding, and then sold that holding for a $8 million profit before the company collapsed.
Links and Resources
http://wmgta.com - GreenTech Automotive home page
http://www.wmgta.com/en/news/videos - Series of videos on various outlets. The thing to note is the prominence of the places these videos were aired, and that in one of them it is President Clinton who is doing the speaking.