Issue: Oct 2009


New NG Hybrid Vehicle Manufacturer Steps Onto US Stage



by Jon Knox

Far East Golden Resources Group Ltd’s new limited partnership, Hybrid Kinetic Motors Project A, L.P. (HK Motors), has launched plans to raise US$7.86 billion to make natural gas and multi-fuel electric-drive hybrid cars, sport utility vehicles, crossover vehicles and large trucks in the U.S. Headed by chairman, Yung Yeung, former chairman, CEO and president of China’s Brilliance Automotive Holdings, the start-up company plans to construct a large manufacturing plant near Bay Minette in southwest Alabama.

The Hong Kong-listed resources company, which also manufactures and sells automobile axles, said it expects to complete building a hybrid car plant in the U.S. by the end of 2012 and begin production in 2013. Brilliance was a similar start-up company that achieved international success in short-time.

However, Alabama officials stressed that other than for site preparation and access from the interstate, no taxpayer money will be committed until certain milestones are in place. The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance has options on 3,000 acres north of Bay Minette and just south of Interstate 65, the planned location for the new enterprise.

Charles Huang, vice chairman of HK Motors, said the company will rely heavily on the U.S. government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, which offers the possibility of U.S. citizenship to foreigners willing to pump significant amount of moneys into U.S. enterprises.

The vehicles will reportedly range in price from $20,000 to $60,000, a company official said. By 2014, the company expects to produce 300,000 vehicles annually, rising to 1 million a year by 2018.

The vehicles will get at least 45 miles per gallon, Wang said, and the plug-in vehicle planned by the carmaker can go 600 miles on a single charge.

A press release on Alabama Governor Bob Riley’s website, notes HK Motors has chosen some of the world’s most renowned automotive companies to serve as its partners in this endeavor. Representatives from these suppliers, including German engine designer FEV, were on hand for a press conference today, and many will also be setting up bases at the Baldwin County production base, bringing in more international expertise and offering more opportunities for local workers. Altogether, the state expects more than 5,000 jobs to be created if the project goes ahead.

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