The cloak and dagger Louisiana car company known as V Vehicles has now been renamed Next Autoworks and will be based in California. If the name rings a bell, then you’ve probably been surfing one of the many green blog sites lately. V Vehicles started making waves in mid-2006, claiming to “change the automotive business in the US” through their revolutionary new, small, environmentally-friendly runabout. All we knew was that it would run on natural compressed gas and the generic stuff about it being compact, cheap to run etc. Since then, we haven’t even seen what the car looks like save for a few blurry renderings and a headlight teaser. The car doesn’t even have a name.
Most people in the know never took them seriously. That is, until now. Next Autoworks now has some serious backing from billionaire oil magnate, T. Boone Pickens, and the Venture Capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and they have even hired Kathleen Ligocki to take the lead. Ligocki’s resume includes being a part of top brass at Ford, Tower Automotive, and Mexico’s GS Salinas. In the design department, Tom Matano will be doing his thing - famous for designing the timeless Mazda Miata and sleek RX-7.
Now that the game plan has changed with serious players on board, these guys finally look like they’re for real. Then again, with so much secrecy, one cannot help but be a little weary. If they manage to pull it off, it’ll be a landmark era for the automotive industry and no doubt a green wave of change to the way things are currently done. We’ll keep you posted.
Recently there has been a lot of buzz about a new car company taking over an old General Motors supplier facility in Louisiana. No one in the media was quite sure who the mystery automaker was going to be. Would it be Fisker? Th!nk? In reality it turned out to be a company that few of us had ever heard of: San Diego based V-Vehicle.
Little is known about company, but a who’s who of investors have lined up to back the venture: T. Boone Pickens, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and James Davison, of Ruston, Louisiana. These luminaries of energy and capital hope to produce a "High-quality, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market." According to cars.com, the ’V’ in V-Vehicle originally stood for value when the company was founded. Cars.com also unearthed that V-Vehicle has filed for the rights to "Model 1" and "Model One" although a company spokesman would not confirm those names.
No further information is available about the company’s products. The cars at launch late next year will not be all-electric or hybrid, but rather will be fuel-efficient gasoline powered models. The company website for V-Vehicle is currently just showing the V-Vehicle logo. A ’WhoIs’ database check for the domain name v-vehicle.com simply shows a John Harbison of San Diego, CA as the registered owner. Of interest is the fact that Tom Matano, who designed both the first and second generation Miatas, will be design director for the company.