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Elio Motors, Inc. (ELIO) Leverages Integrated Approach to Expedite Finalization of Body Panel Design

Earlier today, Elio Motors, Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO) took a major step toward the start of production for its highly-anticipated three-wheeled vehicle when it announced finalization of its body panel design. Through unprecedented levels of supplier input and collaboration, the company was able to reduce body panel development time by roughly 90 percent, further demonstrating Elio’s commitment to innovation in the automotive space.

“We’ve organized our engineering teams and supplier partners to give them more freedom to provide ideas and decisions,” Paul Elio, founder and chief executive officer of Elio Motors, stated in this morning’s news release. “Their collective brainpower is essential in meeting the aggressive cost and quality standards we’ve set and that our customers demand. The teamwork and talent of our supplier partners was on full display in the body panel development.”

In an effort to expedite body panel design, Elio grouped its engineering team members and supplier partners into eight work groups, with each taking responsibility for a specific portion of the vehicle. The company encouraged members of each group to work together on a daily basis to review and approve proposed engineering changes and push the company’s vehicle closer to predetermined cost and quality targets. Using this integrated approach, Elio was able to avoid many of the delays that are inherent in traditional manufacturer/supplier relationships in the auto industry, which can impede the development process and increase the final cost of a vehicle.

“The Elio Motors design process is the new paradigm in automotive engineering and design,” added Frank Phillips, Jr., president of Elio design partner Molded Plastic Industries. “It allows participating suppliers to bring their best ideas to the table and to work together collaboratively with other product development teams (PDT) for the good of the project.”

Elio’s milestone builds on what has been an exciting week for the American automotive industry. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) continues to grab headlines ahead of the unveiling of its all-electric Model 3, which is scheduled for tonight. The launch of the Model 3 will mark a major turning point for Tesla, as the vehicle is priced at roughly half the sticker price of the automaker’s Model S and Model X. Reports ( of lines of would-be buyers at Tesla stores around the globe waiting to reserve the Model 3 pushed TSLA stock up about two percent in afternoon trading, despite the fact that production isn’t scheduled to begin until 2017. Early reports suggest that Model 3 reservations will amount to billions of dollars in short order for Tesla, highlighting the viability of an affordable, innovative approach to automotive development.

While a $35,000 sticker price for a Tesla Model 3 has car buyers lining up, it’s far from the most affordable impending entry into the American automotive market. The Elio Motors vehicle has a targeted base price of just $6,800. According to the company’s website, this unmatched affordability, when paired with an estimated fuel economy of up to 84 miles per gallon, has already enticed more than 51,280 individuals to make a deposit on the sleek two-seater.

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