A California-based electric vehicle maker says trial production of its "intelligent" cars will begin in Mishawaka by the end of the year. SF Motors unveiled its concepts Wednesday at its Santa Clara headquarters, saying the SF5 model will be available for pre-order this year and will be on the road in 2019. The company in November completed the acquisition of a former AM General LLC commercial assembly plant where a contract with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. had ended.
During the unveiling, which attracted company officials from throughout the world and a representative from Governor Eric Holcomb’s office, Chief Production Officer Jim Finn outlined the company’s production model and what he says makes it different. "We directly control and operate our production facilities. This is crucial. Only a few EV companies operate this way. Most rely on others and only SF Motors can independently build and sell in two of the world’s largest markets: the U.S. and China," he said. Finn said the factories in St. Joseph County and Chongqing, China are capable of anything from welding to battery pack production to final assembly. "Our Indiana plant has a legacy of producing some great vehicles," Finn continued, "like the iconic Hummer H2 and the premium Mercedes R-Class, so the team comes to us with experience making high-quality vehicles." When SF Motors announced it would take over the Mishawaka facility, plans called for retaining the employees slated to be laid off.
The company detailed and debuted two vehicles: the SF5 and the SF7, which it says will be customizable with one, two, three or four motor configurations that would "at the top end," be capable of delivering more than 1000 horsepower and going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds. SF Motors is currently road testing its EVs in California, Michigan and China, and says it is targeting the release of cars featuring "protective autonomy" in 2020. Ultimately, the manufacturer is looking to pump out 200,000 units per year while employing around 3,500 globally.
Finn said "we consider our U.S. plant in Indiana and our China facility in Chongqing to be among the most automated plants in the world, with partners that are the world’s foremost leaders in manufacturing and a newly trained U.S. team that will operate one of the most innovative and technically advanced EV plants in the U.S. And to meet our goal of becoming a true pioneer in this sector, we are intelligently configuring all our facilities to support our sustainability efforts. It all comes together to help achieve our vision of getting high-quality intelligent EVs in the hands of more people worldwide."
The company has technology and design centers in the U.S., Germany, China and Japan. You can connect to more about SF Motors by clicking here.
During the unveiling, which attracted company officials from throughout the world and a representative from Governor Eric Holcomb’s office, SF Motors Chief Production Officer Jim Finn outlined the company’s production model.