Car plant’s only gamble is time

Published 5:08 am Wednesday, September 30, 2009

By Staff
It’s the sort of thing that sounds too good to be true: A new, untested hybrid automaker wants to build a huge factory in Baldwin County, with bold promises of production and employment.
The catch? The company still has to raise $1.5 billion to be viable.
It’s easy to be skeptical of the plan by Hybrid Kinetic Motors, which has plans to be producing 300,000 vehicles by 2013, employing 5,000 people.
But it’s also important to note that the state, as well as local governments, are not making huge financial commitments to HK Motors unless the company can prove itself.
A year ago many of us didn’t realize that our country would be in quite the economic state we find ourselves. Many might not have predicted the state of the auto industry, which surely will have to undergo vast changes to survive, especially as more people look to alternative fuels to cut costs.
So a new car company that is looking to build automobiles with low emissions and an eye on performance and safety is taking the right steps for the future of the automotive industry.
The only gamble anyone in Alabama has made so far with HK Motors is in the time spent luring the company here. We know that our workforce in Alabama is strong; we’ve already proven that we are a leader in the automotive industry.
A Baldwin County facility employing 5,000 people and making 300,000 products a year would almost certainly have a huge impact on our county. While we won’t count our chickens before they have hatched, we will pray that this project gets the financing it needs if it truly is a viable entity.
We have nothing to lose with this project — we just hope we will have something to gain when all is said and done.

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