- Detroit Electric has announced that it will begin overseas production of its 2014 Detroit Electric SP:01 electric sports car in the fourth quarter of this year.
- The company says it is working on U.S. certification for the SP:01 and still plans to begin manufacturing the car in the Detroit area.
- No timetable was given for the startup of U.S. operations.
DETROIT — Citing "operational headwinds," Detroit Electric on Thursday confirmed a delay in U.S. production of the 2014 Detroit Electric SP:01, the company's $135,000 electric sports car. Overseas production will start in an existing plant in Holland in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Detroit Electric says it has received more than 60 orders for the SP:01 from customers in Europe and Asia. Those orders will be filled from an assembly facility at Lochem in the Netherlands, with manufacturing to begin by the end of this year.
The company says it is also working to secure Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard certification for the SP:01 in order to commence production and sales in the U.S. No date was given for the startup of U.S. operations.
In March 2013, Detroit Electric told Edmunds it planned to begin manufacturing the SP:01 at a facility in Southeast Michigan by August of this year. But late last week reports began circulating that the automaker had not yet finalized an agreement for a U.S. plant, resulting in the delay.
In a statement today, Detroit Electric CEO Albert Lam reaffirmed his company's intention to set up shop in Michigan.
"We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric," he said. "Our commitment to the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan and the United States is as strong as it ever was."
Lam added: "While there have been some delays in our plan to start production in Detroit, many vehicle programs experience some form of delay. Our goal is to get a world-class vehicle to our customers."
Detroit Electric also noted that wind-tunnel testing and other technical analysis in Europe "indicated a need for further development" of the SP:01's aerodynamics, especially if it is to achieve "safe operation" at its advertised top speed of 155 mph.
Edmunds says: It's anybody's guess when U.S. buyers will be able to get their hands on a Detroit Electric car.