Startup vehicle manufacturer Elio Motors, famous for its planned three-wheeled car, is seeking to raise $100 million -- and fast -- as the company seeks to shore up its deteriorating finances.
Elio Motors filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Aug. 3 to hold an initial public offering of its common stock. The company intends to trade its shares on the Nasdaq exchange.
"We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, including sales and marketing activities, product development, and capital expenditures," Elio said in the filing.
The filing also noted plans to use the money raised to tweak engineering and design work.
Elio Motors' IPO filing says that its cars won't be coming off the lines at its Shreveport, La., plant until 2019 at the earliest. This is another delay in production that the nearly 65,000 reservation holders have seen for the three-wheeled car expected to get up to 84 mpg. Elio gave a first look at a test vehicle last year.
The base price of the vehicle was initially $6,800. Now, according to the filing, it will start at $7,450.
"The Elio is still in development, and we do not expect to start delivering to customers until 2019," the filing said. "The Elio vehicle requires significant investment prior to commercial introduction, and may never be successfully developed or commercially successful."
The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined according to the filing.
The filing also indicates that Elio Motors has $208,748 in cash on hand.
An independent accounting firm auditing Elio Motors said that there is "substantial doubt about [Elio Motors'] ability to continue as a going concern," meaning it's unlikely the company can remain afloat in the near future without new capital.
As of March 31, Elio Motors had a capital deficiency of $41.5 million and stockholders' deficit of and $145.9 million, according to the filing.
"We have not yet produced or delivered our first vehicle and we have not generated any revenues," the filing said. "If we do not successfully address these risks, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition will be materially and adversely harmed."
Elio Motors Inc. was founded in 2009 by Paul Elio, who wanted to manufacture an ultra-high mileage vehicle. In 2013, Elio Motors purchased what will be its first production facility, formerly owned by General Motors, in Shreveport. The company also began taking reservations for the Elio in 2013 and deposits have totaled nearly $28 million as of March 31, 2017.