Elio Motors filed its latest reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the three-wheeled auto start-up’s future looks even bleaker than before: according to its latest 1-K form, filed today, Elio says it wants production to begin in 2018, but it needs $376 million to make that happen, up from the previous estimated funding requirement of $312 million.
So what happened? Here’s what Elio says:
We need to raise additional funds to complete prototypes, testing and move into production. As noted in the chart above, we need to raise an additional estimated $376 million to fund production activities in the next 76 weeks and are pursuing multiple options for such funding. The funding will come from a combination of sources discussed below, as well as more traditional sources (not discussed), such as venture equity, debt arrangements and capital leasing of equipment. Our previous funding requirement was $312 million, which did not include approximately $64 million in supplier equipment commitments. The additional commitments have been added to the current funding requirements. Several major suppliers have committed to our project, and will share in the additional cost of engineering and equipment, as discussed below.
And while the company reported ending 2016 with about $120,000 in the bank—up from $101,317 as reported in January(!)—its net loss climbed to $52.7 million, according to the filing, up from $22.59 million a year earlier. Elio reported that its total accumulated deficit as of Dec. 31 is $141.14 million. Yikes.
Elio’s ambitious plan includes a three-wheeled vehicle that it claims can get up to 84 miles per gallon. The price of its car, originally pegged at $6,800, jumped to a base price of $7,300—but only under very specific circumstances.
Now, according to its latest SEC filing, the base price has inched north a tad more.
The Elio is being deliberately priced at the $7,450 base price target even though the market will bear a higher price without any competitors at the outset. By not opportunistically pricing the Elio, it will be difficult for competitors to attract Elio customers away. We believe that most major auto manufacturers are saddled with legacy costs (pension obligations, etc.) and massive corporate infrastructure and overhead that would make it very difficult for them to compete with our targeted $7,450 base price.
Elio reports that it still has 28 employees on payroll, but as of January 1, its significant lack of cash apparently started to have quite an impact.
“In order to reduce costs, effective January 1, 2017, the Company furloughed a significant portion of the engineering, manufacturing, and sales and marketing workforce,” the filing states. “At this time the Company is focusing its efforts on raising capital through a combination of debt and equity offerings. Once capital has been raised, the Company will resume engineering, manufacturing, and sales and marketing efforts.”
And while the company says there’s “no legal proceedings material to our business or financial condition pending,” the SEC filing states a claim has been made “by a supplier for payment of a past due balance, which we expect to resolve with the next funding.” That would seem to translate to: We don’t have the money to pay them right now.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Elio plans to begin its next round of funding. A message was left for the company seeking comment, and we’ll update the post when we hear back.