A new San Diego-based auto company named V-Vehicle, backed by billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens and staffed by former Mazda design chief Tom Matano, plans to build "environmentally friendly" vehicles in Louisiana.

Financing also comes from Silicon Valley venture capitalists Ray Lane and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said The News-Star newspaper in Monroe. Louisiana businessman James Davison, who owns the former plant, told the newspaper he is also an investor.


The plant most recently was operated by Guide Corp. The company was formed in 1906 as an automotive lamp-repair company. It later became GM's Delphi Lighting unit and was spun off in 1998, a year before GM and Delphi Corp. separated.

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