DaimlerChrysler Acquires Global Electric MotorCarsOctober 24, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
DaimlerChrysler Corp. (Auburn Hills, MI) expanded its lineup of zero-emission vehicles by purchasing the assets and business of Global Electric MotorCars LLC (GEM, Fargo, ND). Terms of the deal were not discussed.
GEM is the largest US producer of EVs that can be licensed for use on public roads. With the purchase, DaimlerChrysler becomes the first major automaker to sell Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) in the US. DaimlerChrysler claims that marketing NEVs is part of their continuing effort to develop and produce the most environmentally-friendly cars in the world.
GEM was established in 1997 and will produce more than 5,000 vehicles this year. Its product lineup includes two- and four-passenger models, as well as two utility vehicles. Thirty-two states have presently approved the use of NEVs, and the state of California approves them as zero-emission vehicles. Meanwhile, the market for NEVs continues to grow; currently, they are used primarily at military bases, resorts, university campuses and planned communities.
GEM vehicles complement the EPIC, the battery-electric version of the Dodge Caravan minivan that Daimler-Chrysler has sold in California and New York for the past three years. In addition, DaimlerChrysler claims to have developed clean, efficient internal combustion engines, hybrid-electric and fuel-cell-electric vehicles and other advanced technologies to reduce emissions, increase fuel efficiency and reduce the impact of the automobile on the environment. A city car may be considered as a future product.
"DaimlerChrysler is a leader in the development of environmentally friendly vehicles. With GEM, we have added one more asset to our environmental portfolio," commented Tom Gale, DaimlerChrysler's executive vice president of product development and general manager of passenger car operations.