Custom Car Company to Open Factory in Phoenix; First Vehicle is High-Mileage Dune Buggy


Rally Fighter

A custom car company plans on producing off-road vehicles from a "micro-factory" somewhere in the Valley as soon as next year.

Local Motors Company, based in Massachussetts, is already taking orders for its first car, the Rally Fighter, a $50,000 dune-buggy-type vehicle. The Phoenix Business Journal reports today that the company is taking design ideas from the public for future products.

The Rally Fighter appears to be designed for either desert racing professionals or people who have cash to burn on an expensive toy. But it sure looks cool. And it reportedly gets 36 miles per gallon of clean diesel.

Here's how the Biz Journal describes the Local Motors' business scheme:

The company manufactures only the vehicle chassis and body, Rogers said; the rest of the parts come from outside suppliers. The car is designed and finished based on choices made by each individual buyer.

The development pipeline -- from concept to rolling vehicles off the assembly line -- takes about 18 months and costs about $2 million. That's compared with four to five years and hundreds of millions of dollars for traditional carmakers.

With General Motors and Chrysler in bankruptcy, maybe companies like Local Motors will salvage the American vehicle manufacturing industry -- one concept car at a time.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern