Cash-strapped Vehicle Production Group now up for sale

Article by Anita Panait, on May 10, 2013

Vehicle Production Group (VPG) has suspended its operations and is currently up for sale, according to former chief executive John Walsh. VPG, which builds MV-1 vans for the disabled, terminated around 100 workers and shut down its offices in February. In an interview with Automotive News, Walsh said that the two parties in the "automotive space" have expressed interest in acquiring VPG, adding that one of them is a current partner that "has a lot to do with building the car." Walsh’s statement may refer to AM General, which builds specialized military and commercial vehicles like the Humvee.

AM General was contracted to build the MV-1 in Mishawaka, Indiana. Walsh told Automotive News that once VPG's assets were frozen after falling below the threshold set by the United States government, shutting down operations “was the best move.” According to him, it was the right thing to do for the employees, since they continued to work without being paid. The U.S. Department of Energy granted VPG a $50-million loan in 2010 under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. The van maker was able to hire some of the most senior talents in the U.S. auto industry after its creation in 2006, including CEOs Dave Schembri, from Mitsubishi and Smart USA, and Mark Hogan from General Motors.

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