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Joint-Venture To Build EVs In Iowa, Create 300 Jobs

Tue, 07/27/2010 - 4:42am

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A manufacturing company said Monday it plans to build electric cars in Webster City, a project that officials said will create up to 300 new jobs in the north-central Iowa community.

Webster City and AMS Inc., a new division of Eagle Manufacturing, jointly announced the signing of a contract with Envision Motor Company, of Ames. They said they'll assemble a new line of all-electric cars in Webster City under the Electric Motor Cars brand and logo.

Company officials said the deal will initially create 50 jobs, with up to 300 expected by the second quarter of next year.

The announcement was especially good news for Webster City because it had been preparing for the closing of an Electrolux Home Care Products plant early next year.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our company and the city," said Joe Fleming, owner of Eagle Manufacturing and AMS.

Fleming said the company expects to start assembly on the first cars in a matter of weeks.

"The city is excited for this opportunity," City Manager Ed Sadler said. "We've been working with Joe and we've offered to assist with resources, including financial assistance tied to job creation."

Last year, the city announced a $1.5 million economic development initiative that included the hiring of an economic development consultant.

"Webster City is a strategic location with an advantageous labor market and technological advantages that support manufacturing and we've been very successful here," Fleming said.

Eagle Manufacturing, which specializes in metal stamping, manufacturing and assembly, has been a subcontractor for Electrolux for 14 years. AMS will be the assembler of the new cars.

Despite the Electrolux closing, Sadler said, the city has a strong industrial base of locally owned companies.

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