Old AM General plant to make Sokon vans for Electric Last Mile
A former AM General plant, sold to the American branch of a Chinese automaker, has been resold to a Michigan-based company—which will, it appears, use it to assemble electric vans from Chinese parts.
Vans were the last “normal” electric vehicles, particularly in Britain, where they picked up goods from rail yards and deliver them to local shops, warehouses, or factories; electric milk vans were also used in the 1970s.
Electric Last Mile will reportedly sell two electric vehicles created by Sokon of China, much as an Egyptian plant makes Wranglers from knockdown kits (an image of the Sokon plant in China is shown above). The American factory is in Mishawaka, Indiana; Electric Last Mile is headquartered in Troy, Michigan. Assembling trucks in the US, even from parts made elsewhere, saves a hefty import tax. Sokon likely decided not to use a wholly-owned subisidiary in the US due to a sales shortfall, which knocked profits (in yuan) from 67 million in 2019 to a loss of $1.8 billion in 2020.
David Zatz, the founder of Allpar.com and one of the founders of Mopower.com, has been covering the Chrysler community since 1993. He has written four books covering Chrysler vehicles and development.