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Startup Auto Company Investing $248 Million to Open Plant in Louisiana

V-Vehicle Company (VVC), a startup automobile manufacturer, will invest at least $248 million to open an assembly plant in Monroe, Louisiana, according to the Louisiana governor's office. The project is expected to create at least 1,400 direct jobs at an average annual salary of $40,000 plus benefits. VVC plans to produce an environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market; the Associated Press reports that investors include founder Frank Varasano, formerly of Oracle Corporation; energy investor T. Boone Pickens; and Louisiana-based trucking magnate James Davison, who owns the vacant plant in which VVC will produce the cars. "The thing that excites me the most about V-Vehicle Company is that it is a holistic change," says Ray Lane, VVC's board chair. "We're thinking about, from beginning to end, how to reconstruct a car company. The V-Vehicle Company has the opportunity to change the automobile business in the United States." AP says that company officials refuse to discuss any details about the vehicle, including the design and price; the company's design director, Tom Matano, designed the original Mazda Miata. The state has offered VVC an incentives package worth approximately $67 million, with an additional $15 million coming from local governments. The company has also applied for $340 million in loans from the federal government. Production is expected to begin in approximately 18 months.

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