The specialized van builder Vehicle Production Group has stopped production of their MV-1 van designed for the disabled.
VPG was awarded a $50 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2010 as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. That same government program loaned money to recently-failed car maker Fisker – along with the solar company Solyndra.
VPG contracted out manufacturing of the MV-1 to AM General, a leader in building military vehicles like the Humvee, in their Mishawaka, Ind. plant. Around 2,500 vans were built with another 2,300 on backorder.
Each MV-1 retailed around $40,000 and came equipped with a Ford 4.6-liter V-8 that could be customized to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas. A wheelchair ramp with a 1,200-pound capacity led to a 36-inch-wide entry door and enough interior room for two wheelchair passengers, the driver, and three other passengers.
VPG is laying of roughly 100 employees as it closes its doors.