Skip to comments.Hybrid automaker eyes Northeast Pennsylvania
Posted on 08/22/2010 4:31:44 AM PDT by Born Conservative
U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-11, was in Old Forge on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of a small-business lending program. But his mention of a hybrid automobile manufacturer considering Northeast Pennsylvania had the crowd buzzing like an electric motor.
The automaker, which was not named, is looking for a home for its national headquarters and factory and would employ 1,000 to start and 4,000 when fully operational, he said.
"They came to us," the Nanticoke Democrat said, expounding on reasons he is optimistic for the area's economy.
Mr. Kanjorski did not name the company, and it may be too early for anyone in such a deal to step forward. Companies don't want their competitors to know their plans. Local economic developers don't want a prospect to be poached by others.
Dave McGuire, a spokesman for the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a group representing electric and hybrid car manufacturers and suppliers, said several well-capitalized U.S. companies are preparing to expand production.
"This is a rapidly expanding, up-and-coming market," Mr. McGuire said. "Forces out there want the U.S. to lead this market. A lot of our members may be looking for bigger, permanent places. But those business decisions are kept under the radar."
Local economic developers can't be sure if the region is under consideration for an auto manufacturing plant.
Andy Skrip, vice president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, said he's not aware of a whale like that in the market.
His counterpart at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry, Larry Newman, said he can't be sure. Economic development agencies such as his receive veiled queries from third-party site-selection professionals. Often these inquiries have nothing more than a list of requirements, initial exchanges governed by "don't ask, don't tell" etiquette. Some recent inquiries, however, have been big.
"We can make an educated guess, but there is no way to be sure until the process gets much further along," he said. "We've been pleasantly surprised with the number and the scale of some of the unsolicited prospect inquiries we have seen."
Penny Cannella, executive director of Penn's Northeast, a regional economic development marketing organization, said most inquiries are about land or proximity to interstates or rail, with no identifying factors.
"I'd love to work with a hybrid car maker, but more often than not, you don't know what a prospect does," she said. John Cognetti, of Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate, said he's seen correspondence from the Governor's Action Team alluding to a prospect from the automotive sector.
The region has a foundation of knowledge and know-how that could be inviting for an electric or hybrid car manufacturer. Several area colleges offer four-year degrees in electrical engineering.
The region already has manufacturers of highly engineered metal and plastics and electronics equipment. The Tobyhanna Army Depot is a key employer of electrical technicians.
"This is not an unreasonable place for a company to consider," Mr. Newman said.
For Mr. Kanjorski, luring an automaker recalls his first term in office in the mid-1980s when the region jockeyed unsuccessfully for the first General Motors' Saturn plant.
The region has had bad experience with other manufacturers of electric-powered mobility devices. In 2002, Nova Cruz Products, manufacturers of the Voloci electric bike, opened a 18,000-square-foot facility in Scranton with the promise of employing 335 by 2004. The company folded a year later. Italian company Oxygen World Inc. took over the assets and moved to Throop for a short time, then pulled out.
It’s that time again ! I just love those inflated empoyment claims when these guys come around for their bi-annual visit.
My first thought as well! Kanjorski is toast unless he can make a really compelling case for his re-election. A nameless car company "needs" a senior member of the House to bring them to Northeast PA.
Sorry, folks, unless the company is already unionized, it will not come to Northeast PA, home of high taxes, corrupt politicians and unionization in the soul of workers.
As long as N.E. PA is ruled by Democrats and every billboard in town is for some lawyer telling you to sue someone and get rich, it is only going to get worse. Most of the people with “get up and go” have “got up and left”, leaving a ton of retirees and not a lot of young people with drive. The population is very well educated and there are lots of good people, but Democrats have ruled the area for so long the corruption pervades every level of government. There are several FBI investigations going on and it will take a lot of arrests and convictions of crooked lawmakers to clean house.
Reads like a typical “Pump and Dump” post from a penny stock.
The man is a sucker. They came to Pennsylvania to get mega goodies to be used when bargaining with the nonunion right to work folks in South Carolina or Alabama
As long as Kanjorski’s nephews aren’t running the business ... like they did with another company funded by the govt.
That observation deserves "dittoes".
Unicorn Motors Inc.
No real company would be stupid enough to even consider locating a facility in Penn., at least while Texas and Florida are still allowing new business formations.
Last month when Brannigan’s restaurant closed, the CEO/owner stated “...NE Pennsylvania is an economic disaster area.”
Sad but true according to many here from NE Penn. The RRs died.Coal is no longer King. Unions. Many afflictions brought the area down. Once down, hard to get back up.
The story of Mack Truck pulling out typifies what happened to NE Penn in general....
Surrounded by evil coal mines. Area is blooming with natural gas wells leased from private property that Rendell is pushing to tax (to fix highways, no less).
Government gives to blue state, it will fail.
I was assigned to work at a facility North of Scranton by my employer about 15 years ago. They offered me a permanent position there, but after touring the area, I decided I’d rather be laid off. I can only imagine how much worse it has become considering our current situation.
They were drunk on Obama Joy Juice.
"This is a rapidly expanding, up-and-coming market,"
What? Where? The rapid expansion was from toking some of that Obama Hope Smoke.
The region has had bad experience with other manufacturers of electric-powered mobility devices.
The company folded a year later.
Italian company Oxygen World Inc. took over the assets and moved to Throop for a short time, then pulled out.
The market is expanding? The article is full of pie in the sky promises, then the reality is saved for the last paragraph.
Several months ago I was reading comments off TOPIX on Elmira, NY. Another hard hit area. Binghamton as well. Someone said,”Last person to leave Elmira please turn off the lights.” Another poster responded, “Hell, nobody in Elmira can afford to keep their utilities on!”
Very sad what has happened up there.
Kanjorski, being in a tight race, is pulling out all the stops. He’s an understudy of Murtha, so Barletta better watch his ass.
I love non union anything, (smile). It is time to tear down some icons, baby. Starting with the federal government unions and working outward. November 2 2010 “Free at last...”
Too late, PA. Delaware has already doused an electric car maker [Fisker] with taxpayer cash to build cars in one of our old GM plants. Of course, they won’t return our calls about showing one of the cars at an exhibition, but I’m sure they will eventually employ ‘many thousands’ as our Blue State leaders like to promise.
“They came to us,” the Nanticoke Democrat said ...
Right. The very first thing any legitimate manufacturing company does when it decides to relocate or open a new plant in a new area is to ring up the local congressman in the district. Very first thing.
Not only is this guy a liar, he’s an extremely unskilled liar.