On Thursday, Carbon Motors of Connersville, Indiana, auctioned off its futuristic prototype E7 police cruiser for $74,000 to a Wisconsin bidder.
This police cruiser from the future contains a touch screen computer screen, a 360-degree video and audio surveillance system, shotgun mounts, suicide doors, spotlights, a weapons-of-mass-destruction detection system, excellent fuel efficiency, top speeds of 150 mph, and enough engine power to go from 0 to 60 in a mere 6.5 seconds. The car does not have a VIN number, and is not street legal. While the auctioneer Key Auctioneer did not have a means of estimating the car’s value, as it was the only of its kind, Key had been hoping to pull in more than $74,000 for the prototype.
In 2009, Carbon Motors opened its doors in the small, lower-income town of Connersville, Indiana. Carbon Motors promised the 7,000 residents that it would revitalize the community by providing jobs to over 1,500 residents, in an attempt to begin manufacture of loaded high-tech police cruisers. Indiana local and state government grants amounting to $7 million were awarded to Carbon Motors to build the futuristic police cruisers. While the one prototype was built, the promised 1,500 jobs never materialized.
Carbon Motors’ failure is suspected to be caused by the U.S. Department of Energy’s rejection of a requested $310 million loan for research and production. Just a mere few years after opening its doors, Carbon Motors filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana in June of 2013. Carbon Motors listed $21.7 million in liabilities and only $18,976 in assets in its petition. Some of the main creditors include BMW and Inteva Products.
As part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy judge ordered an auction of Carbon Motors’ remaining property, including the E7 police cruiser, some rope stands, and some marketing materials, such as convention displays and office supplies. Key Auctioneer sold the entire lot for $76,675. While some onlookers came to admire the car, the majority of bids came from online bidders hailing from 17 different states. This $76,675 will be sent to the court-ordered receiver for debt collection and distribution to creditors.
As part of the bankruptcy, Carbon Motors sold its Visteon manufacturing plant to Wayzata Home Products, a Minnesota cabinetmaker. Wayzata was interested in the facility because the plant was already remolded for Carbon Motors. Wayzata plans to make good on the original promises made by Carbon Motors, by employing 300 Connersville residents and investing over $12.5 million in the Connersville community.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy, and involves complete liquidation. Though often used by individuals, it can be used by businesses that are unable to pay their debtors. Unlike a reorganization under Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves an appointed Trustee selling all assets of the company, and then distributing the proceeds to the creditors. The company then ceases operations.
If you are struggling with debt and are considering a Chapter 7 liquidation, whether for your personal accounts or your business, please consider contacting bankruptcy attorney Christopher L. Arrington today.
By Christopher Arrington