Carbon Motors Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

From Road & Track by Steve Abrams, June 21, 2013

After a decade of trying, the dream of creating an all-new, purpose-built vehicle for America’s police officers is now officially dead. Carbon Motors has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That means there is no hope of reorganizing the company and whatever assets remain will be liquidated with the proceeds going to the creditors.

Carbon Motors E7 diesel police car - front three-quarter view

Unfortunately for suppliers like BMW and Troy, Michigan-based Inteva Products, it doesn’t look like scraps are about all that’s left of Carbon Motors. The filing lists its assets as a single prototype police car, miscellaneous furniture, books and records, and the company’s intellectual property.

The lone prototype might have some value to a collector, but it seems unlikely creditors will get more than pennies on the dollar.

As late as November, 2011, Carbon claimed to have more than 20,000 reservations from police agencies, but the whole project always seemed a bit dubious. While getting a police car that came out of the factory completely equipped for duty would no doubt have saved law enforcement agencies money spent on up-fitting conventional sedans, building a low-volume vehicle with a BMW six-cylinder turbodiesel was never going to be an affordable proposition.

Once the United States Department of Energy rejected the company’s application for a low-interest $310 million loan, it was just a matter of time until the plug was pulled. In early April, 2013, the remaining staff pulled up stakes from the Connersville, Indiana factory where they had hoped to build the cars.

Even after the loan rejection, Carbon showed off renderings of the TX7, a purpose-built police van, but no physical prototype was ever built.

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