Last year, I reported that an Arizona company was planning to manufacture affordable, fuel efficient commuter cars at a former GM plant in Shreveport. The company's founder, Paul Elio was able to purchase the Shreveport property in the wake of GM's bankruptcy.

AP reports the Elio will have a starting price under $7,000, about half that of Daimler's Smart Car. Fewer than 10,000 Smart cars were sold in the US last year. Elio says 27,000 advance orders for the three-wheeled vehicle have been placed. It's reportedly capable of speeds in the 100 mph range, and gets 84 highway mpg. Elio hopes for sales of 250,000 units by 2016. He says the vehicle will appeal to younger drivers who often settle for old, worn out vehicles as a concession to price. The majority of advance orders, ironically have been placed by older, affluent individuals.