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|Founder(s)||Jay Rodgers, Jeff Jones|
Local Motors is an American automotive company. Co-founded by John "Jay" Rogers and Jeff Jones in Wareham, Massachusetts, administrative, design, development, and manufacturing functions are co-located in the company’s Micro-Factory and Headquarters in Chandler, Arizona.
Local Motors is the first car company to co-create vehicles online with its virtual community of designers, fabricators, engineers and enthusiasts from around the world. The world’s first vehicle produced using this co-creative method is the Local Motors Rally Fighter, an off-road race vehicle that is also 50-state street legal and fully insurable. All Rally Fighter customers participate in either an interactive build experience – two 3-day weekends or one full week – alongside Local Motors’ engineers and builder trainers in their "Micro-Factory".
 Company History
2006 Local Motors was founded on a run around the Charles River in Boston, MA where Jeff Jones and Jay Rogers first discussed the idea of starting a company whose mission it was to bring exciting cars to market. The path has not been straight, but the intent has been unwavering. At the time, Jay and Jeff were students and used their inspiration (plus a little grant money) to criss-cross the country interviewing all kinds of people in the car industry. Though they knew what they wanted to achieve, they were each unsure of how to do it. Then on a flight from LA back to Boston in the Fall, lightning struck, and over a ginger ale and peanuts, the business idea was born. Quickly, the team moved to secure commitments from some early advisors in each area of the business, web community, car building and strategic positioning. Still, there was no name, no funding, no plan, and no commitment. Over the next six months, much of that was to fall into place.
2007 In the Spring of 2007, Jeff and Jay entered a business plan competition called the Pitch for Change where Local Motors faced off against 70 entrants and took first prize, it was the first piece of news, but still no funding. Later that spring the Founders decided to part as Jeff went to pursue a dream of gaining his doctorate in Technology & Operations Management at Harvard Business School, and Jay decided to make the Company his number-one priority. They continued to collaborate, but at a distance. The summer was a rocky road with some desperate moments, but when the sun rose on September, there was much to show for the effort: Local Motors had a lead investor in Factory Five Racing, Jay had moved his family to the Southcoast of MA to set up operations, the Facility was chosen and cleaning had begun.
The Business transitioned from "Local Motors" to "Local Motors, Inc." as it incorporated in Delaware, and Corporate counsel had been chosen. Not long after, on October 19, Local Motors, Inc. closed on $2MM of additional financing, and finally had air to breathe. Founding and setting up the framework of the entity was over and it was time to embark on building the business.
In October, Karin Ostebo joined the effort to provide some much-needed accounting, legal, and administrative structure. With her diligence, the office and the incorporation moved forward with a laminar flow.
Factory Five Racing began to prepare its commitment of engineers to join Local Motors in the new year, and the owners of both businesses crafted a plan on how best to participate in growing Local Motors' engineering department.
In November, Tim Thomas decided to join the Team as its web architect, and it was none to soon as he immediately began to dive into the creation of its website and community design plan.
Shortly after, Jay was introduced to Andrew Cronk as he was a dedicated follower of some of the newest trends in open source design of real products. Andy was planning to start his own company, and so he took the time to join Local Motors in its web development effort while he got his plan together.
2008 After the first of the year, the vehicle engineering team began to take shape. Dave Riha and Mike Pisani joined the force as lead development engineers, and Danny Kim (from Rhode Island School of Design) joined as an intern.
About a month later, Kingfish Media joined the team as a contractor to provide some much needed branding to the web-effort. Cam Brown and his team of magicians worked feverishly on an incredibly tight timeline to bring the first version of the website to reality.
With a team of 7 folks (and a whole lot of outside help), the company had begun its first stage of building out its goals. The next order of business was to build a website and a community. Tim and Andy quickly built the website into a place for exciting car design, supportive of both community and competition. As the website plan became a reality, we found a need for a person to handle Public Relations and spread the message about our upcoming website launch. Ariel Ferreira joined the team in February to fulfill this need. As the website was built, Local Motors developed the specifics of the competition. The day after Ari joined, Ben Messmer, Local Motor's "Design Oracle" came on board to work on the "Ignition Kit" which details the competition requirements. Ben is a car designer and an outstanding communicator making him uniquely qualified for this task. Ben became the car designer voice within Local Motors, and is an indispensable resource.
March 10th, 2008, Local Motors launched the Semi-Private Beta stage. At this point, Local Motors was accessible by invite only. A small group of talented transportation designers registered and gave the site a test run.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Local Motors|
- Official Local Motors Website
- Books mentioning Local Motors Local Motors Books Page
- Jay Leno's Garage 2012 Local Motors Rally Fighter
- Creating Customs Creating Customs visits Local Motors
- IMTS 2012 Collaborative Manufacturing: Local Motors
- The List 2012 Build a Car
- Discover Channel 2011 Game Changers: Local Motors
- Top Gear 2011 The Rally Fighter
- President Obama on Local Motors
- Translogic 2011 Local Motors Rally Fighter
- Forbes 2011 Dream Car
- Article in Popular Mechanics Local Motors Rally Fighter: PM Exclusive Test Drive
- Article in WIRED Magazine In the next Industrial Revolution, Atoms are the New Bits
- Article in AutoBlog 2010: Local Motors puts five Rally Fighters on display
- Article in Jalopnik Local Motors Rally Fighter: The First-Ever Creative Commons Car
- Article in Bloomberg Business Week Local Motors: A New Kind of Car Company
- Article from Motor Weekly "DARPA Taps Local Motors, Public For Crowd-Sourced XC2V Military Support Vehicle"
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