Frank Stronach, founder of Magna International, now plans to build three-wheeled, single seat electric vehicles in the Greater Toronto Area, according to media reports.
The Toronto Star was first to report that Stronach is looking to build a new headquarters for his Safe Affordable Reliable Innovative Transport (SARIT) company after the billionaire applied for a zoning change to allow construction.
At three feet wide, six feet long and five feet high, the SARIT vehicle looks somewhat like a golf cart. It can travel 100 kilometres on a single charge, according to the newspaper. The estimated cost of a 24-month lease for the SARIT is $1,100, the Star said.
“I believe it will change transportation in the world,” Stronach told the Star. “I want to be first out of the gate. I want to make sure Canada will be No. 1 in micro-mobility.”
Stronach is funding the project through his personal finances, according to the Financial Post. But, he declined to reveal the total cost, the paper said.
The new facility could create as many as 200 jobs, Stronach told the Financial Post. The plant would have the capacity to produce and assemble 30,000 units annually. Stronach told the newspaper the production cost of a single vehicle would be $2,500 and retail for $4,000.
Stronach started in the auto industry when he turned a one-man tool shop in Toronto called Multimatic into Magna, the third-largest automotive supplier in the world.
Stronach built Magna into the international corporation it has become after leaving Austria for Canada as a penniless 21-year-old tool maker in 1954. He delivered his first supply of parts to General Motors Co. and went on to build the company into a global parts giant. Stronach stepped down as chairman in 2011 after accepting a $1-billion buyout.