18:00 PM

Monaco-based Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Establishes Engineering Headquarters in Columbus

Venturi Automobiles has announced the establishment of a new company, Venturi North America, to be headquartered at The Ohio State University. Venturi plans to design, engineer and produce electric vehicles for specialty markets.

Venturi chose Columbus as its North American base of operation to be in closer proximity to The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research, a partner on projects such as the Buckeye Bullet landspeed racing team, which recently set new FIA international speed records for both hydrogen fuel cell and battery powered vehicles.

Media Availability: Venturi President Gildo (JILL-doe) Pastor will be available on Friday, Jan. 14 from 9-10 a.m. at the Center for Automotive Research, 930 Kinnear Road, or by phone at 614-292-5990.

“The Center for Automotive Research is enthusiastic about working with Venturi’s design and engineering staff to development new electric vehicles,” said Giorgio Rizzoni, Director of CAR. “Venturi employs some 70 people in their engineering and manufacturing operations in Monaco and in France, and we expect that in time they will establish a similar presence in Central Ohio.”

John Pohill of Livonia, Mich. has been named chief executive officer of Venturi North America.

Venturi specializes in the design, engineering, manufacturing and conversion of electric vehicles including high-performance sports cars and lightweight urban vehicles. Recently, in collaboration with French automobile manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën, Venturi developed an electric conversion for delivery vehicles, selected by La Poste, the French postal service.

In September 2010, the company opened its first factory, MVE (Manufacture de Véhicules Electriques), near Le Mans, France, and with an immediate order for 1,500 vehicles, became the largest active electric vehicle production line in the world.

Venturi North America plans to use manufacturing space within the Science and Technology Campus Corporation research park (SciTech) located on Ohio State’s West Campus. Company headquarters will be located within TechColumbus, adjacent to SciTech on Kinnear Road.

“We’re very pleased about Venturi’s announcement to base its North American operations in Central Ohio,” said Ted Ford, president and CEO of TechColumbus. “This adds another important advanced energy asset to the region and further demonstrates our commitment to becoming a world recognized leader in advanced energy manufacturing and energy storage.”

Central Ohio was recently designated as the Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity for Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Energy Storage. A group of local partners is working to attract advanced energy enterprises to the area while supporting existing concerns. Partners include TechColumbus, Ohio State University, Battelle, Edison Welding Institute and Columbus 2020!

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About Venturi Automobiles
Venturi Automobiles was founded in 1984 in France as a sports car manufacturer. Purchased in 2001 by Gildo Pallanca Pastor, it focuses on innovation in the field of electric vehicles by harnessing the most advanced technological solutions in this area. Venturi expertise extends from urban cars to high-performance vehicles.

John Pohill, chief executive officer of Venturi North America, has served in numerous engineering and manufacturing management capacities in his 30+ year career, including positions in the automotive and ship-building industries with Chrysler, General Motors and General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.

About the Ohio State Center for Automotive Research
The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research is an interdisciplinary research center focusing on advanced electric propulsion and energy storage systems; advanced engines and alternative fuels; intelligent transportation systems and autonomous vehicles; noise, vibrations and dynamics; vehicle chassis systems and vehicle and occupant safety. CAR, along with Venturi Automobiles, battery manufacturer A123 Systems, and other industry leaders are partners on the Buckeye Bullet landspeed racing team.