FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Elio Motors Inc. signed a letter of intent to work together.
Once the agreement is finalized, Cooper Tire will supply the automotive startup—headquartered in Troy, Mich.—with original equipment on its three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicle. The new car is expected to compete in the ultra high mileage category beginning in the end of 2014.
The Elio weighs about 1,200 pounds and runs on a three-cylinder, 55-horespower, fuel-injected engine. It is expected to retail about $6,800, and Elio expects the vehicle to achieve up to 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in the city.
Elio plans to produce the vehicle in Shreveport, La., using parts made primarily in North America.
Paul Elio, CEO of Elio Motors, said the letter signifies a step forward in American manufacturing and assembly.
"Elio Motors is determined to use only quality suppliers while pioneering this affordable new road in the automotive industry," he said. "We cannot underestimate the importance of a quality tire in making a vehicle both enjoyable and safe to drive."
Neither Cooper nor Elio Motors disclosed the vehicle's tire size.
Elio Motors arose from Elio's vision for an efficient and affordable yet revolutionary vehicle, according to the company.