The Mishawaka plant is scheduled to first produce prototypes of a car with the name SF5. Photo provided/SERES.
The Mishawaka plant is scheduled to first produce prototypes of a car with the name SF5. Photo provided/SERES.
The long-awaited SF Motors plant in Mishawaka is inching closer to completion. And when it’s finished, the cars that it produces will have a new name.

The electric carmaker, which recently announced that the vehicle brand name will be SERES, says it should have equipment installed in its Mishawaka facility by July.

The plant is scheduled to first produce prototypes of a car with the name SF5.

“It’s certainly a car that has its feet in the future — it’s on the path to the future,” said Zak Edson, vice president of product management, marketing and sales at SERES. “When we talk about what we do, it’s not enough to say it’s a car or a car company. We’re really saying intelligent electric vehicles.

“Just trying to show that it’s not just nuts and bolts — there’s a lot more to it.”

The car is currently being shown at the Shanghai Auto Show and will be the first car from the company. Edson describes the SF5 as a midsize, crossover sport utility vehicle with electric powertrain. The company announced at the show the price for the model in China — 278,000 to 458,000 renminbi (Chinese currency) or about $41,417 to $68,234 as of Tuesday — but have yet to announce how much the vehicles will cost stateside.

At the Mishawaka plant, the company has met 100 percent of its investment goal and 84 percent of its hiring goal, a spokeswoman said. While company officials did not disclose further details about the hiring goal, they did say that SERES retained the majority of employees that worked at the former AM General Commercial Automotive Assembly Plant. According to the spokeswoman, SERES “is expected to preserve approximately 430 American auto worker jobs, which would have otherwise been lost once their current contract expired later this year.”

Edson said one of the reasons SERES likes the partnership with the Mishawaka team is they have traditional experience of assembly with a “very complicated product.”

“A vehicle is a very complicated product and the team that’s out there has years of experience doing that,” he said. “It’s really a marriage of the updates and the upgrades as well as that traditional experience that’s so important.”

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