Only a short distance away from the former Ford plant, Johan Potargent of AMS is planning to set up a new car factory. Within a few years, AMS wants to take on the assembly of a 4-passenger electric city car developed by the Swiss company Softcar. Potargent announced the initiative at the presentation of the new manufacturing campus at Thor Park in Genk.
AMS Robotics in Bilzen is known worldwide for programming and starting up automated production processes. Many car manufacturers call on Johan Potargent’s team to finetune the robots. But AMS also designs, builds and rebuilds its own robots, including the largest robot in the world that has just been put into service for the production of plastic hydrogen tanks. This adaptation of a Japanese design will soon be transferred to the Swiss company Softcar that is currently developing a fierce city car made of plastic. ‘The Softcar has an electric range of 230 kilometres, reaches a top speed of 120 kilometres, weighs barely 780 kilograms and can be completely recycled,’ says Johan Potargent in the newspaper Het Belang van Limburg. ‘And all that for the price of about 16,000 euros.’
AMS is interested in the production of this car in Limburg. ‘The assembly of 5,000 cars per year will require a workshop employing around fifty people,’ says the entrepreneur. ‘No need for a dealer network, maintenance and repair can simply be done at the factory.’ Potargent is now seeking funding to start up the project here, which will take around 25 million euros. He prefers to open the new factory in Genk, where a brand new smart manufacturing building will be constructed at Thor Park. AMS will initially house its development department on the campus. And who knows, maybe in a few years’ time, cars will once again roll off the production line in Genk…
Source: Made in Limburg