Local Motors wants to change the way America makes things. In fact, it already has.
The Phoenix-based automotive and industrial design and manufacturing outfit was one of the pioneers of cloud-based co-creation, where members of a 150,000-member strong online community submit and refine ideas for products, dramatically speeding up the process.
Founded in 2007, its first project was the Rally Fighter, a high-speed off-roader built from a mix of original parts and off-the-shelf components that’s manufactured in small numbers at what Local Motors calls a microfactory. Each vehicle it produces is an updated version of the one before it.
Since then, the company has branched out into a variety of projects, from electric bikes to home appliances and a military vehicle prototype developed in just four and a half months.
That last one shouldn’t be a surprise. The company’s CEO, Jay Rogers, is a Princeton and Harvard-educated U.S. Marine, a veteran of the Iraq War with a clear vision for how to get things done effectively and efficiently, while always leaving room for improvement.