Local Motors is a new (type of) car company of sorts. Its based on a combination of do-it-yourself, A la carte features and an interesting mix of parts from several different well-known auto manufacturers, including a BMW sourced diesel engine or a Chevy sourced LS3 V8.
Click here to see how they describe it -> http://www.local-motors.com/howItWorks.php
Cars are built with almost no inventory and as little overhead as possible. Components aren't even ordered until a down payment is made and a build date reserved. On some level its to bring more car ingenuity and enthusiasm to the masses but on another I think its to stick it to the ridiculous dealer model currently used by all other car companies.
From the Wired article:
Local Motors plans to release between 500 and 2,000 units of each model. It’s a niche vehicle; it won’t compete with the major automakers but rather fill in the gaps in the marketplace for unique designs. Rogers uses the analogy of a jar of marbles, each of which represents a vehicle from a major automaker. In between the marbles is empty space, space that can be filled with grains of sand — and those grains are Local Motors cars.
Summary of the PopMech article's test:
The Rally Fighter runs the gnarly 40-mile trail in 3 hours. The time for usual 4x4s? Eight hours. And the Rally Fighter drives only the rear wheels.
Source -> http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/preview/local-motors-rally-fighter-off-road-test-drive?click=pm_latest