Troy, Michigan – Fisher Coachworks LLC has announced its formal launch and plans to manufacture lightweight hybrid vehicles using advanced materials and propulsion systems. The original Fisher Body Company was formed in 1908 to take advantage of the shift from carriages to cars by building vehicle bodies from metal instead of wood; it was sold to General Motors in 1916.

Fisher’s launch product will be a 40-foot transit bus that is nominally half the weight and gets twice the fuel economy of current hybrid buses on the market.

“Our vehicle concepts are based on the strength and durability of Nitronic stainless steel, using low-cost manufacturing techniques,” said CEO Gregory Fisher, a grandson of one of the original company founders. “This alloy has more than three times the strength of regular steel and is almost impervious to corrosion and fatigue. While the alloy is more expensive than regular automotive steel, we use less raw material, and can produce significantly lighter designs. Reduced vehicle mass is the critical enabler for fuel consumption and performance-optimized hybrid vehicles.”

The company noted that the stainless steel is completely recycable and will be used for all vehicle chassis, suspension components and some exterior panels. Fisher Coachworks is currently searching for manufacturing space in the Detroit area to begin pre-production development.

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