After the German sports car manufacturer Artega took over all rights for the production of the Swiss e-cabin-scooter Microlino from the Italian manufacturer Tazzari in December, the delivery start of the Microlino planned for April has now been postponed.
++ Kindly find an update to this article below. ++
Wim Ouboter, owner and founder of the Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems, explains the delay as follows: “The sale of Microlino producer TMI to Artega has caused series development to falter. Although we pre-financed the first production vehicles over a year ago, the current state of development does not yet meet our quality standard. For this reason, we have decided to delay the delivery start in order to give TMI more time to complete the development and make the Microlino suitable for customers.”
TMI was part of the Tazzari Group and a contract manufacturer and development partner for the Microlino. TMI launched its first electric city car under the Tazzari brand in 2009. As Artega acquired TMI in November 2018, they relocated production of the Microlino from Italy to Germany. Wim Ouboter explained that “although we could not prevent the sale of TMI and initially tried to see this as an opportunity, we now disagree with the new owner Klaus Frers on several points. Besides, a lot of know-how was lost, as not a single former employee or manager works for TMI anymore.”
This means that the little Microlino in the retro design of the cabin scooters from the 1950s will not be rolling to customers now as initially planned. In July last year, the extra small electric car completed homologation, making the Swiss EV street legal in all European countries. By September, the Microlino had already garnered 8,000 reservations, worth a 100 million euros. Moreover, production of the first 25 pre-serial units of the mini BEV had already begun with partner Tazzari. Now with the delays, the Swiss company has not yet announced an exact date for delivery.
Update 19 May 2019: The trouble has intensified it appears with Artega now making use of their rights if you will. The company announced a sister model to the Microlino called Karolino. Admittedly, the small electric cars look the same but Artega claims to have made 150 changes and that their version “outperforms comparable e-vehicles in quality, performance and price”. The pilot production is running in Delbrück.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.