StreetScooter CEO Jörg Sommer has cut short the rumours about the company relocating its production. The German plants in Aachen and Düren are apparently not up for discussion – rather, new employees are being sought for Aachen. This is to be made possible by a cooperation with a Japanese company.
As Sommer explained to the newspaper Aachener Zeitung, up to 200 additional jobs are to be created at the Aachen location. Sommer described the rumours that production in Aachen was endangered as “malicious” and spoke of “deliberate misinformation to harm StreetScooters”.
Sommer is working on a strategic alliance with the Japanese parcel delivery company Yamato, which had already ordered 500 electric transporters from StreetScooter, in order to keep the plants busy. A first step could be to replace “up to 4000 of the 40,000 delivery vehicles in the Yamato fleet with StreetScooters,” Sommer said. All these vehicles would be “built at the Aachen and Düren locations”.
Sommer had pushed ahead with plans for an international orientation in recent months, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to sell sufficient volumes on the domestic market. Deutsche Post, which bought StreetScooter in 2014, has been looking for a buyer or partner for the commercial vehicle manufacturer for some time. Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel had recently said in an interview: “Our investors want a logistics company, not an automobile group. In 2019, Appel also expects StreetScooter to lose a “significant double-digit million amount”.
In addition to the potential expansion of the partnership with Yamato, Sommer is also banking heavily on the project in China, where he estimates the market potential to be 2.3 million electric delivery vans by 2025. The Work L, whose new version was recently introduced, is to serve as the base vehicle for the expansion into China announced in September (together with Chery) and thus open up the large Chinese market for StreetScooters.
Sommer also wants to grow with StreetScooters in Europe. He told the Aachener Zeitung that he was in talks with “many large fleet operators in the USA and Europe”. StreetScooter will initially concentrate on parcel-delivery fleets – including potential competitors of the parent company Deutsche Post DHL. However, new major orders will probably not be announced in the near future: Sommer apparently expects negotiation times of twelve to 18 months.
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