There may be a future for Deutsche Post’s StreetScooter after all. Now it seems that four investors from Germany and abroad are interested in buying StreetScooter in view of the booming e-mobility market.
Almost exactly a year ago, Deutsche Post gave up trying to get sell off its vehicle making capacity and the company announced that it was no longer looking for a buyer for its StreetScooter division in Aachen. Deutsche Post said it would phase out production. At the time, a sale to the Chinese OEM Chery had apparently fallen through on the home stretch. Deutsche Post then postponed the end of production once again a few weeks ago. “A few thousand” units are still to be built for the company’s own needs in 2021, it said. The 300 employees in Aachen and Düren are to be kept on for this period.
After this messy winding down, Manager Magazin now reports that there is a bidding war for StreetScooter being undertaken “under strict confidentiality”. As a source, the German business magazine names those involved in the process. The Düsseldorf-based entrepreneur Nazif Destani is said to be interested in StreetScooter from Germany. Destani already has a stake in Aachen-based electric car maker e.GO via his Dutch investment company ND Group. In turn, e.GO is linked to StreetScooter, as e.GO founder Günther Schuh is one of the co-developers of the e-delivery van. In this context, it is interesting to note that shortly after the announcement of the StreetScooter exit, Günther Schuh expressed his intention to buy back the electric transporter company from Deutsche Post. It is possible that he is now seeking to do this via entrepreneur Destani.
The second interested buyer is said to be an American investor group that has already been involved in other electric transport deals. The other two interested investors hail from China. The German report mentions the supplier Neapco that has been building the StreetScooter in Düren as a contract manufacturer since 2018, and once again the Chinese carmaker Chery, with which negotiations came close to conclusion with StreetScooter a year ago. Contact between the two companies has existed for some time, and in September 2019 SteetScooter announced its intention to establish a joint venture with Chery in China. After the sales talks fell through, the letter of intent was dropped.
In addition to the names of the investors, Manager Magazin also provides clues as to what the investors planned to do with StreetScooter. Chery would move production to China to build the StreetScooter there more cheaply. “The three other bidders are considering further developments, but above all refinement on the capital market. A bit of tuning and wrapped in the right corporate shell, according to investor fantasies, could make the Streetscooter a hot tip on the stock market,” the report says. According to information from Manager Magazin, Chery is said to be offering around 50 million euros so far (in January, there was still talk of a purchase price in the low three-digit million range).
Currently, around 14,000 StreetScooters are integrated into Deutsche Post’s fleet. By the end of the year, this figure is set to rise to 20,000. The last official statement was that the Deutsche Post subsidiary would not be wound up after the end of production, but would be converted into a pure operator of the existing fleet of electric delivery vehicles. In February, Swiss Post put the cost of such a conversion at 300 to 400 million euros. For years, the Post has been making losses on its StreetScooter division. “We are a logistics company, not a car company,” is what DeutschePost CEO Frank Appel repeatedly said explaining the sale of the division.
manager-magazin.de (in German)