Insolvency: B-ON faces production decline
B-ON has filed for insolvency in Germany. According to the Bonn-based auditing company dhpg, Dr Dirk Wegener has been appointed provisional insolvency administrator. The lawyer and dhpg partner says the insolvency affects 78 employees of B-ON GmbH and approximately 170 employees of the Düren-based Neapco plant, which produces the Sherpa (formerly known as Streetscooter) for B-ON’s German subsidiary. Other subsidiaries are not affected by the insolvency.
The official statement says that delivery bottlenecks and quality problems with components led to a drop in production and, consequently, to payment difficulties. “The goal is still to establish B-ON as the leading provider of e-mobility solutions in Europe,” Jörg Hofmann, Managing Director of B-ON, says. The provisional insolvency administrator Wegener adds that “production will resume shortly. To this end, we have already held initial talks with customers and suppliers, which will continue intensively over the next few days.”
The Aachener Zeitung reported last week that the production of the Sherpa had been stopped with immediate effect. Chairman of the works council, Jürgen Müller, said at the time that B-ON actually had sufficient orders for the EV, and last year’s business figures also looked good.
B-ON took over the Streetscooter production from Deutsche Post in January 2022. It is important to note that the Luxembourg-based company did not buy the company, also named Streetscooter, which has since been looking after the Streetscooter fleet at Deutsche Post/DHL Group. B-On only bought the manufacturing business. At that time, B-ON was still called Odin Automotive. Initially, the vehicles continued to be produced at the German Streetscooter plant in Düren, with a capacity of 30,000 vehicles per year.
The rebranding to B-ON was completed in May, including the introduction of a complementary range of electrification services in addition to the established vehicle line. “The evolution of the company from OEM to full EV solution provider was undertaken to make the switch to EVs as straightforward and hassle-free as possible for fleet owners—providing EVs, charging and energy management, financing, service and maintenance, driver education, and advanced telematics through one point of contact for the customer,” B-ON writes on its website.
The company’s headquarters are in Luxembourg. In addition, the company is also active with its own branches in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Latin America.
B-ON had planned to start assembling electric vans in California this year through contract manufacturer Karma Automotive. The company announced this in January.
According to the official statement of the provisional liquidator, B-ON sees itself “as a pioneer in the field of all-electric light commercial vehicles”. The company already has 23,000 vehicles on the market and offers comprehensive electric fleet management.
dhpg.de (in German)