As expectant Aptera buyers are obviously aware, the company failed to meet its self-imposed end of 2008 deadline to start delivering vehicles. In fact it wasn't even close. The company does expect to have a "production-intent" vehicle completed by the end of next week but that one isn't leaving the company. In a letter sent to customers this week, management acknowledged that they waited until far too late in the program to actually give consideration to many of the things paying customers might want in a vehicle; the ability to grab some food from a drive-through window, for example.
Between the real-world compromises and the switch from rear to front wheel drive, management has acknowledged the delays along with the current economic environment. For the next several months, they say, a small number of vehicles will be built for internal testing. Volume production for retail deliveries is now scheduled for October 1, 2009. The company is also asking people who have paid the $500 refundable deposit to voluntarily convert it to a non-refundable deposit. This will let the company better gauge true demand for the vehicle
Update: Aptera will not be accessing this money, it will remain in escrow.