Bright Automotive has not been able to drive the Idea plug-in hybrid van on the easiest road to market. A new set-back – from one perspective – was a number of layoffs and executive shuffling at the company this week. CEO Reuben Munger, though, doesn't see the job cuts and repositionings as anything but positive for the company. After all, they were his decisions and he told AutoblogGreen it's all part of the reason he became CEO a few weeks ago.
Munger said his new job is to "create the transitional experience" for the company to get the Idea van off the drawing board and onto the road. While some people – contractors and a small handful from the eSolutions sustainability consulting group – were let go, Bright will also soon be bringing in new people to focus on the company's upcoming strategic partnerships. These partnerships should kick-start the Idea program and Munger said he hopes the company is now in a position to be profitable:
The cuts are not tied to the slow-moving DOE loan application process, Munger said, adding, "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with them to a successful completion." Michael Brylawski, Bright's executive VP of corporate strategy, told AutoblogGreen something similar:I think we very clearly have an execution oriented team that is in position to make money from today. Therefore, future changes are all about adding people to realize the vehicle program and/or supporting new business in the engineering solutions area.
We're also in talks with a number of OEMs on strategic partnerships and are planning for a major transition and relaunch of the IDEA program within the calendar year. We had a few staff transitions this week that are part of the overall shifts in our business as we get cash flow positive and prepare for a relaunch.
Thanks to anonymous for the tip!We've been evolving the business over the last few quarters to get to cash flow positive with our eSolutions/conversions business. Our business is viable without DOE, although like all other US OEMs developing electrified platforms we are working with the 136a program to help fund the IDEA launch. Of course having been in this program since December 2008 we (like many other applicants) are hoping the DOE can accelerate its overall process.