• Mar 12, 2011

UK-based electric commercial truck producer Modec is suffering from "severe cashflow difficulties." Modec had been discussing a takeover with its U.S.-based partner Navistar, but talks ended in late February and no deal was made. Modec's financial troubles are apparently so severe that the electric truck maker had no options left and was forced to enter administration, which basically means that an administrator is called in to attempt to save the company.

In Modec's case, representatives from the Zolfo Cooper firm were appointed as the joint administrators. Zolfo Cooper immediately slashed Modec's workforce in half and is actively seeking a buyer for the electric truck maker. Ryan Grant, a Zolfo Cooper partner, stated that the administrators are "examining all possible options for the future of the business." Interested in owning Modec? Got loads of cash? Zolfo Cooper asks that potential buyers direct inquiries to this email.

[Source: Birmingham Post via Green Car Congress]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 48 Minutes Ago
      Well, this was always going to happen. Modec spent too much money trying to be different and not enough on selling vehicles.

      The problem was not the management or courageous vision of the founder Lord 'Jamie' Borwick or essentially the design. It was always about the lack of support the vehicle received in the UK, for such a high priced vehicle.

      Other problems included a lack of export sales and a over reliance on big fleet sales.

      At over a $US 110, 000 dollars, the vehicle was never going to find an export market for a limited range mid-sized delivery van.

      This is the problem with building a vehicle from scratch. The development costs are crippling. The best solution is to find a large conventional truck and van maker with established service/sales network and offer a range extended, EV version.

      This sort of piggy-back marketing, can be really effective, especially in commercial EV vehicle sales. Modec sales relied upon an early green boom time moral enthusiasm which could never survive the cold wind of economic reality.

      Carefully marketed, with collaborating major OEM, and some government incentives, the cost per vehicle price could have been far more competitive. This would have enabled a strategic placement of EV vans deep within the major freight transport infrastructure to ensure continuing sales volume.

      Let's all hope Modec finds a white knight. It really angers me to read the gloating comments from the odious Daily Telegraph journalists and subscribers.
      • 48 Minutes Ago
      Navistar were still displaying the eStar (their badging of the Modec van) at the Work Truck Show this week. The deal they were discussing with Modec fell through, but will they buy the design rights to build it themselves in-house?

      I am inclined to presume not, and that instead they will merely utilise some Modec details in a different design based on converting a readily available existing vehicle.

      In the past Modec have boasted how well things were going. The details released this week show they sold only two vans in the whole of 2010.

      In the UK, they were in third place, behind Smith Electric Vehicles (now US-owned, and about to commence expansion across 20 US states) and Allied Vehicles, both of whom will presumably win a little custom from anyone who might have been looking at the Modec van. Supermarket giant Tesco were Modec's biggest fleet buyer and had previously studied all three brands.

      • 48 Minutes Ago
      Winston Battery/Balqon Corp. should pick these guys up on the cheap. That would be nice around the world battery sale channel along with electric trucks for world wide sales.
      harlanx6
      • 48 Minutes Ago
      Without the taxpayers paying them directly to produce these vehicles, they can't seem to make it on their own. Part of the problem is it takes so much capital to develop and market these vehicles that they run out of money before they can begin to make a profit, even when the vehicles have merit. With the developed world staggering under the load of their pension and benefit programs, the money for everything else is drying up. Nobody wants to hear it, because it's unsustainable and there aren't any easy answers.