Status: 20/09/2023, 12:06 p.m.
By: Lisa Mayerhofer
An electrically powered "Streetscooter" parcel transporter is charged with electricity at a charging station at Deutsche Post's delivery base. © Jens Büttner/picture alliance/dpa
B-ON GmbH, manufacturer of electric delivery vans, has filed for insolvency at the Aachen District Court. The vehicles are used by Deutsche Post for delivery.
Bonn/Aachen – Actually, everything looked good for B-ON GmbH, a manufacturer of electric delivery vans. At the end of August, even German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visited the plant in Düren. Now the company announced that it had filed for insolvency at the Aachen District Court last Friday.
Company manufactured delivery vehicles for Deutsche Post
According to the announcement, Dirk Wegener, lawyer and partner of dhpg, has been appointed as provisional insolvency administrator. According to the report, 78 employees of B-ON GmbH and about 170 employees of the Neapco plant in Düren, which produces the Sherpa (formerly StreetScooter WORK) for B-ON GmbH, are affected by the insolvency. The Streetscooter is used as a delivery vehicle by Deutsche Post, among others.
The idea for the Streetscooter emerged in 2010 from a research initiative at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen. In 2014, the start-up was sold to Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), which wanted to develop its own delivery vehicle. In the process, however, it made losses. In 2022, today's B-ON GmbH, which offers all-electric fleet management and also has branches in other countries such as the USA and Japan, took over.
This year, the impression was created that B-ON was on the right track: In April, the company had sales of around 114 million euros as well as contracts and letters of intent for the sale of a total of 11,000 vehicles in 2022, as t-online.de reports. In addition, negotiations for a further 30,000 vehicles in the current year were well advanced.
Reasons for insolvency: supply bottlenecks and production stop
Nevertheless, the company has run into difficulties: According to the press release, supply bottlenecks for components have led to a decline in production and thus to payment difficulties. Now there is a sudden stop in production and insolvency.
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"The goal is still to establish B-ON as the leading provider of e-mobility solutions in Europe," explains Jörg Hofmann, Managing Director of B-ON. Dirk Wegener, provisional insolvency administrator, adds: "Production is to be resumed in the short term. To this end, we have already held initial discussions with customers and suppliers, which will be continued intensively in the coming days."
The chairman of the works council, Jürgen Müller, also hopes that production in Düren will be retained and hopes for support from Deutsche Post. They should have an interest in continuing with Streetscooter, as they need regular support, Müller told the Aachener Zeitung.