Status: 21/09/2023, 16:21 p.m.
B-ON GmbH, a manufacturer of electric delivery vehicles, has filed for insolvency with the Aachen District Court. Deutsche Post uses its vehicles for deliveries.
Bonn/Aachen – Everything seemed to be on the right track for B-ON GmbH, a manufacturer of electric delivery vehicles. At the end of August, even German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visited the plant in Düren. Now, however, the company has announced that it filed for insolvency with the Aachen District Court last Friday.
Company produced delivery vehicles for Deutsche Post
Dirk Wegener, lawyer and partner of dhpg, has been appointed provisional insolvency administrator, according to the announcement. According to the insolvency, 78 employees of B-ON GmbH and about 170 employees of the Neapco plant in Düren, which manufactures 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.
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
The idea for the Streetscooter arose 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. However, it made losses in the process. 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, B-ON seemed to be on the right track: In April, the company was able to present 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 reported by t-online.de. In addition, negotiations for a further 30,000 vehicles in the current year were well advanced.
Reasons for insolvency: supply bottlenecks and production stop
Despite this positive development, the company ran into difficulties: According to the press release, supply bottlenecks for components led to a decline in production and, as a result, to payment difficulties. Now there is a sudden stop in production and insolvency.
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Nevertheless, the company does not want to give up: "The goal is still to establish B-ON as a leading provider of e-mobility solutions in Europe," says 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 is counting on the support of Deutsche Post. They should have an interest in continuing with the Streetscooter, as they need regular support, Müller told the Aachener Zeitung.