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Vectrix, the electric scooter maker that shut down last year after more than a decade without a profit, is getting ready to rise from the grave of bankruptcy. China-based GP Batteries bought much of the startup’s assets after it filed for Chapter 11 protection last fall, and a new Vectrix team is now “in the process of reorganizing and relaunching the brand back into the space,” according to Chief Operating Officer Jason Kim.
Kim told us in an interview today that Vectrix, which will officially relaunch at an international dealer expo on Friday, has formed a “very light” management team and “secured the original engineering team” over the last month or so. Now the plan is to rebuild relationships with a network of uneasy dealers — helping them move remaining inventory of Vectrix’s high-end VX-1 scooters — and get cracking on new models and markets.
As of July 2009, when reports first emerged that Vectrix was headed for bankruptcy, the company had sold only 2,000 of its $11,000, Poland-made VX-1 scooters, although it had plans to market “two lower-end models costing as little as $5,100.”
Now headquartered in New Bedford, Mass. (in the same business park where the old Rhode Island-based Vectrix had operations), the newly relaunched firm expects to develop a handful of new vehicles over the next several years, including more affordable models for consumers in the U.S. and internationally, Kim said, while continuing to offer the VX-1. Already, the new Vectrix has started shipping “spare parts and finished products to its customers,” according to a release from the company earlier this week.
Late last year, Hesketh Motorcycles announced it had struck a deal with New Vectrix to sell its VX-1 under the Hesketh brand in the UK, but since this happened before the latest incarnation of the company took control, Kim said the arrangement is now being “looked into.”
Kim described the VX-1 as “the Vectrix core.” As the company works to expand into fleet markets with lower-priced vehicles, he said “some of that tech will move over to fleet models.” A three-wheeled model could be a strong possibility for fleet applications, said Kim, because “it doesn’t necessarily need a motorcycle license. It’s easier to adopt.” Offering a lower priced model to fleet operators, who often give more weight to long-term operating costs than a typical consumer, and who (in the case of many public fleets) are looking to transition over to electric vehicles — that, too, could help ease adoption for Vectrix models.
Photo credit Flickr user Sonietta46