Vectrix Corporation of The USA is entering its last days as an independant manufacturer. Actually, Vectix is likely on its last legs altogether! Soon Vectrix will soon join a host of other defunct brands, all of whom seemed to have a bright future during the height of a Fuel Crisis, but quickly became casulties of a economic recession when fuel prices dropped and money became scarce.
Vectix Corp, which only a year ago was captialised at nearly $400 million, is now almost completely out of cash, more alarmingly, Vectrix has made no practicable provision to honour the warrantees of nearly 3000 Vectrix units produced and sold to date.
Vectrix USA, has abandoned its bankrupt Polish manufacturing facility, (litigation pending). Likewise, Vectrix UK, a publicly listed company has also ceased trading, in such circumstances that it is unable to supply the London Stock Exchange with satisfactorily audited accounts.
Vectrix, has recently lost, or settle unfavourably, a number of Court proceedings against various distributors and suppliers. Perhaps the most telling of these is the recent collapse of Vectrix Corp USA case against its Australian distributor Vectrix Australia. Vectrix lost the litigation, and Vectix Australia was awarded extensive legal costs and damages, while leaving Vectrix Australia with an unchallenged counter-claim of $Aus 4 million against Vectrix USA. It would appear that the reason for Vectrix USA's sudden withdrawal, was the reluctance of CEO Mike Boyle or any other VUSA Director,(including In House Attourney, Cathy Meir) to appear, under oath, to answer charges of fraud and misrepresentation. This senario must be of great interest to litigants other Vectrix related actions, and may soon have its sequel in USA (probably Rhode Island )Courts.
I can only verify the general veracity of the above from available pulic records. However, by a strange coincidence I sat beside a very senior Australian Barrister, during a long flight to London, This lawyer who was intimately involved in the Vectrix Case, was kind enough to confirm the majority of my conclusions as being accurate.
Since then I have attempted to reach the CEO,CFO, Chairman, Cathy Meir, etc of Vectrix Corporation of the USA, to explain their side of matter or to put the record straight, but I am yet to receive any satisfactory explaination. I have pointed out that since I am both a shareholder/Investor and Vectrix customer, don't the Directors feel I along with other shareholders and customers deserve the curtesy of an explanation.
But no reply has been forthcoming.
I believe the explanation given by Vectrix to explain as to why no information can be released ( because the company is in talks with 'Major Players', the identity of whom must be kept secret) , is simply a fanciful ploy to buy time and the 'Major Players' will inevitably turn out to be more,time-wasting, inadequately capitalised, dreamers.
Meantime, the last remaining chances for Vectrix will be incompetently wasted.
The death of Vectrix is a damn shame! At its best, it was probably the only mass produced, high quality, freeway legal, consumer affordable EV.
I think that just for these reasons (At its best, it was probably the only mass produced,....) the Vectrix company will be bought or absorbed by another brand.
In Italy happened the same history with a famous brand MV Agusta (Sport racing bike manufacturer). Fortunatelly this historical brand has been acquired by Harley Davidson an the MV Agusta production still running.
Hei guys try to be a bit optimistic
I hope so, because my dealer, after 3 weeks my bike being there to replace the battery, doesn't sound to enthusiastic.
Optimism is all very well, but is often unrealistc. ( ask any of Bernie Madoff's investors) !
Vectrix Poland, is attempting a creditors scheme of arrangement this week, and may be able to resurrect some sort spare parts supply from the wreckage. The main problem is that Vectrix Corp, really has no big suitors, all the groups that have expressed interest, are not well enough capitalised.
Sadly, the history of sussessfully resurrecting specialist automotive manufacturers as independants, is very dismal. The only real success I can think of is Harley-Davidson. The problem for Vectrix is that given Vectrix poor sales record, any major manufacturer would have to consider if such an investment would really provide a realistic return on the enormous capital required, without a massive goverment subsidy.
I just can't see this happening!
So, Mik's repair it yourself handbook may become very valuable !
Now they can try to "pick a naked man's pocket"....good luck!
This information may be used entirely at your own risk.
There is always a way if there is no other way!
I've been following this issue for the past several months, and enjoyed reading everything here. FYI - Vectrix employees showed up for work Monday morning in New Bedford (7/13/09), and were told that the company was closed.
My feeling is that even though the company wasn't in the best financial shape when the current CEO took over, as soon as Vectrix (under his orders) became a sales company as opposed to a R&D/manufacturing company, their fate was sealed. Even the recent suggestion that the company was seeking federal stimulus help was silly, since the stimulus help was (is) available for companies that manufacture things, not import and rebrand existing products made by an unrelated company. That's the toy business model!
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank was able to secure several hundred thousand in stimulus money to go to Vectrix/New Bedford - but my sources say that the money isn't available until October, and that Frank was unaware that Vectrix had turned itself into a glorified sales agency. I doubt that the Congressman will be pleased. I mean, a dealer network is great - but is it worth $800,000 of taxpayer money - let alone $400 million of market capitalization?
A sorry end to a once great company.
But on to the future. The unwinding of Vectrix is going to be ugly - it's a Delaware corporation whose main office is now in Massachusetts (they shut Middletown RI down several months ago). My interest has always been to wait until the inevitable end, and attempt to pick up the pieces. I've done a bit of research into the original patents and design (before Andy bought them and formed Vectrix). I'm wondering if anyone here, especially Marcopolo, believes that there is any value to anything left of Vectrix - design, patents, etc? Would it be possible to pick up the pieces? Or have all of the key people responsible for the successful part of Vectrix already signed up for new ventures - aka "Is it too late"?
I've talked to several people about a sufficiently capitalized New Vectrix without the crap and baggage that grew around the old. The money is definitely out there. The new company's products would include a lighter bike - with a better battery, longer range, and a lower price point - while maintaining the basic cutting edge Vectrix design and philosophy. (And that was before I saw the recent announcement that the US based consumer electronics chain Best Buy is going to be selling a very ugly electric scooter for almost $12,000!)
Timing is everything. The money is out there now. The market might not be here now because of the economy, but it will be in (max) two years. The key is not to design and build a dream and attempt to create a market around it, but to assess the future market and build the best product for it. Oh, and manufacture it well!
typical bigwigs shoveing money in thier pockets while leaving thier customers to rot...to bad vectrix was a fantastic bike and would only have gotten better with more being sold...i said it once before and ill say it again hey general motors or ford or chrysler heres your chance to get into a real market that would actually benefit you and the world...not like that segway rolling trash can....
Personally I don't think Vectrix have much of technological value. If anything it's over-engineered - is an American market ready for the "Cadillac of Scooters"? What they do have is the starting of brand awareness. However, as well as building a more affordable AND more capable bike a "New Vectrix" would have to look at different sales channels and have a cost structure that would allow them to slowly grow the market. The "Old Vectrix" took a swing for the fences approach and came up short. The "New Vectrix" shouldn't be based on a new batter saying "this time we will hit a home run".
FWIW, as far as I can tell Brammo (the purveyors of the "ugly" $12,000 scooter that you mention) seem to be following an "Old Vectrix" style of business model. Best Buy will give them exposure - but I sure hope that's not the only way they intend to sell them. Oh yeah, and they need to slash the price to about $4,000.
John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.
I just tried to access the Vectrix company website, and it's down. Not looking good...
Urgh! I confirm that. Not offline, only denied! Have we reached the end?
Vectrix Europe web site is not accessible either.
Vectrix shop web site in Torino is down too: http://www.eco-motor.it/index.php
Here is the information that Companies House holds on Vectrix...
VECTRIX EUROPE LIMITED
VECTRIX TECHNICAL CENTRE UNIT 2
HAZELEY ENTERPRISE PARK
Company No. 05412807
Date of Incorporation: 04/04/2005
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
7487 - Other business activities
Accounting Reference Date: 30/09
Last Accounts Made Up To: 30/09/2007 (SMALL)
Next Accounts Due: 30/07/2009
Last Return Made Up To: 04/04/2008
Next Return Due: 02/05/2009 OVERDUE
Last Members List: 04/04/2007
Date of change Previous Name
23/05/2005 POINTWEST LIMITED
05/02/2009 VECTRIX (UK) LIMITED
There are no branches associated with this company.
Oversea Company Info
There are no Oversea Details associated with this company.
that are the datas of the UK Part of Vectrix? Have you Information about the Status of the Factory in Poland or the US. part of Vectrix?
Like AndY1's Vectrix mine has a dead battery and the dealer is not willing or able to repair it. I´m struggling since Nov. 2008 being
calm during winter because i never planed to use the bike in this season. Now it´s july and exept the beike being catched up for some
checks nothing happend at all!
so i´m nearly finished with Vectrix Corp and its austrian general Importer LuPower, which means canceling the contract.
That's too bad. I've enjoyed my scooter quite a bit and plan to ride it until it goes no more. I knew something was up when their web site would not display this morning.
Motoring in the Motor City
Bummer. R.I.P. Vectrix Corp.
I guess like most others I'll just keep riding and hope that it doesn't break before there's access to spares and/or more technical documentation.
I suspect that some of the employees would be able to leak/share some of that technical information if there's no company left to own the technology/patents.
Vectrix, Kicked when it was down by several spiteful individals. I hope they are now proud of what they have achieved by what they have done . This is still a very forward thinking and innovative product and hopefully something can be salvaged from this.
Those individuals should remember ,What goes around comes around .
Just very well informed
The vectrix's webpages are no longer online.
The vectrixservice site is still working: http://www.vectrixservice.com/main.php. It may fall very soon.
On the other hand the vectrix investor's site is also still working:
most recent anouncement says:
REG-Vectrix Corporation Strategic Update
RNS Number : 6909V
15 July 2009
Date: 15 July 2009
On behalf of: Vectrix Corporation ("Vectrix" or "the Company")
For immediate release
Middletown, R.I. - Vectrix Corporation (AIM: VRX) (www.vectrix.com) announces that it has laid off all but essential staff in an effort to conserve cash while continuing to pursue strategic options including the sale of the Company.
Remaining staff will simultaneously begin the process of preparing for a bankruptcy filing under Delaware law with a view to filing in the next thirty days in the event continuing efforts prove unsuccessful.
The Company has been operating in challenging market conditions for some time as a result of the credit crunch and lack of consumer spending on bigger ticket retail purchases. The Company has made every effort to reduce costs and conserve cash, but market conditions continue to be difficult and the results of sales have been very disappointing. During the current fiscal year management has
explored options to secure financing for the Company as well as other
initiatives including the sale of the Company as a going concern.
- Ends -
VECTRIX Corporation www.vectrix.com
Michael J. Boyle, President and CEO (401) 848-9993
Nick Donald / Nic Hellyer +44 (0)20 7991 8888
It all sounds very sad. But if we think about it, it probably doesnt have any hope.
If Vectrix had any value, there should be a fight between manufacturers from all over the place, specially chinese companies, because they probably have the biggest electric scooter market in the world, and for them buying Vectrix would be like buying Mercedes or something, compared to what they make. And they would make it at 30% of the price and probable 50% less in quality.
Remeber chinese car manufacturers fighting over Rover??
No-one is doing so for Vectrix. Why? No value?
Its a good time to position itself,for a company, for when the Electric race starts.
But no one is interested. Bad sign.
I believe that there are some very hard and unpalatable lessons to be learned from the demise of Vectrix.
1. The Vectrix business plan was fatally floored,whether through idealism of just incompetence,is irrelevant.
2. No one "kicked Vectrix when it was down", spitefully, or otherwise. Vectrix is a commercial enterprise, the investors, shareholders and customers are entitled to good business governance. During Mr Boyle's time as CEO Vectrix was very badly managed, and that is solely the fault of Mr Boyle and his supporters. It was Mr Boyle's arrogance and enormous ego that drove Vectrix to commence dishonest and suicidal legal actions against Vectrix distributors struggling to fund overwhelming service problems and other product manufacture defects. Your sympathy is misplaced, you should be thinking of all the customers who supported Vectrix and were betrayed by the management, and now have increasing valueless vehicles, or the unfortunate employees who lost their livelihoods, or the investors who suffered financial losses, or the distributors who are now facing bankruptcies due to the antics of the Vectrix CEO and his cronies. How about some sympathy for the real victims? (including the original designers)? How about all those who are still devoted to developing Zero Emission vehicles and will now find it, just that much more difficult, because of the failure of Vectrix Corp?
"What goes around etc..?" I think these folks already got it,courtesy of Vectrix Corp.. !!
3. The Polish factory is bankrupt!It may be able to recommence production of other products under new ownership, or a scheme of arrangement may be sought to fund the manufacture of Vectrix spare parts.
4. Sadly, the collapse of Vectrix has probably convinced most large manufacturers that the market is not yet ready to pay for such an expensive product. Can a Vectrix replacement be built cheaper? Not really, the Vectrix sale price was fantastic value for what was offered. Think it could be done cheaper? Add up the component prices and you will arrive at the same conclusion.
6. Can someone else "pick up the pieces"? Unlikely, the problem with EV's is that the best and most idealistic engineers, have no idea of the problem associated with production engineering, costing, marketing,finance, corporate infrastructure etc..
7. John, I hate to disagree with you, but,well.. at $4000.00 dollars no company could make money selling a freeway legal EV. No serious investor,( well, that's one who wants a return on his money!) would invest in such an unprofitable enterprise. It is a very hard fact, but every cost in business must be ultimately paid for by the consumer. (Without taxpayer support in the form of grants and subsidies). Think about the Hybrid business model, successful marketing only became viable because Toyota sold hybrids to people who could afford the product.(Prius and Lexus buyers). Idealists just don't buy enough or spend enough!
8. Mik, I think you are too hard on Vectrix Australia, as I understand it, these guys tried exceedingly hard in the very tough market of Australia. Vectrix Corp ignored them, lied to them, and as the Court proceedings have revealed, defrauded them, all courtesy of Mr Boyle. I am reliably informed that VA is still in business,(although representing other products), and is the only distributor attempting to secure a court ordered supply of spare parts from the US parent on behalf of its customers. I think your description of "trying to pick a dead mans pockets" maybe a little harsh on guy's whose belief in EV's and a Vectrix future has cost them over $4 million dollars? From my enquiries, the collapse of Vectrix will wipe out most of Vectrix distributors personal wealth and leave them in a very bad financial position. I am yet to hear a single sign of regret from Mr Boyle as to the loss of $400 million of shareholder funds!!
So where does this leave the world of EV's? Sadly it would seem it's best product is dead.
Chinese scale of production, would bring the cost down a little bit.
Chinese Labour costs would bring the cost down another little bit. (compared to poland and USA)
Chinese "no intelectual protection" costs would bring the cost down another little bit.
Chinese Unfair competence costs would bring the cost down another little bit.(gov help)
Chinese Unbranded Battery would bring the cost down another little bit.(compared to GP)
Chinese Unbranded parts would bring the cost down another little bit.(Brembo,sachs,Marzocchi)
Chinese Final quality would bring the qlty down QUITE a little bit.
But after the quality issue, im sure the price would go down if the Vectrix was made in China in mass production, plus It would probably have a LI-ion Battery cheaper than the NIMH, because no royalties would be paid for Li-Ion as NIMH´s do.
Im not saying this on the whole would be a good thing. Im just saying it has a big possibility of being made in China at a cheaper price by a Chinese company.And the good thing of Chinese Companies is that they cant be bought out by secret Petrodollars and pushed to Bankruptcy like all Ev companies so far!!!
Only Tesla survives(Seriously an EV Company with a real product on sale), but has just sold 10% of itself to Daimler (Mercedes Benz) which in turn has a big stake owned by some Middle East Investment Funds(PetroDollars) like other car companies and most lately Porsche seems to be going to have a big chunk owned by PetroDollars (So forget about efficient Hybrids and Evs from them).
At this moment only Chinese Companies can make real EVs and succeed. Oh and Tesla(For the moment..)
So we might as well feel happy if a Chinese company buys Vectrix.
Someone at Vectrix Germany is still kicking. This is what I got in my Inbox today:
Vectrix USA was dead a year ago. It just stopped kicking today. The truth is Mr. Boyle did not kill the company but he was just to ignorant to know any better. The man knew nothing about the motorcycle business and he hasn't seemed to learn much since he started.
The entire marketing plan was stupid and flawed placing emphasis on exactly the wrong areas of the business. Who in their right mind decides to concentrate on selling an electric scooter in markets where they are not desired? Vectrix concentrated on increasing dealerships in the northern tier states all summer long while the people who ride scooters live within 10 miles of the beach in southern tier states. Vectrix decided to have dealers about 750 miles apart modeled after a BMW marketing plan. How do you ride a f__king scooter with a 45 mile range home from a dealership that far away? YOU DON'T. Who buys a $10K scooter in Minnesota so they can ride it on the one weekend a year warm enough for them to call summer? NOBODY. The Vectrix senior management team failed to understand rules essential to business marketing - you can't dictate market desires.
Vectrix should have placed retail centers no further apart than 200 miles, dotted along the coast from Maryland south to the Florida Keys, all along the gulf coast from Naples, FL to Corpus Christi, TX , from the Mexican border north to Washington state. If Vectrix did this, they might not have ever been extremely successful but they may have survived as a niche product. Better, rather than maintaining an expensive factory in Poland, if they manufactured in another company's factory using their excess capacity, this would have solved Vectrix's number 1 problem, to reduce overhead.
A bad manager can't kill a company; it takes a whole team of bad managers. Mr. Boyle had the talent to pick a whole slew of them. Oh well. I'll just save my money for a Chevy Volt... Oh yeah, GM is on the skids too. Damn.
Since their investors website might disappear .. here's a few more of their announcements.
- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
Eegads.. how much did they spend on developing this superbike?
They won a "Green Design" award based on that superbike .. but couldn't they have spent that R&D money on something closer to a real product?
- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
you misread what I wrote!
It was :"naked mans pocket".
Probably easily misunderstood, I was trying to convey the meaning of the German saying:
"Man kann einem nackten Mann nicht in die Tasche greifen!"
"Versuch mal einem nackten Mann in die Tasche zu greifen".
It means something like this: You cannot get money from someone who has no money! Even if you are entitled to it, even if the court says it's yours. A naked man has no pockets for you to grab your money out of!
It's good to hear that Vectrix Australia stood up to the bully and took them to court.
All I had heard of them regarding this was that they wanted to take me and VisforVoltage to court. Had they explained to me what was going on, I would of course have acted differently. Had they just gotten away with no response from me, they might never have taken Vectrix Corp. to court, who knows!
Anyways, I did not mean to accuse them of pilfering poor dead Vectrix Corp, far from it.
I just do not believe they will ever see the money!
This information may be used entirely at your own risk.
There is always a way if there is no other way!
Yes Mik, I see your point, there will indeed be very little left for Vectrix Australia. It would be very difficult, and expensive for Australians to sue the US directors personally, even more difficult to recover any funds.
As far as making Vectrix in China, even if the price was marginally reduced, who, outside of China, would buy such a product?
Mike Boyle's may not be the only bad manager in the Vectrix demise, but he was the 'Captain of the Ship' and as such must accept reponsibility for the collapse! Quite rightly in this instance! He categorically refused any assistance from a major Koren manufacturer, because the deal was not not sufficiently rewarding for him personally and his small coterie of executives. Now unlike China, South Korea does possess the right type of engineering expertise and marketing experience to add Vectrix as a loss leader for future expansion and PR.
Not all oil companies are sinister forces, BP is the worlds largest investor in solar and alternate fuels. Unlike the heavily subsidised niche market, and very expensive Testla, Smith Electrics (with Ford assistance) have successfully been quietly developing and selling a range of EV trucks.
Hey all, I just wrote up an obituary style article for examiner.com on this:-
- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
I hate this guy! Always bad CEO until the end!
I haven't been following this story - what happened between Vectrix USA and Vectix Australia? Is sounds like self-implosion....
Why,if someone like you or me can see that the whole managing was all wrong and that there were better ways, why a person like Mr. Boyle and his team did not?(come on these people are proffesionals, they have gone to universities, economy schools, worked in other companies, and wouldnt have been chosen for Vectrix if they hadnt had an good CV!!!) I think it has more to do with some "forces" that were intrested in this ending.
Well, first the chinese would buy thousands of these, like they already do of other Ev scooters, then the Chinese company would try to improve the product,after conquering the chinese market, and make a typical "export type" Vectrix for the rest of the world.
This is the procedure with all other electric scooters,that coincidently are all chinese.(Im talking about the ones that sell in large qtys, not Brammo, zero and those types, that are all fantastic but dont sell in large scales)
Here you are clearly telling me, that i am right in thinking that Mr. Boyle had personal motivations for killing Vectrix. We, off course dont know what that motivation is, but the result was that by not doing things correctly (that any other not so proffesional would have probably done correctly)and not accepting assistance from a major Korean manufacturer just because of personal motives, Vectrix has dissapeared.
About BP, they have a nice green logo and a nice Photovoltaic Factory here in Spain, Madrid. Oh sorry, they had.... they have closed it down this year.
And i am sure that they think Solar panels are a good buissness, because in many of their service stations the solar panels are supplying electricity to them.
But, the truth seems like this:
1. They opened a solar panel factory, made themselves a very clean and green name (got a loan from the Spanish Gov for giving new employment and getting a dead cheap rent on the land in the outskirts of Madrid
2. Produced many solar panels, fixed them up in their petrol stations for cheap electricity, made themselves a very clean and green name and plus with the bonus of spending less money in electricity.
3. Made life more difficult for other Solar Panel manufacturers, maybe by dumping and making the demand go down and the prices go down,(they dont care cause they live of Petrol, they preffer to loose money but kill other suppliers who live of this article)
4. Close down their factories , lay off worker, saying its the crisis and going back to live off Petrol.
At least this looks like the case in Spain.