We previously talked about Dutch electric bike manufacturer VanMoof's struggles keeping its boat afloat. The brand recently announced its bankruptcy, with a lot of bicycles reportedly left unrepaired in its store. Naturally, this resulted in a lot of people becoming disgruntled with the brand, even resorting to reporting VanMoof for bike theft.
While it's easy to understand the rage on the part of the consumers, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel, as VanMoof has just been taken over by new owners. Indeed, it was previously reported that McLaren Applied's Lavoie, an e-mobility brand, was in talks to acquire VanMoof but ended up backing out. However, it seems that Lavoie made a full 180 and changed its mind. Long story short, it's now the new owner of VanMoof, and according to numerous reports, has some pretty big plans for the brand moving forward.
A report by Reuters states that the British supercar manufacturer's e-mobility brand acquired the troubled Dutch e-bike maker for a sum amounting to "tens of millions of pounds." As the months progress, the investment is expected to grow, assuming Lavoie is able to turn things around for VanMoof. For starters, Lavoie has plans of retaining VanMoof's top managers, as well as attempting to rehire a lot of VanMoof's former employees who were let go leading up to the brand's insolvency.
On the consumer end of the story, big changes are anticipated too. Chief of which will be the abandonment of the brand's in-house retail and service approach. Instead, it's anticipated that VanMoof will make use of third-party resellers and service centres, hopefully resulting in more accessibility on the part of its end-users.
It's widely understood that the root of VanMoof's problems lies in its high-tech electric bikes which had components that were prone to failure and expensive to repair. Nevertheless, prior to going bankrupt, VanMoof claimed to have addressed these issues with new technology. Now, Lavoie hopes to bring these new and improved models into the market.
While all of this seems promising, it's understood that it'll take some time until we see positive changes from VanMoof. It goes without saying that Lavoie's first order of business will be addressing the unrepaired e-bikes piled up in VanMoof's headquarters, as well as appeasing the brand's increasingly disgruntled customer base.