The American producer of electric cars Canoo does not expect to have vehicles built by car manufacturer VDL Nedcar in Born in Limburg. In a document submitted to the American stock market watchdog, the company says it no longer thinks that a preliminary agreement will be converted into a final one.
Canoo was VDL Nedcar's first new customer this summer after BMW decided to transfer the production of BMW and MINI models to its own factories. In June, the two companies announced that Canoo would start producing cars in Born from next year until 2028. VDL Nedcar would even first want to set up extra production space in the parking lot, because normal production of BMWs and MINIs would continue until 2023.
Halfway through last month, Canoo already sowed doubts about production in the Netherlands. CEO Tony Aquila said at the time that he would rather have his own factory than a contract manufacturer because of the control. Around that time, Canoo decided to start production of its so-called lifestyle vehicle, a kind of SUV, in the United States as early as 2022 instead of a year later.
The deadline to reach a final agreement with VDL Nedcar was then extended from the end of November to mid-December. In the official document, Canoo now says that the decision was made because of “developments at VDL Nedcar”. The recent hack attack at the Dutch company may play a role, various media wrote earlier. As a result, production at VDL Nedcar also came to a standstill for some time.
A spokesperson for VDL Nedcar says that the car manufacturer is "in talks with Canoo to shape the collaboration". “We take all the time for that.” He declined to comment on Canoo's statement in the document. “You should ask Canoo any questions about that.”
VDL Nedcar was already looking for additional new clients because the production of Canoo vehicles was not sufficient to use the entire factory. In addition, the company wants to be less dependent on one manufacturer. The part of industrial group VDL looked at established manufacturers and start-ups and kept saying that discussions are underway with several candidates.
The newspaper De Limburger recently wrote about VDL's contacts with Rivian, an American company that builds electric pick-ups and delivery vans. The spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny whether there are talks with that company, which is supported by Amazon among others.
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