McLaren’s scooter brand Lavoie buys VanMoof

This article will be updated.

Lavoie, the electric scooter brand owned by the McLaren Group, announced on Thursday it has agreed to acquire the bankrupt Dutch e-bike manufacturer VanMoof, Reuters reported on Thursday afternoon. Lavoie aims to expand its operations and further develop VanMoof’s business.

“VanMoof has 190,000 customers globally and our commitment is to continue to keep those riders on the road whilst we stabilise and efficiently grow the VanMoof business and continue to develop its world-class products,” stated Lavoie’s CEO Eliott Wertheimer in a press statement, according to American technology news website The Verge.

Lavoid and McLaren Applied did not disclose terms for the acquisition. McLaren Applied Chairman Nick Fry told Reuters that there would be an investment of “tens of millions” of pounds “in the short term” to stabilize VanMoof. “This is a huge opportunity for us as this (VanMoof) is a company with a brilliant product,” he added. “But this is not going to be a walk in the park, this also is a company that got itself into a difficult financial situation.”

The impact of the acquisition on VanMoof’s customers remains unclear. The final completion of the deal is scheduled for September 4, after which more details about its implications for VanMoof customers will be released.

Fry said McLaren Applied would retain VanMoof’s departmental managers and would “engage and retain or rehire some of the great people” the Dutch e-bike maker employed, Reuters reported. He also said Lavoie will continue selling e-bikes under the VanMoof name and might consider rebranding its own e-scooters under the same name. “VanMoof has an incredibly loyal following,” he said. “So it’s 100% sure we’ll keep the VanMoof brand.”

Lavoie is owned by the same parent company shared by luxury sports car manufacture McLaren Automotive, and its motorsports business, McLaren Racing. The latter was formed forty years ago, and its Formula One team has taken eight Constructors’ Championships and 12 Drivers’ Championships. The F1 team has one 183 races, with drivers taking second or third in another 313 races since.

VanMoof was granted a deferment of payment on July 12 and declared bankrupt about a week later. The bankruptcy has been attributed to repeated losses of tens of millions of euros annually. The manufacturer used many of its own parts in their bicycles and e-bikes, and warranty repair costs soared as the company grew. Since declaring bankruptcy, VanMoof’s trustees have been investigating the feasibility of a relaunch and have engaged in discussions with multiple parties. News about the talks between VanMoof and Lavoie broke in mid-August.

VanMoof has sold roughly 200,000 bicycles worldwide, with 20 retail outlets in different major cities. The company’s bicycles are still sold in its outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Ireland, Austria and Denmark.

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