The provider of the Swiss electric car gaggles Microlino has informed the pre-orderers this week in an e-mail about a further delay. In the letter, the founding family Ouboter accused the new contract manufacturer Artega lack of quality standards. Artega now announced a Stromer very similar to the Microlino.
Originally, the Italian company TMI, which specializes in electric light vehicles, was to produce the Microlino. At the end of 2018, TMI was taken over by Artega and the production of the Microlino was relocated from Italy to Germany. The new CEO of TMI and owner of Artega, Klaus Dieter Frers, spoke to the Handelsblattoffshoot Edison about his view of things.
Frers wanted to build a stylish and high-quality e-car, the Ouboters rather a Spartan model. He had therefore decided to bring his own cabin scooter on the market: the "Karolino", which is a technical development of the Microlino. "It will celebrate its premiere at the IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt," Frers announced. The delivery will start in October and 2019 several hundred vehicles built. Next year will be raised to several thousand copies.
"We will set up regional sales centers and make the cities a bit more colorful," says Frers. The operation should take over local car dealers. "Our door is still open for the Microlino," the entrepreneur assured. Both sides are currently negotiating a series production of the Microlino.
Frers founded Artega in 2006 and until the bankruptcy in 2012 produced the combustion sports car Artega GT in very small series. He is currently developing an electric version of this vehicle to revive the brand. Frers is also Chairman of the Board of German automotive supplier Paragon and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of battery expert Voltabox.
The Ouboters are preparing for the fact that TMI will not build any vehicles for them – they are already working "on a Plan B". Should Frers introduce a competitive model with TMI, customers would stick to the original, the Microlino inventors hope. In their view, however, the joint venture contract with TMI does not allow for the production of the Karolino. Frers sees it differently: "We are prepared for this," he said Edison, "We have already ordered the tools for production."