As recently as last October, Frank Appel, head of the German Post, had described Streetscooter as a success.
Now the German Post wants to stop production – this year. Last Friday, February 28, 2020, the Bonn-based group issued a press release on the Streetscooter exit. The “current global economic uncertainties” are the cause of the U-turn in the case of the e-delivery van and the planned production stop.
Orders are still being processed, production stopped
The German Post plans to phase out production at its Aachen and Düren sites this year. According to the press release, new orders would no longer be accepted and only the delivery of already fixed orders would be handled. The logistics company said it would “now focus on the operation of the current Streetscooter fleet.” The current vehicle fleet of around 11,000 electric vans is therefore expected to grow to 15,000. Review: German Post acquired the production company based in the border triangle in 2014. Four years earlier, it had emerged from a privately organized research initiative at RWTH Aachen University. With the entry of the Post, a Streetscooter plant was built in Düren, whose production capacity was underutilized in the past six years. In 2018, the postal subsidiary faced a loss of 70 million euros, in 2019 it was already 100 million.
UPS decided against Streetscooter
In addition to these figures, it was announced two weeks ago that competitor UPS had decided against the Streetscooter in its search for an e-mobility solution and for a cooperation with the British start-up Arrival. On 7 February, Streetscooter Managing Director Jörg Sommer announced his resignation. After the end became known for the German e-delivery car, Streetscooter co-founder Günther Schuh spoke up and criticized the Post in a guest commentary in the “Handelsblatt”.
Schuh criticizes German Post and business location
“External sales were halted for three years, internationalization, as well as the planned re-engineering program, normal procurements were delayed, the management was fired, amateurs were employed, the orders of their own Post fleet minimized, any improvement was banned – and waited for an opportunity to shut down the business under a pretext,” said Günther Schuh, who is CEO of the electric car manufacturer Ego Mobile in addition to his professorship in Aachen, and named the end for the e-delivery van as “a certificate of poverty for Germany”. Concrete plans for how the approximately 500 Streetscooter employees at the Aachen and Düren sites will continue are not yet known.
Image source: Deutsche Post DHL Group