In August of this year, Lavoie announced its takeover of the bankrupt ebike manufacturer Vanmoof. After that, however, relatively little was heard from the new owner. For anyone who owns a Vanmoof model, this silence is a tough test. They are keen to know what will happen next. Lavoie has now commented on this for the first time.
Basically, it seems understandable if the UK company does not immediately put a finalised plan on the table as to how it intends to continue Vanmoof’s business. First and foremost, a comprehensive review of the current situation was presumably required in order to gain an accurate picture of the current situation. When personnel decisions are made, the financial books are scrutinised and the models are put through their paces technically, this takes a certain amount of time – and, ideally, always takes place in private.
Once a fan, always a fan
This makes it all the more important to find out how Lavoie assesses Vanmoof’s overall situation and what conclusions can be drawn from this. Whatever Elliott Wertheimer and Albert Nassar, the two co-CEOs of Lavoie and, more recently, VanMoof, have learnt during this process has apparently not shaken their confidence in Vanmoof. In the latest press release, they emphasise that they remain convinced of both the products and the brand. They want to continue to develop the ebikes in a sustainable and profitable way. In doing so, they put the “riders and their experiences” at the centre.
So far, so common. The owners of pretty much every ebike manufacturer would probably make these statements in this or a similar form. Things get more specific when we look at three basic principles that Lavoie wants to follow with regard to Vanmoof. Three very specific intentions can be read from them:
1. Simplify maintenance
The restriction to spare parts manufactured exclusively for Vanmoof was one of the biggest bottlenecks in the past. If something broke and the spare part was not in stock, this inevitably meant that the bike was out of action. Often for a long time. Spare parts from other manufacturers were not compatible and therefore no alternative solution.
Lavoie wants to counteract this imbalance in two ways. Firstly, the availability of spare parts is to be increased, which could be an indication of higher production orders. Secondly, third parties should be given easier access to technical expertise. Unfortunately, there is a lack of detailed information on this. For example, it would be conceivable to train certain parts of the dealership, who could then accept service cases more frequently than before.
2. Manufacture higher quality parts and components
The best way to prevent a defect is to ensure that the relevant part on the bike does not break at all or breaks less frequently. Greater durability will therefore be a criterion in the future production of spare parts. Just like the aim of making it easier to repair. To this end, Lavoie wants to critically examine the supply chain and probably reorganise parts of it.
3. Strengthening the pioneering role
Not every idea from Vanmoof has really taken off. There were various reasons for this. However, the manufacturer has undoubtedly inspired others with its approaches to design and technology and has sometimes given them food for thought. Lavoie wants to stick to this approach. It considers itself well equipped to do so, especially thanks to its alliance with McLaren Applied. Anyone who takes a closer look at the Lavoie Series 1 e-scooter will understand where this optimism comes from. Especially when you realise that a creative mind like star designer Nick Fry will probably not be holding back with his own ideas in the background. The aim is clearly to create a “world-leading mobility brand”.
Uncertain time frame
It remains to be seen how quickly these basic principles can actually be implemented. While the strategic direction in Lavoie’s press release is clear, the timescales mentioned remain vague. A selection of models for sale is expected ” in the near future”. The same applies to establishing new options for repairing Vanmoof ebikes. The build-up of functional supply chains will take place “in the coming months”.
If you click on “FAQs” under the “Support” menu item on the current Vanmoof website, you will be taken to a section entitled ” VanMoof’s new chapter”. Here, Lavoie answers further questions about the present and future of the brand. There you will learn, among other things, that Lavoie does not take over any current warranty agreements or vouch for outstanding deliveries. The company also points out that the leasing provider and not Lavoie will clarify any questions relating to leased Vanmoof ebikes.
Register your own claims
It should therefore be mentioned once again at this point: The Berlin-Charlottenburg Local Court has appointed the lawyer Christian Otto from hww Markengesellschaft mbH & Co. KG from Berlin. Creditors from Germany can still submit their claims in writing to this contact person until 30 November 2023.
Pictures: MA Micro Limited