ELECTRIC SCOOTER purveyor Vectrix Corp. has laid off all but the most essential staff and is beginning the process of preparing for a bankruptcy filing.
Vectrix Corp. is headquartered in Middletown, R.I., had an assembly facility in Wroclaw, Poland, and had an R&D center in New Bedford, Mass. Employees in the U.S. were told of the move when they arrived at work July 13.
Mike Boyle, president and CEO, Vectrix Corp., says he suspects bankruptcy will be filed in the next 30 days if efforts to find financing continue to prove unsuccessful.
"The company has been operating in challenging market conditions for some time as a result of the credit crunch and lack of consumer spending on bigger ticket retail purchases," Boyle wrote in a note to dealers sent out July 15. "The company has made every effort to reduce costs and conserve cash, but market conditions continue to be difficult and the results of sales have been very disappointing."
In April, Dealernews reported that Vectrix Corp. had dismissed about 60 employees to cut costs and said it planned to seek "strategic alternatives, which could include a merger or sale of the business."
"They have been unable to raise the cash needed to maintain the staff," an anonymous source from within the company told Dealernews at the time.
Conceived in 1996 by a group of engineers at Lockheed Martin and a former competitive sailor, Andrew McGowan, Vectrix, together with strategic partner Parker-Hannifin, invested more than $50 million and the better part of 11 years to bring a first product, the VX-1 (MSRP $10,495), to market in 2007. The company completed its IPO on the London Stock Exchange about 19 months ago and this year added the VX-1E ($8,495) and entry-level VX-2 ($5,195) scooters to its lineup. (Continued)