Smith Electric Vehicles, a builder of electric medium-duty trucks that was featured in our January 2013 issue, has suspended production, but CEO Bryan Hansel is adamant that the company is not closing its doors for good.
Hansel said that Smith decided on the temporary stoppage because the business is building vehicles at a loss and needs to reorganize its supply chain. The company plans to resume global operations by mid-summer, and expects to become profitable by the end of the year. Smith has not laid off any assembly or manufacturing staff, and engineering activities are continuing as normal, Hansel said.
“We strategically did shut down the facility because we didn’t see value in continuing to build a small number of vehicles at the price point we were,” Hansel told the Kansas City Business Journal (via Green Car Reports). “We needed to transition both our manufacturing and assembly process as well as our supply chain to the next level so we could be ready to go to volume and make money doing it.”
Smith remains committed to its Kansas City headquarters. Plans to open additional production facilities in New York and Chicago are on hold for now. “The largest assemblage facility is Kansas City…we’ve made the decision to continue to concentrate in Kansas City until we get this market profitable,” Hansel said.