Smith Electric Lineup

Smith Electric Lineup

In late 2013, Smith Electric Vehicles of the Kansas City, Missouri area ran out of cash.  Smith Electric quietly halted production.  So quietly in fact that we're just now hearing of the shutdown.

Smith Electric Vehicles, a prominent maker of electric commercial trucks, just couldn't quite figure out how to profit off its trucks, despite being the recipient of government money.

As the Kansas City Star reports:

"The move was disclosed in a report for the last quarter of 2013 filed with the U.S. Department of Energy, which in 2010 awarded the company a $32 million grant. Smith Electric said it stopped delivery of its Generation 2 trucks and vans because of the “company’s tight cash flow situation.”

The company didn’t respond to requests for comment. The Energy Department in an email said it is working to ensure that a demonstration project that is supposed to have 510 Smith Electric vehicles placed in fleets across the country will be successfully concluded."

“DOE continues to work with Smith Electric on the path forward for the remaining vehicle production,” the federal agency said Thursday in the email."

It seems as though the DOE will work to ensure that the promised number of electric truck get produced.  Beyond that, it seems likely to us that Smith Electric Vehicles will formally shut its doors.  439 of the promised 510 electric trucks have been produced and delivered to customers.

The Kansas City Star covered Smith Electric Vehicles extensively dating back to 2009 when the truck maker arrived in Kansas City:

"Smith Electric, which would eventually have about 100 employees, arrived in Kansas City in 2009, setting up offices and a production facility near Kansas City International Airport. It marketed its electric vehicles to businesses that make deliveries and snagged some notable customers, including Coca-Cola, Staples and Frito-Lay."

"Along the way it got plenty of attention."

"But the initial glow dimmed, and signs of problems began to emerge. The company bowed out of an initial public offering in 2012 and scaled back production. It has also left hanging well-publicized plans for two more assembly plants."

The slide down the slope had been in the making for some time now.  Smith Electric was often accused of over promising and under delivering.  There had been several high profile reports of BIG orders received by Smith Electric Vehicles.  Turns out these reports originated with Smith Electric and most were not confirmed order.  In one instance, Smith Electric claimed it had received 30 truck orders.  Turns out those orders went to a different truck maker who undercut Smith's bid.

Anyways, it seems Smith Electric's days are numbered.  Without an influx of cash, the truck maker will struggle to stay afloat.  We suspect an official announcement to come soon in regards to what the future may hold for Smith Electric,

Source: Kansas City Star