GEM PeapodEnlarge Photo
Citing lower-than-expected demand and poor sales, Chrysler, owners of the low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle brand Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), looks to close 64 of its franchised retail outlets. The vehicles, which include six-passenger and utility models, are only legal for driving on private campuses (like large corporate areas) and on public streets with posted speed limits of less than 35 MPH. Chrysler insists their request isn't indicative of lackluster overall GEM sales, but just poor sales at those specific franchises. "Many are not located in areas where GEMs do well," a spokesperson said. Most GEM customers run private corporate fleets, but a growing number are individuals who live in planned communities where low-speed transport is a viable option.
In its request, Chrysler states that many of the franchises it wishes to close have already started shutting down their GEM operations, and have sold only a handful the vehicles in the past year. While GEM doesn't publish annual sales figures, it does specifically say that it's sold 38,000 units since the company launched a decade ago.