Aptera 2e, revisedEnlarge Photo
Rumors surrounding Aptera and the release of several staffers have been floating around the internet for a few days now. The apparent rumor origanated from the Aptera Forum. According to Wired.com the release of several key individuals at Aptera is in fact true. However, this is only half of the story as the company is also facing financial difficulty.
According to the report from Wired, Aptera has released their top fabrication engineer and supervisor Tim Dine. The company has also removed co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony from the payroll along with 30% of the remaining employees.
Cutting staffers may indeed be a sign of a company in trouble. Back in 2007, Tesla made similar moves to reduce overhead as the company struggled to stay upright. However, Tesla has moved forward and progressed with production and new model concepts.
Aptera recently brought in industry veteran Paul Wilbur to help with execution of the 2e. He was appointed as president and CEO of the company. His goal was to make the vehicle appeal to the masses. Late stage design changes aimed at meeting this goal have delayed production of the 2e. The delay in production meant no sales and no revenue to pay employees. The design changes delayed the Aptera 2e by at least one year. With few investors and an extended production cycle, Aptera is running low on cash.
As Wired.com reports from contact with inside sources at Aptera, "Sources inside Aptera tell a different story, saying Fambro and Anthony increasingly were at odds with Wilbur’s direction. As the new CEO developed a plan to slash costs aggressively and leave a skeleton crew to wait for federal money, the founders developed an alternative plan. It included reversing the new engineering direction and delivering cars to customers ASAP. The plan also may have included returning executive control to the founders. It is unclear what would have become of Wilbur had the board accepted this plan, and at this point it’s moot because the plan was rejected. In a boardroom showdown, the majority of directors backed Wilbur’s plan. Shortly thereafter, Fambro and Antony were let go — their official status with the company remained unclear Sunday — along with an unknown number of other employees."
Though Aptera may be struggling for money, recent changes in the AVTM loans makes the company eligible for federal loans, but their application to receive money has not yet been approved or disbursed. Without additional funding, Aptera's lack of revenue may have driven key members from their staff.
The company is hopeful that their application will be approved within a short time frame. As they have stated, " The DOE is an accelerator as it turns you into a big boy much faster than if you had only organic growth."
Cuts within the company may have been inevitable as they await funding. Hopefully approval comes soon and production of the Aptera 2e gets underway.