The Aptera saga continues with a new report coming from Gas 2.0 who cites countless sources within the company. Gas 2.0 is reporting that the companies financial problems, mismanagement, vehicle revisions, and employee unrest could truly unravel the entire company.
According to the report, the troubles at Aptera stem from the hiring of Paul Wilbur, now CEO of Aptera. When Wilbur was hired, he brought along Laura Marion, now CFO for Aptera. Marian had previously worked for Delphi where she was caught up in an accounting fraud claim and was cited by the SEC. Marion paid $40,000 in fines. Wilbur, formerly part of both Saleen and ASC, left both companies as they were going bankrupt.
Apparently, mismanagement atop Aptera has led to uproar amongst employees and withdrawal of financial backing. As Wilbur took over the company, he made countless design changes to the Aptera 2e. These changes delayed production by at least one year. Many of the changes were met with protest from employees within the company. One anonymous employee was liveblogging the recent happenings at the company. His or her blogs are posted below.
But first a little background about Karen Pease of Gas 2.0. "Karen Pease has developed many personal relationships with people inside and out of Aptera over the years. She's been able to get the best picture we've seen so far of the quirky EV manufacturer's troubles from her inside sources. In most cases names and identifying specifics have been withheld at the source's request to protect their livelihood." Pease wrote the article for the Gas 2.0 site. Her article has heads turning after revealing what may really be happening inside the companies doors.
The live blog postings are as follows: "Paul Wilbur has just sacrificed the company to line his own pockets. Crap, I'm crying.This is exactly what he did to Saleen. Why did they hire him with a history like that? I'll never understand."
"He's marching around the place like a peacock and firing everyone. The design still needs work to make production numbers. What is he doing? Seems to think suspending operations til govt$$ come in will make him a rich man. So sad for Steve Fambro, he's a great guy being ruined."
"I'm panicked someone like the Chinese could make an offer and Wilbur would take it just to get rich and move onto destroy the next innovation. Management directors in a meeting now. Still waiting for the hatchet to finish falling. They've just taken the 1st guy into the office. Mood is certainly somber."
"It looks like they just let Tim Dine go. Wow." (Tim Dine was the Senior Fabrication Engineer and Fabrication Supervisor, someone so dedicated to the cause that he volunteered at Aptera in it's early years). Chris Anthony got let go. He'll go back to Epic Wake Boats." (Chris is the company's cofounder).Yep, They let go Steve, Anthony and Trisha Fambro. Please make sure everyone knows and keep an eye on Steve. He'll be back."
After the firing, Aptera submitted a press release to try to clarify the situation and calm down some outraged individuals. The release called attention to both co-founders. The release stated that Chris Anthony had voluntarily went on to pursue his other company while also stating that Fambro had taken a voluntary long vacation. However, it is now apparent that the release may have been a lengthy cover up by the company.
According to Karen Pease, her sources have discounted any chance that the company would be sold to a Chinese outfit. But the same source would not comment on the status of Anthony or Fambro.
Now the remaining question is, what will become of Aptera? The company is losing reservations for the 2e at an alarming rate. They are withdrawing reservations faster than the company is getting new ones. The DOE loans could be up to a year away, if they even receive them. Design changes, lack of funding, and enraged employees as well as a shrunken staff could hamper the company in countless ways.
The future looks dim for Aptera right now. As Karen Pease said, "The deeper you dig into what has transpired at Aptera in the past year while the company put on its best happy face, the uglier it gets. Over the coming months, even worse details will continue to leak out. Will the world ever see an Aptera vehicle hit the streets? The future looks increasingly hazy."
Source: Gas 2.0