Also for us the waiting for the series start takes much too long. We had probably guessed it, already at the beginning the exact time not sufficiently to limit can and therefore consciously an interest model for the reservations selected. The early reservation should be rewarded with this. The increasing reservation numbers of the last months show also that there is a clear interest in the new TWIKE, which becomes also clearly noticeable with validation of the current reservations. Although only a few visualizations and the key data have been outlined in the blog posts so far, we already perceive a real enthusiasm.
We know that we have to delve into more and more details in our further communication. We did this with every new blog post. Finally with the reference to the processing of the parts list (see article to BOM), because the optimization of the costs is a big concern for us. But the small series on the one hand and the desire to create a much better, sustainable and long-lasting product on the other are opposed to desired low purchase prices. The long service life will have a positive effect - the TWIKE 3 already has ambitions to maintain the classic car status, a TWIKE 5 also possesses these "age genes". Also the longevity lets understand the purchase price rather as an investment. The lower follow-up costs do their bit and were already able to relativize the purchase price of the TWIKE 3. With the TWIKE 5, the more extensive use will make a further contribution - higher driving comfort and driving speed can replace a conventional vehicle.
Another helpful strategy is to derive an even more marketable TWIKE 6 from the TWIKE 5 in a follow-up development. In order to avoid cannibalization between the models, the exclusive outstanding features and the more valuable basic equipment will be retained. The lower engine power of the 6 with 15kW nominal power will still allow a sporty top speed of 120km/h and with appropriate battery equipment ranges over 500km.
The downer: the development of the TWIKE 6 will only be able to begin after the SOP of the 5th generation.
The SOP is known in the world of vehicle manufacturers as the START OF PRODUCTION, the moment when series production of a product begins. For the TWIKE 5, this cannot yet be determined for the day. However, the planned construction with an extremely optimized manufacturing compared to the previous model 3 already allows a good limitation. In this respect, we currently expect a period of around 6 months from the date of release to the suppliers in order to achieve a production capacity of one vehicle per working day after the shortest possible ramp-up time. The release to the suppliers can take place as soon as the financing has been confirmed. And this is where the cat begins to bite its tail. Without a tangible product, there is only a limited willingness to invest in it.
We now want to break this vicious circle and set up our work plan as if the financing had been confirmed. Not every supplier will or can accept this and so, where possible, the costly development steps are placed behind. This strategy helps to shorten the development time less, but it helps to go forward with a small budget.
When it comes to setting up production, we find it easier to implement the plan. For the time being, it is mainly retooling work. The production processes will take place in premises that are largely available, supplemented by new storage areas that are not too cost-intensive. The available space allows a production capacity of 200 vehicles per year. An assembly time for final assembly of less than 32 hours requires 4 workstations.
At the same time, the financing for the start of series production must be secured within the next 6 months. We will talk again with all the players involved, explain the interrelationships and clarify how and in what time frame the financing can be secured.