Canoo was the first new customer of the automobile plant in Born this summer after BMW decided to relocate the production of BMW and MINI models to its own plants. In June, the two companies announced that Canoo would start producing cars in Born from next year until 2028. VDL Nedcar would even initially want to set up additional production areas in the parking lot, because normal production of BMWs and MINIs would continue until 2023. It won’t happen now. In a document submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Canoo no longer expects a preliminary contract to be converted into a definitive contract.
The decision was already in the air. Canoo CEO Tony Aquila said last month that based on scrutiny, he would rather have his own factory than a contract manufacturer. Around this time, the company decided to start production of its so-called lifestyle vehicle, a type of SUV, in the USA as early as 2022 instead of a year later.
The deadline for a final agreement with VDL Nedcar was then extended from the end of November to mid-December. In the official document, Canoo now says that the decision was made because of “developments at VDL Nedcar”. The latest hack attack on the Dutch company could play a role, various media previously wrote. As a result, production at VDL Nedcar also came to a standstill for some time.
Many Belgians work at VDL Nedcar. Since the start in 1967, more than 5.5 million cars (DAF, Volvo, Smart, Mitsubishi, MINI) have been produced in Born. The company was already looking for more customers because the production of Canoo vehicles was insufficient to cover the entire plant.