fox e-mobility: “The market is ready for the new MIA 2.0”

With fox e-mobility there is a new player on the trading floor who is active in the field of electromobility. Within two years, fox e-mobility wants to put an e-car on the road, the MIA 2.0. CEO Philippe Perret explains how this is to be achieved in an interview with our editorial team. He reports on the interest of international investors and talks about the plans for the production of the MIA. He gives clear targets for sales and profitability. The name “fox e-mobility” is still unknown to many readers. Please explain briefly what is behind the name and what your plans are.

Perret: Fox e-mobility AG is a European electric vehicle company. We specialize in the production, marketing and further development of small electric cars for individual passenger transport and logistical applications. Our electric car – the MIA 2.0 – should be available for around 16,000 euros in around two years. That makes us a pioneer in the lower price segment, a huge growth market, and it could mean the breakthrough in mass electric mobility. You have been listed on the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange for a few days. Why did you do a reverse IPO instead of a “normal” IPO?

Perret: For us, it is not the path to the stock exchange that is decisive, but rather access to growth capital. A classic IPO is time-consuming and expensive. With the reverse IPO, we have chosen a quick and cost-effective route to the floor. This type of IPO – a so-called ‘cold IPO’ – also makes us independent of the mood on the capital markets. This is good at the moment, but as we all know, that can change quickly. The listing in Düsseldorf also enables many interested investors to participate in the development of a pioneer in electromobility at a relatively early stage – and at a very favorable valuation. With a classic IPO, we could have achieved a higher rating. So pricing is the responsibility of the market and investors. We are confident that investors will quickly realize the potential of fox e-mobility AG. We enjoy great trust from our investors who support this path. Who are the previous shareholders of fox e-mobility and what is the current free float?

Perret: We have a strong and stable shareholder base. The largest shareholders are the founders with a total of almost 40 percent. The free float is more than 60 percent. This includes shares of the management team of over 11 percent. You want to start series production in the first quarter of 2023. Where are you on the way there and what remains for you to do?

Perret: We have various decisive advantages over the competition: The concept of the MIA 2.0 is based on the MIA 1.0, which was produced from 2011 to 2013. Some of these MIA 1.0 vehicles are still driving safely on the roads today. This is why the path to series production is much shorter for us than for other suppliers. We are carrying out a kind of “comprehensive technical facelift” in order to bring the MIA up to date with regard to batteries, drive, assistance systems, multimedia connections and design. Others have to start from “zero”. This saves us a lot of time and resources. The remaining financial requirements are relatively small. This significantly reduces the risk for investors. Where should the car be built and what production figures do you currently expect?

Perret: We are planning to set up production with experienced international partners and are in concrete discussions. Production will take place in Europe. We anticipate quantities of at least 50,000 MIA in 2023 and up to 100,000 in the following years. After the reverse IPO, are you sufficiently financed for this project or will there be further capital measures?

Perret: The reverse IPO is an important intermediate step for us. We are planning a capital increase of 10 percent for the beginning of next year. In our discussions with international investors, we recorded great interest in our company. We want to get them on board. We are therefore aiming for an uplisting in a higher market segment in 2021 and want to carry out a further capital increase in this context. In addition, the topic of external financing is interesting for us. Overall, we need around 160 million euros, very little compared to the industry, for a completely new vehicle concept. Your planned car goes back to Murat Guenak, the former chief designer at Volkswagen and Daimler. Why is the e-car now being built in its own company instead of by one of the industry giants?

Perret: Murat Guenak did not develop the first variant of the MIA for a large corporation either. Back then he was clearly ahead of the times. In 2011, electric cars were not yet anchored in society and environmental awareness was not as pronounced. This picture has changed fundamentally. Today climate and environmental protection is one of the most pressing social issues. This goal unites people from all walks of life. The market is now ready for the new MIA 2.0. As a pure provider of electric vehicles without the structures of a large corporation, we can act more flexibly and faster. In addition, the major providers have started with larger electric vehicles. Building a platform for small electric vehicles is therefore time-consuming and costly for them. In contrast, we achieve important competitive advantages. With us, Murat Guenak’s vision can become reality more quickly. With the new MIA, only the driver will sit in the front center. Does the car have any other special features?

Perret: It is indeed an important innovation that should not be underestimated. This gives the driver an optimal all-round view. He can also get in and out comfortably via the space-saving sliding doors on both sides. The safety concept also protects the driver well. With a turning circle of just 4.3 meters, the MIA is ideally suited for tight situations. The platform is specially designed for electric cars and meets their requirements. So you have a lot of space inside despite the small external dimensions. The MIA will be available as a 3- or 4-seater for families as well as in the variant of a delivery vehicle. The passengers can get in comfortably via the sliding doors and have a good view. Please explain the mobility concept behind the MIA. What distance can the car cover?

Perret: We designed MIA primarily as a vehicle for metropolitan regions and metropolitan areas. It is ideally suited for the last mile logistics in urban delivery traffic. As a small car, it takes up little space in the overcrowded cities and thus helps to relax the increasingly scarce traffic areas in the cities. Despite its small external dimensions, the trunk has a capacity of 1,600 liters, which is as much as a mid-range SUV. With a range of 200 kilometers, it is also ideal for trips to work, shopping or family celebrations. You want to offer the MIA for 16,000 euros. How do you do it?

Perret: We are among the first to offer a small electric car for the mass market and thus open up new customer groups. The cost of the batteries has decreased significantly in recent years. This is a not inconsiderable cost factor that has so far stood in the way of cheap electric cars. In addition, our fixed costs are comparatively low because we outsource production to partners. As a pure provider of electric vehicles, there is the possibility of receiving so-called CO2 credits, as we have no CO2 emissions and are therefore below the EU emission limits. That could be around € 3,500 to € 4,000 for each car sold. Our business model is not only convincing ecologically, but also economically. What sales goals do you have for MIA and how should the sales take place?

Perret: We are planning to start sales in 2023. In the first year of sales, we are targeting around 50,000 MIAs to be sold. In the following years the number could rise to around 100,000 vehicles. We concentrate entirely on the European market. Outside of Europe, we issue licenses so that other car manufacturers can produce and sell the MIA there. You expect breakeven in 2023. How do you come to this assumption?

Perret: We are a lean company with efficient structures. No own factories – the production is outsourced to proven and experienced contract manufacturers. Battery, drive and other parts are available in top quality from suppliers. This reduces the costs and quality risks. With our business model, we can achieve profitability even with comparatively low quantities. This is therefore likely to be in the year of the market launch. Will the breakeven come about more because of the auto business or because of the sale of CO2 certificates?

Perret: We generate sales in three business areas: the sales of MIA in Europe, the licensing program for countries outside Europe and the sale of CO2 credits to other vehicle manufacturers. We will generate profits in each of these areas over the life of the MIA. Is a takeover by an established car manufacturer an issue for you? Are there any reactions from there?

Perret: We are currently developing the MIA 2.0 series, with which we will be pioneers in the market for electric vehicles in the lower market segment. That’s what we focus on. A takeover is currently not an issue for us. You should only offer the new MIA in Europe. Isn’t China an interesting market for you?

Perret: The European market is our home market. As a new provider, we are concentrating on this market. Of course, the Chinese, Southeast Asian and American markets are also very interesting for us. Here too, electromobility is on the advance. We are examining various options as to how we can open up these markets through licensing concepts. Will the new MIA be the VW Beetle of e-cars?

Perret: We are honored to be compared, but the concepts are fundamentally different. With the MIA, we are offering an electric car for the city. The concept is geared towards this. As a small car with a wide range of uses, it is ideally suited, especially in the many narrow urban areas. We are sure that motorists will also appreciate this. The MIA is making a contribution to solving the ecological problems (keyword Green Deal), but also to preventing the traffic collapse in the large metropolitan regions. The MIA will therefore be present in our cities and metropolitan areas.

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