US based electric-vehicle parts supplier Proterra has become the latest automotive company to fail following its announcement that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on on Monday 7th August , as the industry grapples with supply chain constraints, slowing demand and a capital drought.
The move comes weeks after US electric pick up truck start up, Lordstown Motors filed for bankruptcy protection and put itself up for sale after it failed to resolve a disagreement over a promised investment from Foxconn.
Proterra has had a number of significant investors, including Daimler Truck North America which invested around $US 155 million in Proterra back in 2018, but it seems ever the truck and bus giant’s input could not save the start up.
Proterra, whose shares nearly halved in value after the NY stock exchange closed on Monday, listed its assets and liabilities in the range of $US500 million to $US 1 billion. The company had a market value of $362 million as of last close, but at the start of 2021 in a merger deal the company was valued at $US1.6 billion, including debt,
“We have faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale,” said Proterra’s CEO Gareth Joyce in a statement.
Proterra makes electric buses as well as battery packs, and says it intends to continue to operate in the ordinary course of business and plans to file the customary motions with the bankruptcy court to use existing capital to fund operations.
Early in 2023 Proterra announced for significant job cuts and said it that it would combine electric bus and battery production together in its South Carolina factory as it looked to trim costs.
Proterra has been chaired since May this year by retired former Daimler Truck North America CEO Roger Nielsen who took over as chair of the financially struggling electric bus and battery maker.
Proterra went public via special purpose acquisition company merger in 2020 to gain attention — and funding — for its battery and infrastructure business.
it was under Nielsen’s stewardship that DTNA invested in and purchased batteries from Proterra for its Thomas Built Buses subsidiary and for its Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. His successor as CEO at DTNA, John O’Leary, said just two months ago that the company remained positive about Proterra.
“They’re doing a great job for us as far as the technology, obviously their supply base is still going through some growing pains, but the technology itself is great, and the relationship that we have with them is outstanding,” O’Leary said.
When he retired from DTNA in 2021, Nielsen said he would remain active in advanced mobility and he joined Proterra’s board in March 2022.