Arrival, a listed startup that is back by Hyundai, has produced its first battery electric van using its micro-plant concept.
Rather than using the large-scale plants traditionally favoured by the automotive industry, Arrival believes its business will be able to reach profitability faster using microfactories that are heavily roboticised. The company now intends to optimise its supply chain and perform more trials at its Bicester factory in the UK before beginning production of its new delivery vans for UPS.
The process appears to have been challenging, however, and the company expects further challenges in future. Speaking to the Financial Times, Denis Sverdlov, the founder and CEO of Arrival, mentioned the high potential for production issues by referring to iconic assessment of Elon Musk about similar problems at Tesla:
“We will definitely have our own production hell. The question is the quantum of it.”
He added that while the company had secured its supply of chips for the immediate future, it remained reliant on suppliers for many of the 700+ parts needed to make its vehicles. He also said “thousands” of seemingly small issues could arise with production, pointing out that:
“When one thing doesn’t work on time, it has an impact on all things.”
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