Resurrecting One of several old threads, but oddly enough the Onto announcement the other day regarding price/CPO card changes/increase came at the same time as some disheartening news from Sono and the Sion project.
This email sums it up, along with the website videos/interviews etc. and shows just how tough it is for any company to make financial progress, more so when you are a start up.
I really hope they manage to keep the Sion project going, but if not the solar side of the business will keep them afloat.
to raise enough money. We failed to explain to investors why the Sion is truly needed and that there is a huge demand for it. As a young company we didn’t do everything right. We underestimated costs, timelines and the complexity in certain details. As most of you experienced painfully, we had to make the tough decision to delay our start of production more than once. But what hurts us most, is something that is of utmost importance to us - we haven’t saved any relevant amount of CO2 yet.
To make matters worse, we are living through multiple global crises. The COVID-19 pandemic, the global energy crisis, the war against Ukraine, inflation and interest rate increases, and based on all of that a totally challenging capital market environment.
These combined equate to a perfect storm and we are right in the center of it. The fear of a recession is causing most investors to avoid taking risks and look toward more mature companies. All of the above has meant that we have not been able to raise enough money to continue building the Sion.
The logical consequence would now be to halt the Sion project and focus purely on our solar business. This is also exactly what our advisors are telling us to do. Do what they call a “classic pivot” and focus on our patented solar technology. It is less risky, less capital intensive, overall less expensive and an easier move. The total addressable market is huge, and the potential profits are very attractive. They are telling us to not build the car, to restructure the company, and to lay off 70% of our people. To refund our reservation holders and to disregard the Sion and our Community.
AGAINST ALL ODDS.
But this can’t be our way. We absolutely still believe in the Sion. We believe it is the right solution for so many problems in this world. Not only in regard to making individual climate-friendly mobility accessible to the masses but also as a solution towards ever-rising energy costs and ultimately to achieve our vision of a world without the need to burn fossil fuels. We have come so far together. Just look at what we already achieved together.
After humble beginnings in a small garage, we raised €800k in our very first crowdfunding campaign and thereby planted the seed for our outstanding Community. Moving forward a few years to late 2019, our dedicated Community helped us to raise a mind-boggling and previously unheard of sum of more than €50m of payment commitments in a crowdfunding campaign. At that time, it was the largest of its kind (for a hardware product) in Europe.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED TOGETHER.
The money you entrusted us with enabled us to achieve so much. Amongst other things: We released the SVC2, our second generation prototypes, and are well underway with our fleet of its successor, generation 3 or series-validation vehicles. We went public in the US on Nasdaq - one of the most regulated markets in the world and have since raised more than €264m. We built an incredible team of 418 industry experts and became an officially certified automotive company, a so-called OEM, certified by the German authorities. No one would have believed that this was possible. But it was, because we did it together. We promised you to bring the Sion on the streets, and you put your trust in us.
WE CAN’T STOP NOW.
So, let’s show the nay-sayers that they are wrong. Let’s prove that this world is not only ruled by calculators and profits. Instead of building more and more solutions for the 1%, let’s prove that the demand for an affordable SEV, rather than luxury SUVs, is very much wanted and called-for by the everyday person. Call us crazy, but we still believe we can make it. We’ve gained invaluable amounts of experience, hired a multitude of experts from their respective fields and grew into a legitimate organization. We can’t stop now. We are ready and eager to build the Sion. Let’s get there together!
All we need is your commitment and, yes, a lot of money! The good news here is that we aim high, but it is a realistic goal. If only 3,500 reservation holders out of the over 21,000 existing reservations make a full down payment, we then can raise enough money to trigger a positive domino effect. Even if you only increase your down payment by a 100 Euro – every euro counts. Your down-payment, which represents both your money and your trust in us, we believe this will enable us to continue to find new investors and to continue to pay the remaining machinery, tooling and production set-up to achieve the planned pre-series production in 2023 and make it to a high volume SOP in 2024.
All campaign supporters will get an exclusive discount of up to €3,000. You will only have to pay if the campaign is successful. Additionally, we will also give you a vehicle waiting list number.
Now, it’s time for you to decide. It’s a simple vote. In deciding whether to make or increase a down-payment, you can vote for the Sion. We are not just saying we’re the world’s first truly community-driven automotive company. We exemplify it. It’s not about our dream. It’s not about Sono Motors. It’s not about an electric car. It’s about proving to the world that change is both needed and wanted. That we can’t continue like this. That the everyday person has taken matters into their own hands and shown politicians, investors, policymakers and corporations what true action looks like.
It’s about a movement. A Community that has one belief. A belief that even a small group of people can change the status quo. So let’s do it. Let’s continue to build the Sion. Let’s take matters into our own hands. For a world without burning fossil fuels.
Laurin & Jona
Save the Sion – To the campaign