Lightyear must tighten its belt now that no new investors have come forward. The automotive startup from Helmond is going to lay off an unknown number of people and will discontinue development of its own solar car for the time being, confirms CEO Lex Hoefsloot in Eindhovens Dagblad in following coverage in the Financieele Dagblad (links in Dutch). Manufacturing solar roofs for other car manufacturers will be the prime focus.
After Lightyear’s high-profile bankruptcy earlier this year, the company raised 8 million euros to continue operations with just under 100 employees out of 600 originally. Of those, 25 work at Lightyear Layer, which focuses on solar roofs for external customers. Last month, this business unit announced having started small-scale production.
Over the past six months, Lightyear continued to investigate the feasibility of an affordable family car – with positive outcome, according to Hoefsloot. But without investors, he’s forced to put those plans on hold for the time being. “We’re going to focus our resources on the solar panel business. That’s where we see demand,” Hoefsloot told FD. The young executive hasn’t given up hope to eventually launch a solar car, however, possibly by partnering up.
Previously, it was announced that the Korean industrial conglomerate Sunbo would like to put 3.5 million into the startup. Talks on this are said to be in “final stages.”