Electric truck maker Smith shows signs of stress
Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. updated its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The trucks Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. makes for iconic companies like Coca-Cola may not burn gas. But the Kansas City manufacturer is burning through cash in advance of a planned initial public offering.
Smith Electric's troubles reflect the larger growing pains across the U.S. electric vehicle market that, together, throw into question the viability of attempts to create an American auto industry without the internal combustion engine.
Smith Electric, according to revised paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
- Is losing money and doesn't expect to make a profit before the before 2013.
- Has borrowed $11.5 million to keep operating through September.
- Has reduced its production targets for the year to 380 from 620.
Smith Electric is looking to raise up to $125 million by going public, which would cover debt and give the company the breathing room it needs to keep operating and add to its capacity.
But there are some stark warnings for those tempted to invest in the maker of midsize electric trucks, the biggest one being uncertainty over whether the company can actually sell its trucks in sufficient quantities to reach profitability.
Slow sales are a problem across the electric vehicle industry, from parts suppliers to manufacturers of electric cars and trucks.
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