British sports car startup Zenos Cars goes financially bust

Article by Christian A., on January 21, 2017

Remember Zenos Cars, a British carmaker that specializes in designing and building lightweight and high-performance sports cars? If you are wondering how the company is faring with their E10 lightweight car, Zenos hasn’t been doing well and is, in fact, in dire financial straits. The severity of its financial problems has the company compelled to enter into administration, a process that is similar to bankruptcy protection.

According to a notice on the carmaker’s Web site, the company was placed under administration on January 16, 2017, with Irvin Milton Cohen and Gary Paul Shankland -- both of Begbies Traynor (London) LLP -- being appointed as Joint Administrators. Cohen and Shankland are now acting as Zenos agents without any personal liability. As Joint Administrators, Cohen and Shankland are now in charge of the management of the carmaker’s affairs, business and property.

Zenos’ humble beginnings can be traced to May 2012, when it was founded by Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards. Edwards and Ali were both employees at Lotus, and then at Caterham. However, Ali left Zenos in 2015 and joined the ranks at McLaren – although he remained a shareholder. According to his LinkedIn account, Ali is now the managing director for McLaren Special Operations (MSO) at McLaren Automotive. Edwards is currently Zenos’ chief executive, although his management powers are now gone.

The company was aiming to develop and create lightweight and modern high-performance sports cars that are both affordable and easy to run. This led the company to create the E10 series, which would be a less expensive alternative to cars like the Lotus Elise and Caterham Seven. The E10 series offers serious performance at a more affordable price – at just £26,995 in the United Kingdom. It was followed by more powerful E10 S and E10 R versions, with prices of £32,995 and £39,995, respectively.

Zenos commenced production of the E10 series in January 2016. By September 2016, the carmaker had already sold its 100th car and already had several orders that would have keep it running in 2017. Sadly, several customers cancelled their orders in late 2016, resulting to a financial shortfall within the carmaker. Due to lack of funding, Zenos entered into administration.

Prior to entering administration, Zenos had plans to launch two new models in the next few years. These are the E11 convertible and the E12 coupe. It remains to be seen whether the E11 and the E12 would see production when the company finds a new owner; that is, if there is anyone willing to purchase the carmaker from administration.

In a statement, Edwards described the situation as a “great disappointment,” adding that Zenos’ products still offer unmatched affordable fun. He added that Zenos had already made significant progress in developing the next product in the carmaker’s strategy.

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