German lead-acid and lithium battery manufacturer Akkumulatorenfabrik MOLL GmbH + Co KG (MOLL Batterien or MOLL) has filed insolvency proceedings in response to an unprecedented decline in sales, according to a statement on the company’s website on March 30.
In the opening of Insolvency proceedings at the Coburg District Court, MOLL cited “the economic conditions caused by the Corona crisis and the general production stop in the automotive industry” has forced the company to take action.
While MOLL anticipates production could resume during insolvency proceedings if automotive producers were to return to production, it still might not be enough to save the company given that it believes it is “highly probable” that it could take months or even years for sales to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
The company also stated that it had recently pre-finance “considerable operating funds” due to the capacity expansion and development of its 12.8V lithium iron phosphate battery. As such, MOLL notes that this also had a “negative impact on liquidity”.
According to the company announcement, the company’s sales are largely focused towards the Volkswagen Group of companies; supplying the Skoda, Seat, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche branded factories.
While registrations of new passenger vehicles in Germany only declined 10.8pc to 239,943 units in February compared with the same month the prior year, automotive sales figures are likely to be similarly poor, if not worse, in March.
Indeed, automotive sales in Italy, France, and Spain have dropped 72.2pc, 85.4pc and 69.3pc respectively in March versus the same time last year in response to restrictions on movement and stringent social distancing measures.