Arrival: Electric van maker's UK arm enters administration

The UK-based operations of the electric van maker Arrival - a firm once championed by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson - have been placed in administration.

Arrival planned to build innovative electric vans for sale around the world.

The Banbury-based business was worth £9bn just three years ago

It had been described as the future of the UK automotive industry, but struggled to get its designs produced.

Between them, Arrival UK Ltd and Arrival Automotive employed 172 people. Nearly 40 have been made redundant, while others are being retained to assist with the sale of the business and assets.

Arrival was founded in the UK by the Russian billionaire and former government minister Denis Sverdlov in 2015.

It intended to use simple manufacturing processes to build electric vans, buses and taxis cheaply. It planned to produce them in so-called "micro-factories", which would be much smaller than traditional manufacturing plants and could be set up relatively easily.

It was launched on the Nasdaq stock market in the United States in 2021, and briefly had a valuation of $13bn (£9bn), making it the biggest ever initial stock market listing for a UK tech company at the time.

However, despite already having received orders for 10,000 vehicles from the US distribution giant UPS, and having investment from both UPS and Hyundai, it struggled to get its designs into production.

Setbacks included a fire at its Banbury facility while one of its vans was being demonstrated in November 2022.

Early last year, Arrival said it would cut its 800-strong workforce in half and switch production from the UK to North Carolina in the United States. It still employs some 400 people globally.

However, the company continued to struggle to raise the money it needed.

At the end of January, the company said its shares had been suspended from trading on the Nasdaq, and it had been told they would be removed from the index.

According to the administrator of the UK side of the business, EY, "the group's liquidity position has been impacted by a challenging market and macroeconomic conditions resulting in delays getting the group's products to market.

"As such, the joint administrators are now exploring options for the sale of the business and assets of the companies".

Those assets include Arrival's electric vehicle designs, which will now be put up for sale.