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Optare Share Discussion Threads
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|More excitement from Optare as they announce a 'proof of concept' Metrodecker EV (with a promise to undertake necessary improvements to improve its range in due course). It would be more impressive, and interesting to PIs, to know that the company had sold a single Metrodecker. Optare launched the (conventional) Metrodecker with the declared aim of achieving sales of more than one hundred in the subsequent 18 months in May 2014; more than two years later Optare has not announced a single sale. Is this a record? Were it not for the demonstrators it might be called 'the bus that never was' (that perhaps was the Rapta) Or will the Metrodecker follow in the route of the 'new' Bonito (one sale - according to publicly available information - before the model was discontinued).
The Metrodecker some may think illustrates two points; (i) the problems that Opatre faces as a company; and (ii) the lamentable levels of trade journalism which seem scintent simply to reprint company PR releases without analysis or comment (and quite possibly critical understanding)..|
|Gosh. Having written the previous post found that the latest results have been published. I'm curious to know in the face of such dire results why AL do not 'pull the plug'. Perhaps they really have been convinced that the Metrodecker will save them. IMHO dream on.
For connoisseurs appreciative of use of language as 'spin' the Annual Report cannot be bettered. I don't say that they portray black as white, but it is the very palest shade of grey IMHO.
Fickling paid £50,000. Even in the most hardened of independent investor hearts this must raise a smile. Whitley Bay has a mild climate but I wonder if all its inhabitants are able to sleep peacefully at night. And Norris rewarded too; investors other than AL may (still) have found his appointment surprising. Rail disaster leading to fatalities ( and Board lied) anyone?
Optare could IMHO be used as a useful 'real life' example/case study in Business Schools 'How companies fail' course. Loss per share for Optare doubled.|
|Next accounts to 31 March 2016 are due to be published by 30 September. Will the Comapny have announced an order for the Metrodecker by then? What will be the size of the declared annual loss (or profit)? How much has Fickling been paid in the year for his invaluable advice? Most interestingly remaining minority shareholders will find out how loans have been dealt with and on what terms.|
|Route One magazine reports SMMT numbers for Q2 (calendar year) as 55 registrations for Optare. The company may, of course, be selling numbers overseas but if they are they are very shy about making announcements on the news section of the company website - which means that 55 registrations in three months reminds one of the 'good old days' (NOT) of Sumner lol.|
|I am sorry to know that Steve as I would be most interested to learn your opinion, but we cannot always be where we would like to be I know!|
|I doubt very much I will get around to seeing it JSB, let alone riding on it|
|Thanks for info Steve. I'll be interested to learn what you think of it if/when you have the opportunity to ride on it. As it happens I'm in London for a couple of days at present but feel no great need to either see The Red House again (wonderful though it is) nor ride o the Metrodecker (wonderful though it is not)!|
|JSB .... Thought you would like to know the London demonstrator has turned up, it is with Go-Ahead Bexleyheath.|
|Yes Kim, I saw that order announced - so it's worth around £440,000 to the bottom line I guesstimate presuming that the company is making 10% plus on sales. All orders are good but my impression is that Optare is still losing money - and I dont see the metrodecker being the model to save it. Interesting to note in the trade press recently that Reading buses are going for gas stating that batteries need to be replaced every five years at a cost of £50,000 - and then they have to be replaced again five years after that. I wonder if this means that they will not be ordering the metrodecker?
Still, much will be revealed when annual accounts are published.|
|Well, I don't think Ashok will pull the plug yet, not until Mr Fickling has had his slice of the £4m orders!
|Results should be published soon, and I seem to recollect that some finance/renewals were due in July (but may be mistaken about this). Yes, underwhelming is the term I would use for the metrodecker. On reflection I think it is the inevitable result of what I suspect was the driving consideration in the approach to design, not to seek to design the best bus possible, or the most passenger friendly, but the 'lightest in class'. That seems from the company's PR to have been the most important consideration. The outcome (though I am confident it conforms to all necessary safety standards and regulations) gave me the impression of riding within an insubstantial box. Others too have noted that it is under-powered to take on even modest gradients (there aren't many hills in Norfolk but going up one not to steep and not very long gradient we seemed to be slow). Sadly I repeat my observation that it is IMHO most unlikely to be the model that saves the company. My question is once again when will Ashok 'pull the plug'? Still, it's not all negative - the company has provided Fickling with a steady income over the years.|
|The decker sounds very underwhelming JSB! At least Optare have sold 1 each of their more successful buses to D&G buses, hardly an excuse to break open the champers though!
|News on company website of the Metrodecker demonstrator on trial in Wales.
Two years on from launch and no sales announced.|
|Not announced to date by Optare as far as I can find out but on Youtube video of a new Metrodecker demonstrator (YJ16 DFG) Service X78 First South Yorkshire.
No news of the promised London demonstrator yet?
No news on any orders yet?
21st May will be the second anniversary of Metrodecker launch. Is this the longest time in the UK that a new vehicle has been announced without entering production?
I wonder how much money Optare lost on the last just-closed financial year 2015-2016? Only a few weeks until we find out. I 'pencil in' my guesstimate of £3 million.
Will Fickling resign before Ashok 'pull the plug' (rhetorical)?|
|Well one point grabster may be that as far as is known, the metrodecker is not (yet?) in production. Second anniversary of the London launch for it on My 21st.|
|Are bus buyers repeatedly stating any specific reason for not wanting Optare products? Any specific point that rival salesmen are able to convincingly make against Optare?|
|First spends £70 million on 305 new buses for 2016-2017, including a large number of double deckers. Guess which bus manufacturing company located in the UK did NOT, as reported by the trade press, secure any part of the order?|
|itv news Reading buses have ordered five new scania 'gas' double decker buses.|
|Past shareholders who saw their investment value in Optare destroyed under the 'leadership' of Jim Sumner, Fickling, and Ashok Leyland before delisting may be interested to read in the trade press that of Stagecoach's latest order value £97 million they have chosen to buy only six Optare buses. It is gratifying to some to know that Ashok Leyland is not succeeding with Optare - 'what goes around...'.|
|38 new registrations in March but no sign of a Metrodecker despite the good review in Route One magazine. I see that Graham Belgum is now President of Optare; does he have the power to get rid of the Non-Executive Chairman then?! :o)|
|How many lossmaking or declining companies has Fickling continued collecting a salary and expenses from? Am I in the wrong job?|
|Will Optare make a single sale of the Metrodecker before the second anniversary of its 'launch' on May 21st 2014?
Has the London trial of a demonstrator Metrodecker begun as was predicted?
What will be the size of the financial loss of the company to be declared for 2015-2016?
Will Fickling resign? (Rhetorical).|
|Despite the Reading Buses MD bigging up the Optare Metrodecker in the trade press, they obviously are not that impressed as they have recently announced an order for Wright StreetDecks, albeit small, just 6 vehicles.|