If we’re being honest, it’s not without some sense of morbid fascination that I went to this. It’s kind of like when that really interesting house down the street goes up for sale, and you can go walk through it and look around… I last knew of Vectrix’s was their home office was in one of those old warehouses in New Bedford, MA, but at some point they moved to this new facility in an industrial park several miles out of town. The catalog listed a lot of standard manufacturing equipment, but also a bunch of EV-related gadgets and parts too.
I just had to see.
So here’s a peek inside at what they’re selling. You have everything from the marketing stuff, to tools, to batteries in various stages of assembly and testing (“Good”, “Not So Good”) and bikes everywhere from little bitty parts and chassis to boxed, ready to ship complete product. There was a sense that people just up and walked out. Even down to the cubes, the notes on keyboards and walls, the flowcharts on the whiteboards, and a well-used pair of riding gloves sitting nicely where the owner left them. It was that ghost ship with the steaming coffee on the wheelhouse feeling.
There was, though, a very instructive side of it. They had two dynos, some very cool battery testing equipment, an assembly dolly track, and you get to see a few iterations of the chassis designs, battery boxes and other internals you wouldn’t get to see otherwise. It was kind of a, “oh, this is how grownups do this…” And also the echo of that comment made to me a while back… great design survives bad management. I couldn’t help but marvel at all this good design, and wondering if you could really call this “surviving”. The other part of it for me, personally? This is all swell, but crap. They’re just scooters. My favorite cube belonged to a guy who was obviously a motorcyclist. Triumph poster on the wall, right next to the Vectrix Superbike poster.
With that, here are the shots. (All of them are © Ted Dillard, 2014, and all rights are reserved.)