This one happened a while ago, but I didn’t actually get a chance to post about it until today, when I put two and two together to make six.
Until the end of 2008 the Nice Car Company were viewed by many as the rivals to Goingreen, the UK agent for the funny little Indian electric car, the Reva (or G-Wiz, as it’s known here).
The Nice Car company had a very nice showroom and office in the western side of the Capital, and had some pretty nice cars too. Okay. I can’t keep up this NIce talk. I’ll just stop being silly and carry on as normal now. I promise.
Anyway, back to the story. The Nice Car Company not only were the agents for the MEGA Truck and MEGA City, (which many people affectionately called the “Nice car”) but also sold Vectrix electric Motorbikes. At last year’s London Motor show the Nice Car Company launched a whole range of EVs, including an impressive conversion of a Fiat 500 which they planned to lease to customers rather than sell. They also planned to sell the MyCar, which Nice Car Company Founder, Julian Wilford, assured me I would just go crazy for. On arriving at the motorshow last year I had to admit to him that, after looking at it, I’d rather have owned the original Mega City. It just looked more conventional and I’d test-driven one a year or so earlier (and liked it). I liked it better than the MyCar. But at least others did hail the MyCar as the latest in EV must-have. The Nice Car Company were also showcasing an MPV style vehicle, the Zeo, which I quite liked the look of. It was touted to do 50 mph+ and a decent range too. It would have made an ideal vehicle to replace my City El with (before I decided on a plug in prius, that is). Heck, it’d still be better than a plug in Prius if I could have actually owned one – as I would never have had to fill up with fuel, but I digress. Take a look at some MyCar butt.
Photo by Nikki Bloomfield, http://www.aminorjourney.com
What does this have to do with a company who went bust in December, after sales reportedly went below one car per week? Well, it appears that both the Nice Car company is back up and running but also that the co-founder of the company has gone to pastures new, and taken his MyCar with him…
For some time the Nice Car company website displayed a simple message in the news section detailing that it was to be taken over by the French company who makes the MEGA vehicles which have made the Nice Car Company well-known. – Aixam-Mega ltd. Instead of being a UK vendor of the vehicles, the Nice Car Company is now officially the UK arm of the Aixam-MEGA partnership and, according to this news article (see below) on their updated website at www.Nicecarcompany.co.uk it’s business as usual – just without the funky MyCar, Vectrix and other EV vehicles.
NICE to see you again!
London’s electric vehicle specialist, NICE Car Company, has resumed trading as the London sales arm of AIXAM-MEGA Ltd, maker of the MEGA City electric car and the MEGA Multitruck range of ultra-light electric and diesel commercial vehicles.
AIXAM-MEGA acquired the assets of NICE after it went into administration in November and has confirmed that the terms of ownership for existing customers will remain unaffected, with warranties remaining intact.
Following the closure of the NICE showroom in West London, AIXAM-MEGA Ltd will operate NICE as a direct sales arm for the London area. A servicing facility and small admin office will continue in Ladbroke Grove, whilst all other administrative tasks will be performed from AIXAM-MEGA’s headquarters in Rugby, Warwickshire.
Well established owners
AIXAM-MEGA Ltd is the UK subsidiary of the French AIXAM-MEGA company, which makes and distributes a range of innovative light weight vehicles worldwide. Outside London, the MEGA branded City car and Multitruck ranges, as well as AIXAM branded small lightweight cars are sold and serviced via a network of specialist dealers and aftercare outlets.
AIXAM-MEGA’s UK general manager Lawrence Holland said: “We are fully committed to developing the market for ultra-light electric private and commercial vehicles across the UK, and regard NICE as an important part of our growing sales network. “We have retained the key aspects of the NICE car operation, enabling us to make the transfer of business as seamless as possible. MEGA drivers should be reassured that, from their perspective, it is now ‘business as normal’ at NICE Car.
So what does this mean? Well, it does look as if it may be easier now to get a MEGA City or MEGA truck outside of London. If indeed dealers nationwide in the UK are going to start stocking them it can only mean good things for everyone. In fact, Rumor had it earlier today that there may be either a G-Wiz or MEGA in the wild in Bristol – but I have yet to see it myself.
SO what about the MyCar? Is it gone forever?
While browsing various news sites for topics to blog on I came across a post about a new London-based company with an exclusive Park Lane address. It’s called EVStores, and to my surprise, is owned and ran by a Mr Julian Wilford. The very same gentleman who started the Nice Car Company. Interesting eh?
Oh, and it’s also selling the MyCar and talks about a vehicle yet to hit the market, the Tazarri, and some of the other non MEGA vehicles which the Nice Car Company sold pre-administration.
So, out of one company comes two. I wonder what will happen next? I’m not convinced by the EVstores site yet – but I suppose time will tell. Is it vaporware or something worthwhile? Perhaps I should take a trip down there and find out for myself. For the time being though, given the choice between the MEGA City or the MyCar, I know which one I’ll choose. I know some may view it as short-sighted, but I liked the feel of the