Automotive

Munro Vehicles set to create 300 jobs at new UK manufacturing plant

Wednesday 31 August 2022, 3:21 PM

8 Minute Read

A major sales and leasing opportunity for the ground-breaking Munro all-electric 4×4 off-roader that could see upwards of 3,000 vehicles built and shipped State-side over the next 3 years, marks a welcome return of automotive manufacturing to Scotland.

Over 300 jobs are forecast for the East Kilbride manufacturing plant where Munros will be hand built by a highly technical workforce.

This follows an export deal struck between two Glasgow-based companies…Munro Vehicles and ‘Wyre’ – an all-electric vehicle sales and leasing specialist that’s targeting major industries and utilities throughout the USA.

Vehicle production will start in Munro’s purpose built factory in East Kilbride at the end of this year, ready for the first export shipments in 2023. The first fifty units already sold will be delivered next year, with 500 in 2024 and 2,500 in 2025.

Scotland’s only other mainstream car manufacturing stopped in 1981 when the Chrysler plant at Linwood in Renfrewshire ceased production.

The Munro 4×4 EV, seen by some as Scotland’s the answer to the famous American ‘Humvee’, is being targeted by Wyre to customers in major US utility companies, oil field operators in Texas, farmers in Florida, forestry businesses in Canada and the gold mines of Nevada. It will retail in the States some US$35-40,000 cheaper at approximately US$88,500.

Munro’s CEO Russ Peterson said: “North America is a key growth market for Munro, and we’re pleased to be able to partner with Wyre to realise our ambitions ahead of our original timeline. We’re dedicating half of our 2023 production to left-hand-drive vehicles developed specifically for the US market, which Wyre will deliver to customers throughout the year.

“This opportunity demonstrates that Munro Vehicles has the potential to be a global player in the automotive industry, with a product that is clearly desirable around the world. These vehicles and their owners will also feedback valuable data to our team as we develop our product further. This is just the beginning!”

Wyre is spearheading what could be world-wide opportunities for the East Kilbride-based 4×4 EV specialists Munro, and their unique all-terrain electric vehicle. Wyre has State-wide connections in all the major industrial sectors and utilities using off-road vehicles.

The Munro Vehicles and Wyre agreement secures exclusive rights for the sale, leasing and distribution of the Scottish-built EV in the US and Canada.

This collaboration is seen as significant for Wyre as it establishes, what UK managing director Rebecca Hansen says is “a new and substantially important foothold” for its operations in the UK and US electric vehicle sales and leasing markets.

She said: “We see the Munro 4×4 EV as a serious and compelling opportunity for a wide range of our customers across the USA and one which will see us go from an initial order book of 50 vehicles next year around 2,500 in 2025.”

Such orders will mean a huge scaling-up of production in Munro’s East Kilbride assembly plant and comes over four decades after the last passenger car was built in Scotland – at the Chrysler Linwood plant.

Ms Hansen added: “One particular US customer market we are targeting is the country’s huge electric utility sector where companies need to show their customers that they are taking the provision of EVs seriously in their own fleets. Oil and gas, mining and forestry industry customers are among those also on our radar.

“The price point of the Munro vehicle at around £75,000 (US$ 88,500) is compelling!

“The Munro is a great multi-purpose vehicle, and one that has a great future and we are delighted we have the opportunity to make it a big success in the United States. Just as important, it is further step in establishing Wyre as market leaders in what we do.”

She added: “This an important win for us. The US is a massive market for this type of serious off-roader which Munro Vehicles intend to service by establishing facilities in the States.

“The UK’s electric car salary sacrifice scheme could be easily introduced into the USA and we are now in discussions with a number of companies and organisations to help them bring this forward through lobbying for new US tax regulations. When we explain that a salary boost scheme can save 40% or more on a new electric vehicle, people get interested!”

Ms Hansen confirmed that Wyre is in discussion with international shipping companies on future transport of vehicles to the USA.

Munro’s design, development and manufacturing operations were originally set up by two entrepreneurs, Russ Peterson & Ross Anderson at their base in the Dalmarnock area of Glasgow. They recently opened an assembly operation in nearby East Kilbride ready for full scale production to begin.

“This is a fully electric 4×4 utility vehicle with exceptional off-road capabilities, designed to carry personnel and equipment across difficult terrain” said Ross Anderson, Co-Founder Munro Vehicles.

Munro Vehicles aims to fill a gap in the market for a back-to-basics electric off-roader.  Once the production line is at full capacity, Munro expects to meet demand of up to 5,000 vehicles per year by 2030. It is expected that eventually, should sales exceed factory capacity in Glasgow, some CKD (completely knocked down) vehicle kits could be shipped to the States for assembly.

Electric Vehicle Association Scotland director Jen Walls commented: “This sales and leasing opportunity in the USA is a tremendous achievement and shows that the level of innovative thinking by these two entrepreneurs is exactly what we wish to see here in Scotland.

“The Munro 4×4 is a truly unique concept, bringing together the latest EV and off-road technologies. It’s simply an amazing vehicle and I’m sure the company can look forward to a high level of world sales success.”

*Wyre owns the disruptive electric vehicle leasing and management platform www.TryWyre.Com

Munro Vehicles

Since 2019 – from inception through design, prototype manufacturing and testing – this entire process by Peterson and Anderson has taken less than three years. In that time Munro Vehicles has:

  • Secured private capital investment of £750,000 from Elbow Beach Capital.t drawn to Munro by the opportunity for positive environmental change in our industry.
  • successfully road and off-road tested the prototype vehicles
  • Established its first franchise dealership deal in England – Off-Road Electric, based in Oxfordshire – in a distribution and support partnership.
  • Sold their first five production vehicles to private customers in the UK
  • Agreed their first major overseas deal to sell/lease 3,000 vehicles by the end of 2025

Co-Founders background

Russ Peterson: Russ previously co-founded a successful software development agency in Edinburgh. He built off-road vehicles as a hobby for many years, having grown up immersed in automotive and mechanical engineering environments. Russ is responsible for product development and the overall vision at Munro.

Ross Anderson: originally trained as a therapeutic radiographer, but ultimately decided to dedicate himself to sustainability projects like Munro. With a strong skill set in physics and keen eye for detail, Ross is focused on the performance of the Munro’s traction, energy storage and charging systems.

Thank you to Norman Hunter for contributing this article. 

 

 

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