The filing of creditor protection in late March by Azure Dynamics Corporation is unlikely to have any long-term effect on an exclusive partnership with Collins Bus Corporation to build the hybrid-electric drive train for the Type A NEXBUS, said spokesmen from both companies.
Azure Dynamics headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, filed for protection with the Supreme Court of British Columbia under the Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Azure Dynamics Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary that handles sales, supply chains and some product support, also filed for similar Chapter 15, title 11 U.S. bankruptcy protection in Michigan, and another subsidiary based in the U.K. filed there.
Mike Elswood, director of marketing for Azure Dynamics said, all customers have been notified of the company's current position and that Azure was continuing to provide all warranty service. As for the long-term health of its suite of electric and hybrid products, Elswood said discussions with parties interested in purchasing the company all indicate a desire to continue manufacturing the technologies.
"Everybody we are talking to, whether a recapitalization, an asset purchase or the sale of business, in every case everyone wants to continue on with what we are doing," he added.
John Doswell, vice president of Collins Bus, added that NEXBUS customers had been notified and that the business of manufacturing the hybrid option with Azure Dynamics remained the usual.
In the remote chance that a company acquiring Azure Dynamics decides to end the current business model, or divest it completely, Elswood said Collins Bus would need to find a new partner for developing its 20-passenger NEXBUS hybrid drive train. Collins builds the bus body on a Ford E-450 cutaway chassis. But he and Doswell added that prospect is unlikely to happen.
Collins Bus is not listed as a creditor, according to financial documents obtained from Azure Dynamics. Ford Motor Company is one of five companies listed as secured creditors. Azure Dynamics also provides the all-electric power train for the Ford Transit Connect.