Swiss Electric Vehicles for Australia Post
The company’s vehicles have been a familiar sight on Swiss streets for years. No one hears Swiss Post’s unmistakable three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles, but everyone knows them. They are manufactured by KYBURZ Switzerland AG (Kyburz), which is based in Freienstein in the Canton of Zurich. Kyburz develops and manufactures high-quality electric vehicles for delivery companies and private individuals. According to Martin Kyburz, founder and CEO of the company, “It all started in the 1980s,” when he took part in the Tour de Sol solar-powered vehicle race and discovered his passion for what were then alternative forms of propulsion. He later grew enthusiastic about developing a vehicle that was energy-efficient and fun to use, which led to the founding of Kyburz in 1991.
At Kyburz, the focus is on people and the drive to develop efficient products takes centre stage. The SME has already received several innovation awards for its developments. The company tailors its products to each individual customer’s needs, which has enabled Kyburz to attract not only Swiss Post but also a multitude of other customers all around the world. Over 25 000 Kyburz vehicles are in use worldwide. Deliveries abroad account for a large share of the company’s business.
“The customer has high demands and attractive financing plays a significant role in being competitive.”
A large order worth tens of millions
One of Kyburz’s customers is Australia Post, whose petrol-powered vehicles had seen better days. It wanted to switch to electric vehicles and chose Kyburz’s three-wheeled DXP. Following on from two large orders of 1 000 vehicles each, the company supplied another 1 000 in 2021. The Australian customer made a down payment of 30 per cent in each case against a guarantee for each of these three large deliveries, which have a combined value of approximately EUR 33 million. Kyburz receives the remaining amount only when the goods have been delivered to the customer. For an SME with more than 150 employees, that is a long time to wait for such a large sum.
The benefits of insurance
Kyburz has applied for a working capital loan from its bank to pre-finance production and ensure the necessary liquidity for other orders. SERV is insuring the loan and covering the advance payment guarantees by means of a counter guarantee. This will allow Kyburz to take advantage of lower bank interest rates and to offer the customer in Australia generous financing conditions. “The customer has exacting requirements and attractive financing plays a significant role in being competitive,” founder and CEO Martin Kyburz explains. SERV’s support renders many financing-related questions unnecessary, allowing Kyburz to concentrate on its business and its collaboration with Australia Post.
Martin Kyburz describes the collaboration as being based on a very high level of trust, while at the same time being demanding and intensive. The challenges are manifold, ranging from the lack of in-person contact on site due to travel restrictions, to technical problems, compliance with local legislation and cultural differences. “It puts enormous pressure on us, but also helps us to move forward,” Martin Kyburz comments. After all, we need to be ready for the next order, which will again entail fresh demands and challenges.