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RTEV Wheego spinoff

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

RTEV Wheego spinoff

J. Gilman
Wheego Electric Cars
June 1, 2009

Ruff and Tuff Electric Vehicles Inc. (RTEV), a leading manufacturer of recreational electric vehicles, today announced the spin-off of Wheego Electric Cars. Mike McQuary, the chairman and CEO of RTEV, will assume the role of CEO of Wheego Electric Cars, which will be based in Atlanta, GA. McQuary will continue to serve on the RTEV Board as chairman and will also continue functioning as the CEO of RTEV for a transition period. RTEV shareholders will own the same pro-rata share of Wheego as they currently have in RTEV.

“The strategic needs of the two companies are very different. RTEV has an industry-best established product line and a great regional distribution network. But with the downturn in the economy and the pressure that power sport dealers are feeling with floor plan financing being nearly non-existent, RTEV needs to focus on cost reduction and selling deeper into its established territory markets, instead of expanding into new markets. RTEV has a cash flow optimization strategy,” McQuary explained. “Wheego Electric Cars is a high growth potential venture that will have large capital needs as it launches its first electric car, the Wheego Whip LSV, in late July. It is pursuing a national dealer distribution strategy and is building out its infrastructure. Wheego has a sales growth strategy.”

Jeff Boyd, who has worked in the automotive industry for over 25 years in a variety of roles on both the dealer and distribution sides of the business, will be the president of Wheego Electric Cars.

“In most of the U.S., the knee-jerk response to a need to get somewhere is to jump in the car,” said McQuary. “However, that is not the case in a lot of major cities. For example, in New York City a lot of people’s primary means of transport includes walking and the subway. I think the addition of electric cars, including Low Speed Vehicles, to the personal transportation choice set fills an important void. It is a matter of having the right tool available for the right job.

“You wouldn’t drive a nail into your wall to hang a picture using a sledgehammer, and you shouldn’t run errands around town in your gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing internal combustion car,” he continued. “The world doesn’t really need another internal combustion car; that tool is already in the personal transportation toolkit. I also believe that if given an easy and convenient way to take an environmentally positive action, almost everyone on the planet will do it. It’s part of a collective good consciousness of society that exists. In 1990 my job was to set up plastic recycling centers on the East Coast. What I found with recycling was that everyone says it is a good thing and they want to do it. However as the inconvenience factor involved in recycling scales up, the willingness of people to participate falls off dramatically. If you don’t have to sort out recyclable materials and someone will pick them up at your house, there is big enthusiasm and participation. But if you have to sort it yourself and drive to a local recycling center, the participation fall off is almost 90 percent. People want to do the right thing, but are not always ready to sacrifice much to do it. So we want to put a car on the market that changes the way people see EVs. It should be stylish, affordable and comfortable. There does not need to be any sacrifice in style or comfort or cool to drive an electric car. The Wheego Whip is the right tool for the right job.”

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