Ford’s e-scooter company is pulling out of any city that doesn’t limit competition

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Spin, the e-scooter company owned by Ford, announced a major restructuring Friday where it will pull out of “nearly all open permit markets.” More specifically, Spin is beginning to exit “a few” US markets, Germany, and Portugal, and it is “projecting” to close down in Spain as soon as February.

Moving forward, Spin says it will focus on “limited vendor markets,” where only a designated number of scooter companies are allowed to compete in a location, in the US, Canada, and the UK. Spin sees “double the revenue per vehicle” in limited vendor markets, according to Ben Bear, Spin’s CEO.

“This decision to restructure impacts roughly a quarter of our staff,” Bear said, which appears to mean they will be laid off. Bear said Spin will offer severance packages to “affected employees,” along with “an additional stipend that may be allocated for outplacement services.” He added that staff who had been issued company laptops will be allowed to keep them.

Bear complained about “open permit markets,” which allow multiple scooter companies to operate in a market. They apparently proved tough competition for Spin. Bear said the market dynamics “make it difficult to identify a clear path to profitability.”

Spin was acquired by Ford in 2018. The company announced an aggressive expansion plan in 2019 and expanded to Europe in 2020. Following Friday’s announcement, though, it seems that the company is switching its focus for the immediate future.

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