Ford’s electric scooter company Spin exits markets, lays off staff


Spin, the electric scooter-sharing start-up acquired by Ford in 2018, is focused on its quest for profitability and is thus leaving almost every open license market in the world. In an article by company CEO Ben Bear, he said Spin has started to shut down operations in a few markets in the United States, as well as all of Germany and Portugal. The company will also close its operations in Spain, which could happen sometime on February 22.

Open license markets are places where multiple scooter companies can run businesses, with no limitation on fleet size. Bear said they are “creating an uncertain operating environment” with “a race for the lowest price.” It doesn’t seem like Spin is doing well in these markets – Bear wrote that Spin has not been able to deliver “the kind of high quality, reliable service. [it] pride [itself] to his cyclists and city partners “in these places – so he decided to take another route instead.

Spin expanded its operations after its acquisition by Ford to a bunch of cities in the United States and around the world. In 2021, it rolled out a new model of scooter that was more sustainable than the previous ones and partnered with Google to show users the nearest e-bike or electric scooter on Maps. Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent this restructuring.

Going forward, Spin will focus on limited supplier markets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Specifically, in places where cities and campuses “select partners through a competitive procurement process”. Apparently, Spin gets double the revenue in these types of places compared to locations with a free market for all. In this case, it makes sense to focus on those locations, but closing sites unfortunately also means the company is letting staff leave: moving will affect a quarter of its staff, who will receive severance pay and an allowance.


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