CHARLOTTE – The London-headquartered designer and manufacturer of fully electric vans Arrival has produced its first-ever van in a company microfactory, the company announced in a statement and in a securities filing today.

Arrival’s U.S. headquarters is in Charlotte, and the company will construct a microfactory in the Queen City as well.  But earlier this year, the company laid off workers, including some in Charlotte.

Then, Arrival pushed back its timeline for the Charlotte microfactory to 2023, citing economic conditions that resulted in a corporate restructuring.  In August, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that Arrival would push back the timeline for the Charlotte microfactory, noting that doing so would allow the company to take lessons learned from the microfactory in Bicester, in the United Kingdom, and apply them at the Charlotte factory.

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Lessons learned

And there may be many lessons to learn, as the company’s CEO, Denis Sverdlov, said in a statement that producing the vehicles “has been more difficult than we had initially imagined.”

The Bicester microfactory is where the company produced the first “production verification vehicle,” it noted in the statement earlier today.

“This is the first time a vehicle has ever been built in our Microfactory, using a new method that does not use a traditional assembly line,” said CEO Denis Sverdlov in a statement.

All of the vans produced by Arrival at the facility this year will be used for testing, validation, and quality control, not sold to customers, the company statement noted.

“Although we have not yet achieved serial production, we are focused on making it happen,” said Sverdlov in the statement. We will continue to produce vehicles in our Microfactory in order to master at-scale production.”

A spokesperson for the company told WRAL TechWire on Friday that it is still seeing “strong demand for both our Large and XL Van platforms in North America,” and added that the company will build both such electric van variants in the Charlotte microfactory, once it is operational.

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