April 9. 2020: One of the industry’s best known family battery businesses, Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll, has said it is confident of finding a solution after being forced to file for insolvency on March 30 because of the Chinese flu virus.
Gertrud Moll-Möhrstedt, whose father, Peter Moll, founded the business some 75 years ago, told BESB the firm was working on a ‘continuation concept’, had some ‘good and promising ideas’, and that there was more than one option available for finding a solution.
“It is too early to go into details about this, but there are several possibilities of getting help from the government and currently we are investigating what can be appropriate for us,” she said.
Moll announced it was filing for insolvency on March 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was indeed a difficult, not to say a heart-breaking step to apply for the opening of insolvency proceedings at the district court in the 75th year of our company,” said Moll-Möhrstedt. “However, the corona crisis has far-reaching consequences for the whole automotive industry.
“As our focus is on the OE battery business, and as we are a strong development partner for the car industry, we are much affected by the shutdown of all car manufacturers in Europe.
“In the current situation, it is not possible to predict whether and when sales will recover. It is highly probable that even if automobile production resumes, it will take many months, perhaps even years, for sales to return to the level seen at the beginning of the year.
“Therefore we thought that it would be appropriate to act very early.”
But Moll-Möhrstedt says some good has come out of the bad – and for Moll it has been the reaction of the company’s employees, business partners, customers and suppliers.
“I am really overwhelmed by the numerous encouragements we have received,” she said.
“And there is a clear message from all of them — we want Moll to continue, and we are still delivering batteries to customers. I am deeply impressed by the engagement of our employees. We are standing together like a family.”
The news comes after a series of partnerships that Moll had made in recent years, such as with the Chinese battery maker Chaowei in 2014, and in 2017 a 25% stake taken by the South African battery and auto component manufacturer Metair.
The partnership with Metair was hailed at the time as an opportunity to meet the ‘unrelenting high demand’ for Moll’s EFB starter batteries in Europe, which could simply not be met by its facility in Bad Staffelstein, even when the facility doubled its capacity.
“Through this strategic partnership, Moll will soon be able to considerably increase the production volumes available to its customers and take another important step on the path to becoming a global supplier,” the firm said at the time.