In a management buyout from Polaris that closed December 31, the newly established Waev, Inc. will take over the manufacturing and operations of both the GEM neighborhood EV and Taylor-Dunn commercial vehicles, officially moving both brands’ headquarters to Anaheim, California. What does this mean for the two EV brands?
It means a fresh start, if the PR is to be believed. “Waev’s ownership of GEM and Taylor-Dunn represents an exciting new era in the legacy of these brands. We are bringing new life to these businesses enabling growth well into the future,” explains Keith Simon, president and CEO of Waev who, along with four other previous Polaris managers, helped form Waev. “Greater demand for electric vehicles along with advancements in EV technology open up opportunities for GEM and Taylor-Dunn in new applications and markets that we will invest in and pursue long term.”
For their part, the new leadership at Waev seem sincere in their enthusiasm for the brands, and their official press release is brimming with optimism.
“The 70-plus year history we have in California (with Taylor-Dunn, which was founded in 1949) is just the start! Anaheim has been and will continue to be home to our EV manufacturing, design and engineering operations that are strengthened by our highly skilled and dedicated team,” Simon says (Ha!). “On behalf of the management group, we look forward to the success the Waev team will have building off the strong foundation of these businesses as we pursue new and emerging markets with greater agility and responsiveness.”
While the GEM line of NEV products is probably the most immediately familiar to Electrek readers and fans of autonomous ride-hailing tech, you’ve definitely seen Taylor-Dunn products if you’ve ever been to an airport or spent time on a factory floor. Their relatively tiny Bigfoot XL trucklet outperformed a Ford F-250 in towing an 8,500 lb. helicopter, but the most impressive product might be the TC-50E Tiger EV, which can be optioned up to a tow rating of 60,000 lbs(!). Check it out in this criminally underviewed video, below.
The company chose the name “Waev” to “represent the team’s agility and dedication to providing quality solutions that move people and goods in the world around us. Just like waves rolling onto shore, motion is at the core of the business and products.” Which, translated from MBA to normal human, basically means they’ll be able to make decisions about their product line without having to go through Polaris’ board, which seems more interested in building high-horsepower (and high profit) side-by-side ATVs these days, anyway.
On the plus side, the GEM and Taylor-Dunn EVs definitely have a niche to fill, and a proven history of doing so with quality products. Here’s hoping the transition away from Polaris really does give them the freedom they need to quickly adapt to a changing market, and not a vote of “no confidence” from Polaris.
Source and photos: Waev, Inc.
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