XYT, originally founded in 2007 as France Craft, builds light modular vehicles that consist of only 600 parts, versus the typical 6,000 to 10,000. Using a modular design approach, the vehicles can be personalized and upgraded simply by replacing the modular components. We spoke to Simon Mencarelli, CEO and co-founder of XYT, about what makes the startup and its vehicles unique, and what they may indicate about the automotive market’s future.
How did XYT start?
Simon Mencarelli: It began with a goal of making cars more cost effective to repair and maintain over the long run. Marc Chevreau, the founder of France Craft and co-founder of XYT, had owned body shops. As an engineer, he was always transforming cars and working on them. He faced the evolution of cars, which were becoming more difficult to repair. He had in mind a modular approach that would simplify the car to where you repair them with a simple toolbox.
What does XYT offer that traditional car manufacturers don’t?
SM: We want to give the consumer the ability to upgrade the car. The design has been thought out in ways where you can remove some parts and add new ones without damaging the car. Since a car is often linked to your status, we want it to be close to your identity. As with shoes or clothes, we want to personalize the automobile.
For whom are your cars?
SM: It is important to make the right fit between the mobility needs of our customers and what we can provide. We want to make sure we bring the right experience for the right clients and customers. Currently our vehicles can go 100 kilometers (62 miles) in one charge and have a maximum speed of 100 km/hour (62 miles/hour). So, our cars would likely not be a good solution for a traveling salesman.
How much is the consumer involved in the design of their car?
SM: We say that with our vehicles, you can really design it as you like. That’s also part of the value: to open up our business platform through mobility development kits. If consumers want to build their own seats, they can have a maker’s kit and create their own material for those seats. This approach enables us to sell licenses and services to manufacturers, designers and makers for developing new variants and accessories. Our designer is also a street artist who is really famous in the graffiti scene. We want unique designs for our cars, which might be done by him or some of his colleagues, who have different styles.
Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.