Approvals from US and Europe still awaited

Cox Powertrain Ltd plans to manufacture 2,000 units of its new CXO300 outboard diesel engine in 2020 once it has the required approvals from the US’s Environmental Protection Agency and the European RCD.

At a press briefing at METSTRADE, Joel Reid, Cox’s global sales director, said: “We expect to receive approval from the EPA in the US in the first quarter of next year and European approval early in January. We have been working with the EPA over the past four years and have a very good relationship with them.”

He made the point that Cox Powertrain will not be selling any of the engines and that this will be handled by its network of 40 distributors and 400 dealers. “We have received huge interest from the US and the interest from Europe is more reserved. We also anticipate a huge interest from Asia because of the number of islands and the leisure, tourism, commercial and defence sectors.”

In terms of filling in gaps in the sales network, Reid said that these include Japan, Turkey, East Africa and Argentina. In establishing its exclusive sale partnerships, Cox is working with several companies already active in the marketplace such as the Caterpillar dealers in Florida and Singapore and the Yanmar dealer in Italy.

If Cox needs to ramp up production above the initial 2,000 units, Reid explained that that number is based on a one-shift working schedule and that a second shift could be initiated to add capacity. Ahead of receiving the approvals, Cox has had seven prototype craft operating in the US and Europe.

Cox started taking orders from November 2018. “We filled this very quickly due to such a high demand,” says the company. “Production of the CXO300 is imminent with deliveries in early Q1 of 2020. From the orders we have received so far about 60% have come from the US and the remainder from the EU and Asia. We have received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from recreational boaters, particularly in the US.”

Development of the CXO300 has taken 11 years. Reid stated that it will be the smallest unit in the Cox range of engines, so bigger ones will be developed but he gave no timing on when that might happen. The selling price for the CXO300 will be €40,000 or $55,000.

The total cost of development has been some £80m. Reid said: “We have around 80 shareholders, of which between 40 and 50 hold around 20%; another 35 or so have 25% to 30%, and the two main shareholders have around 40%. There is not a shareholder with a majority stake.”

In the year up to December 2018, according to information filed with Companies House, the UK business register, Cox Powertrain Ltd made a loss of £31,105,000 on ordinary activities before taxation compared with £9,427,000 in the year to December 2017. The directors explained: “The loss on ordinary activities before taxation in 2018 reflects the increased R&D activity as the group prepares to launch its first product in the second half of 2019.”