Merlin Ouboter and the Microlino cropyMerlin Ouboter and the Microlino cropy

CDL 2024

Microlino has big ambitions for sales across UK to build on success in mainland Europe

  • Electric microcar makes eye-catching appearance at Car Dealer Live 2024
  • Microlino is on its way to UK after notching up 3,000-plus sales on continent in a year
  • Search is on to find dealers for launch of EV here

Time 3:35 pm, March 7, 2024

It’s a small car aiming for a big future – and it’ll be arriving in the UK this spring.

One of the most eye-catching vehicles on show at Car Dealer Live today was an example of a Microlino EV.

Described as a cross between a car and a motorbike, the microcar is already proving popular across mainland Europe, with more than 3,000 sales to date and all of them achieved in a single year.

Manufacturered by Switzerland-based Micro Mobility Systems, its arrival on our shores is approaching fast – and more UK dealer partners are being sought to make sure its launch here is a success.

Micro Mobility Systems was founded by Wim Ouboter, inventor of the world-famous Micro Scooter.

With its goal to make urban mobility more practical, efficient and sustainable, Micro has succeeded as a global leader in the premium micro mobility sector for more than 25 years – and counts over 90 million happy customers worldwide.

For such a diminutive car, Microlino has a lot to offer. It can be charged from a household outlet in as little as four hours and boasts more than eight cubic feet of storage space – equivalent to two suitcases or three crates of beer.

With a footprint roughly a third the size of most conventional EVs, three Microlinos can fit in a conventional parking space, and its automotive safety cell design pushes the boundaries of microcar safety.

Speaking to Car Dealer today, chief marketing officer Merlin Ouboter – Wim’s son – said the idea for the Microlino came about in 2015.

Micro Mobility Solutions wanted to step out of its comfort zone and offer a mobility product that wasn’t on the market at that time.

He said: ‘We started production at the end of 2022 and have concentrated on markets across mainland Europe.

‘Now, however, we are ready to expand and we see huge potential in the UK – we think it could be one of our biggest markets.

‘The UK has a proud history when it comes to small cars, and that heritage will help us a lot in terms of bringing something a bit different and more exotic to the market.’

Ouboter, pictured above at Car Dealer Live, said his reason for attending Car Dealer Live was to chat to dealers who might be interested in partnering with the brand.

‘We are in the exploration phase to see who could be interested. We’re not really here to “sell” the Microlino idea to dealers or convince them to get involved – if they can’t stand behind it 100%, it won’t be a good fit for us.’

Asked why dealers should start working with Micro Mobility Systems, Ouboter said: ‘Of course, Microlino has four wheels and looks like a car but the proposition is entirely different – it’s an alternative mobility solution and in the UK this category is not really represented at all.

‘Microlino is something new and I think there are a lot of people who understand that it could be a perfect second or third car.

‘A lot of Chinese brands are making their presence felt at the moment – but we are something completely different.’

In the UK at the moment, there are just two examples of Microlino – shipped from the company’s production facility in Italy for promotional reasons.

Ouboter said: ‘We haven’t been to many events in Britain but we have sourced a lot of leads via our online configurator. That has given us confidence that there is a huge amount of interest here and that the UK could be a very promising market.’

In terms of creating a dealer network, Ouboter said: ‘Obviously, we won’t have complete coverage across the UK at the beginning – we don’t think that’s necessary – but we intend to start in London and maybe add Birmingham, Manchester and other sizeable towns and cities.

‘Discussions with our dealer partners are definitely going in the right direction and we are hugely excited to bring Microlino to the UK a little later this year.’

For more information on becoming a Microlino dealer, email [email protected].

You can keep up to date with everything going on at Car Dealer Live 2024 by following our live blog from the auditorium.

The latest stories from the event are listed below:

You can watch all the sessions from Car Dealer Live, which is headline-partnered by Auto Trader, as they happen by purchasing a streaming ticket now.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets to watch back the full event from tomorrow (Mar 8).

Car Dealer Magazine's avatar

Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

More stories...

Server 108