Budapest public transport company BKV Zrt has said it will withdraw from the contract with bus maker Ikarus Egyedi for the purchase of 30 Modulo buses.
The contract also involves the state’s long-distance bus operator Volánbusz Zrt, which also announced its withdrawal from the contract on Wednesday.
BKV said in a statement on Wednesday that in January 2017 Ikarus Egyedi signed a contract for the delivery of 180 Modulo M168d articulated buses. In December Volánbusz, BKV and Ikarus signed a contract for the transfer of 30 vehicles, of which BKV took possession of ten by April 11 this year, the deadline for delivery.
Referring to Ikarus’s failure to observe the contract’s stipulations, BKV said it is seeking damages and is reviewing its other contracts related to Ikarus Egyedi.
Ikarus Egyedi said on Monday that it is seeking bankruptcy protection so that it can address its payment difficulties and restructure. It has asked the government to designate Ikarus as a strategically important company and to participate in the restructuring. The innovation and technology ministry on Tuesday affirmed Ikarus Egyedi’s request.
The ministry said it would be possible to keep the company’s assets, production equipment, supply stocks and knowledge under one roof.
The ministry noted that the government sees the development of domestic bus production as a major national economic interest.
It added, however, that this policy is based on the activities of market actors and not state-owned ones.
Public records show Ikarus Egyedi is owned by evopro Bus, Lanta-Consulting and Albaric Gyártó es Szolgáltató. It employs almost 200 workers. The company had revenue of 5.65 billion forints (EUR 17.4m) in 2016.
Featured image: MTI