CARVER EUROPE, the Dutch company responsible for the extraordinarily dramatic Carver One three-wheeler, has declared bankruptcy and closed up shop.
While not exactly possessing the broadest consumer appeal, the Carver One - which put in an appearance at the Melbourne Motor Show - boasted a unique and innovative automatic tilting mechanism that improved manoeuvrability while looking damned cool in the process.
Seems that demand for quirky three-wheelers was squished by the global recession, leaving Carver with an evaporating market for its solitary road-going product.
The company was ostensibly formed to manufacture and market its tilting technology (named Dynamic Vehicle Control) to major automakers, but the Carver One was virtually its sole source of income.
Only 200 Carver Ones were sold in the past two years, well short of the company's targets. A major supply deal (the details of which aren't known) had apparently been brokered between Carver and another company, but was scuttled in May after the global economic situation made it unviable.
However, while Carver Europe has gone under, the company responsible for marketing its Dynamic Vehicle Control system still remains active.
Will the Carver's distinctive tilting mechanism find its way into another manufacturer's product?
Low acceptance of the Carver One would probably make most car and bike manufacters think twice before adopting the technology for a similar vehicle.
That said, when markets recover there may yet be a resurgence of interest in fully-enclosed articulated three-wheeled quasi-bikes.