Ever since Laurin, Jona, and Navina founded our company in 2016, a number of people has been with us along the way: employees, backers, reservation holders, or investors and partners. One of these long-standing companions is Franz Böllinger. He is the managing partner of BÖLLINGER GROUP, which has been a shareholder of Sono Motors since 2017.
In addition to his long years of commitment to Sono, Franz is also an ice hockey enthusiast and one of the four shareholders of the Heilbronner Falken team. Seeing as that team’s jerseys are sporting the Sono Motors logo, we sat down with Franz to introduce him to you and to find out what this cooperation is actually all about.
Hello Franz, very pleased to meet you. Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Franz: Sure! My name is Franz Böllinger and I’m the second-generation managing partner of our medium-sized group of companies, BÖLLINGER GROUP, which specializes in the production of complex prototypes and special parts serial production for automotive, aerospace, and mechanical engineering.
How exciting! Is that also how you first got in touch with Sono Motors?
Franz: I first noticed Sono Motors when I read an article in a notable German Sunday newspaper. That article spoke in great detail about the founders of Sono and their ideas and motivations. I subsequently got in touch with Laurin and Jona in order to explore the options for BÖLLINGER GROUP to support this project. At first, the main focus was on supporting Sono with our operative know-how in terms of engineering and prototype production. That was supposed to be the starting point for identifying further areas of cooperation later. But only a short time later, we were considering joining as a shareholder – which we ended up doing.
Why did you decide to invest in Sono Motors and stick with it to this day?
Franz: It was the allure and at the same time the realization that many things about mobility as we know it today must, and will, change. What really convinced us was the passion and the strong will of the founders and idea providers together with a plethora of innovations. Unlike other automotive manufacturers, Sono does not care about the traditional goals such as higher performance. Instead, they are looking for new ways to use our resources and to create new services.
Which aspect of Sono do you love most, personally? The vehicle itself, the solar technology, or the mobility services?
Franz: Definitely a mixture of all three. But the special value as I see it is without a doubt the integrated solar technology and the mobility services, which distinguish Sono from both the well-established and the new players in the market.
So much for Sono. But there is another thing we’d like to know: What is your role at the Heilbronner Falken?
Franz: I am one of four shareholders of the Heilbronner Falken, a professional DEL2 ice hockey team (editor’s note: DEL2 = second tier ice hockey league in Germany). I’ve been passionate about that sport since 1986, and I’m not the only one in my family. A high-octane game, the tangible passion of everyone on and next to the rink, and not least the possibility of connecting economic logic and the special professional sports terminology – all that is an important driver for me and my fellow partners. Moreover, the Heilbronner Falken have been spokesmodels for our group of companies for more than 20 years.
How come that the team jersey is now sporting the Sono logo?
My intention was to make Sono known more widely beyond its esteemed community. Putting the Sono logo on the jerseys and thus extending the reach in terms of brand awareness is supposed to complement the manifold marketing activities. Sono doesn’t pay us anything for that advertising space. It’s a contribution from us as partners and investors.
The cooperation with Sono also means more awareness for the Heilbronner Falken and, ideally, more supporters and thus more reach. It’s a true win-win situation.
We couldn’t agree more! We keep our fingers crossed for you in the future! Thank you for your time and your contribution.