Last Few Think City Electric Cars Being Finished in Indiana

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Perenially struggling electric automaker Think is once again seeing out another unsuccessful chapter in its life as the final few cars are completed at its Indiana plant.

Originally formed in Norway in 1991, Think has been around longer than several other dedicated electric car companies--but it's had its fair share of problems too.

Now, reports CBS News, two solitary workers at the Elkhart, Indiana plant are finishing construction of the final few cars shipped in from Norway, with the company once again in new hands, following Russian investment.

Relatively low demand for electric cars in general meant extremely low demand for the Think City, which was initially priced within range of the much more accomplished Nissan Leaf.

Repeated discounts have been offered to entice buyers, with liquidation pricing of the discontinued model initially bringing the cost down to $22,300. One Think dealer in Oregon offering the car for as little as $16,000 (pdf file) after an "Oregon Friends and Family Discount", a price that could drop to $8,500 for those able to claim a full $7,500 federal tax credit.

Until then, the factory was soldiering on, despite doubts over its future. And despite $17 million in stimulus tax credits and $55 million in federal grants from previous owners Ener1, the factory never saw enough demand to churn out the touted 20,000 units per year.

Think may still have a future in a different country, but those last few cars look like the end of the line for the Indiana factory.

Unemployment in the state has reduced since Think moved in, but that will be no consolation to the final few workers screwing together the unloved city cars.


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Comments (5)
  1. "unloved" :(

  2. All that's needed is for the whole operation to be shipped off to China for it to be a success. I'm amazed this hasn't happened since there are start ups there slaving away to build something like this when all the had work has already been done with the Think.

  3. @Don: Not sure I agree with that. Two-seaters have always been just a tiny fraction of the U.S. market, and a two-seater with the effective range of the Mitsubishi i doesn't seem like it has a lot of chance in a market where the dominant battery electric is the Nissan Leaf. Not to mention perennial Chinese problems with world-class quality, which is what caused Coda its 2 years of delay.

  4. Elkhart is set to be the global parts and service depot, although the final decision apparently has not been made.

    The new four door model appears to be very close to production, design frozen?

    We just sold our last gasoline car, my wife and I each have a Think. No looking back, I will never buy another combustion car!

  5. A MD dealer has been selling these cars. I would have bought one except that the car has a high pitched whine when you drive it.

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