Recently we reported that Norwegian electric vehicle maker Think was soon to emerge from bankruptcy, and would thereafter be moving to resume production. On Thursday, a Norwegian court approved the debt settlement plan of the car-maker, enabling it to formally exit court protection.
The automaker is indicating that pre-bankruptcy plans to not only sell vehicles in the United States but to move some of its production here as well, will now be going forward. The Detroit News has been told that Michigan is on a short list of potential sites -- less than eight -- to manufacture the Think City. A decision as to which U.S site will be chosen is expected before year's end, according to Think spokesman Brendan Prebo. He also announced that a plan to launch in the U.S. with fleet customer and pilot projects next year and add retail sales in 2011 is still on track.
In a statement announcing that the car-maker now has the investment needed to ramp back up, Chief Executive Officer Richard Canny said "Effectively, this puts Think back in business and in a position to resume normal operations in terms of the manufacture and sale of new electric vehicles,"
The Think City, which is slightly larger than a Smart fortwo, was on sale in Europe before production ceased. The car has a top speed of 62 mph and its batteries need several hours to recharge. Think's goal has been to produce a car priced at less than $20,000 with a $90 monthly lease for the batteries.
European production will now be moved to Finland, into the facility of new minority stakeholder Valmet Automotive. Company headquarters will remain in Oslo.