Think Again: Bankrupt Electric Car Firm Heading To Turkey

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Think City assembly plant, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

Think City assembly plant, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

If you’ve been following the fortunes of the Norwegian electric car company Think, you’ll know that it recently filed for bankruptcy, the fourth time in its 20 year history.

But if you thought the firm would disappear without trace then you’re in for disappointment as a little-known Turkish firm is in negotiations to rescue Think from becoming a footnote in the history books. 

Enter BD Otomotive. The investment group with access to manufacturing facilities has said due diligence on a Think takeover is complete and it is ready to complete negotiations as soon as court-appointed law firm trustee Thommessen is ready. 

Turkey has an auto industry?

While Turkey isn’t at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to countries with recognizable home-grown car brands, it currently produces large numbers of cars on license from companies like Fiat, Renault, Ford and Toyota. 

In fact, Turkey produced more than a million cars and trucks last year, exporting over 754,000 of them all over the world. 

Cut costs, trim excess fat

Assembly of Think City electric cars, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

Assembly of Think City electric cars, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

With a factory in Norway and one in Elkhart Indiana, Think’s overheads before it filed for bankruptcy were hardly small. Everything from salaries to the cost of factory space was reflected in the Think City’s $36,000 sticker price.  When our John Voelcker visited the Elkhart factory earlier this year, the lines of cars told an sad story: the Think City wasn't selling well. 

But with cheaper labor prices, lower business costs and a geographic location with great links to Asia and Europe, BD Otomotive hopes a Turkish-based operation can significantly cut the cost of making the Think City and make it both affordable and desirable. 

Think, Fisker, BYD?

Look at the two other factory-built electric cars BD Otomotive claim to distribute alongside its range of converted commercial vehicles andthings get a little surreal. 

Think City assembly plant, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

Think City assembly plant, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011

Not only is the firm a distributor for the Fisker Karma, the elusive and exclusive luxury plug-in hybrid, but BD Otomotive also lists plug-in cars from BYD.  

But neither Fisker nor BYD are known for particularly large numbers of cars, let alone selling them via third-party vendors, which makes us wonder just how many of each car BD Otomotive has sold to date.

Will Think survive its fourth bankruptcy in the arms of a Turkish savior, or is it being sent to the automotive equivalent of the island of misfit toys? 

Let us know in the Comments Below. 

[Automotive News]

 
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