In June last year, Norwegian electric automaker Think filed for bankruptcy for the third time in its 20-year life. Since then, Think’s misfortunes have caused battery maker Ener1 to also declare bankruptcy while its own future is now in the automotive equivalent of limbo.
In one small part of Chicago however, Think is alive and well -- and being sold on a dealer forecourt alongside Toyota Priuses, Honda Insights... and an as-yet uncertified BYD e6.
Enter Green Wheels Chicago, an independent dealer who is still advertising its 2011 Think City cars for sale.
Discovered by a member of the TeslaMotorsClub forums, the dealership lists three brand-new cars for sale, which it is advertising at a starting price of $36,495.
According to the dealer, $14,500 of federal and tax credits are available to anyone buying a Think from the dealership, reducing the effective cost to $17,995.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of independent dealerships selling off Think cars after its bankruptcy. Back in September we told you the Think City was apparently available for sale to customers in the Northeast U.S. courtesy of the Clean Cities Coalition of Central New York.
Assembly of Think City electric cars, Elkhart, Indiana, Jan 2011
But at $35,495 before incentives, the tiny two-seat car -- which can only manage a top speed of just 65 mph -- is still overpriced.
In fact, the ill-fated city runabout is more than $5,000 more expensive than its nearest competitor -- the 2012 Mitsubishi i.
And with twice as many seats, better performance and a planned nationwide rollout by June 2012, most consumers would opt for the better known Mitsubishi.
That might change however, according to the TeslaMotorsClub member who paid the garage a visit.
“Another thing the dealer stated was the plan by the new owners is to redesign the car, possibly improve on it a bit, and rerelease the new version as a 2013 model,” writes mattjs33. “Since the bankruptcy things have been kind of nebulous regarding the future plans. I guess if anyone would know, he would.”
At the current time, we have to remain highly skeptical Think will return with an updated 2013 model -- especially since the company has been so quiet since it was purchased by Russian businessman Boris Zingarevich.
Will think return? It’s hard to tell -- but given the dealer was also optimistic about selling the perennially-delayed BYD e6 electric crossover SUV just as soon as it passed all necessary certification, we’ve got to remain just a little bit pessimistic.