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Electric vehicle (EV) maker Think and Finnish production partner Valmet Automotive have long dreamed of the day when the automaker's City EV would be available to customers in Finland. First establishing a collaborative agreement back in 2009, Think and Valmet announced today that the City is now officially available in Finland.

Finland's first batch of Think Citys have been claimed by green delivery pioneers A2B. As of now, Think will sell its City EV through a lone dealership in Helsinki. The company's plan calls for additional full-service dealerships to open in other Finnish cities such as Turku, Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskylä and Oulu. With the addition of Finland, Think's reach now extends across much of Europe and include countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, France, Austria and Switzerland. The company's Elkhart, IN production facility should be operational by the end of next year, helping the Think City reach U.S. shores in limited supply by year's end. Additionally, the automaker is working with Japanese partner Itochu to develop operations in Asia. Hit the jump for more on Think's entry into the Finnish market. Thanks to Mart S. for the tip!

[Source: Think]

PRESS RELEASE

HELSINKI EV MOTOR SHOW 2010: THINK ANNOUNCES NEW SALES OPERATION IN FINLAND WITH PRODUCTION PARTNER VALMET AUTOMOTIVE

  • First new dealerships established in Helsinki and Espoo
  • Quality, engineering excellence, EV expertise and sales experience make Valmet the obvious distribution partner in their home market
Helsinki, Finland, 10 September 2010 – Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, THINK, today announces its entry into the Finnish market, with the immediate start of sales at Helsinki EV Motor Show 2010.

Exhibiting at the Helsinki show for the second time, THINK and Valmet Automotive have developed a dedicated new THINK EV test track adjacent to the show stand. Test drives will be available in the latest generation THINK City throughout the duration of the show.

First deliveries of the THINK City in Finland will be to green delivery pioneers A2B, through a new THINK dealership in Helsinki. Further full-service dealerships will be opened in the coming months in other Finnish cities such as Turku, Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskylä and Oulu.

Valmet Automotive President, Ilpo Korhonen, said: "Since we entered into collaboration with THINK in 2009 there has been very high level of interest from customers, both business and private, wanting to buy the THINK City. This hasn't been possible in Finland until now, and we are extremely excited by the prospect of being exclusive distributor here, especially with the experience and expertise of our new sales and marketing director Hans Svensson leading the sales operation."

THINK CEO, Richard Canny, added: "We know Valmet Automotive very well, and have the utmost respect and pride in their attention to quality and technical excellence in everything they do. We are sure this attitude will carry through to the newly established sales operation in this sophisticated and very EV-ready market."

The latest generation THINK City is a purpose-built, all-electric and fully air-conditioned urban car that can travel at highway speeds and cover 160 kilometres on a single charge (via conventional household outlet), with zero local emissions. It is the world's first EV to be granted certification with the European CE conformity mark and EU homologation requirements (M1 certificate). To achieve these exacting standards, the THINK City has successfully completed very thorough testing and validation procedures.

European production of the THINK City continues in Finland with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive, known for excellent manufacturing quality of premium cars. Customer deliveries are taking place across Europe in selected key EV markets such as The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland and now Finland.

THINK has also announced plans to establish a U.S. production facility during 2011 in Elkhart County, Indiana, and is working with Japanese partner Itochu on developing operations in Asia.

About THINK:

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 19 years. It is one of the few companies that has a 'ready-to-market' fully electric vehicle – the THINK City. With its market-leading range, driveability and recyclability, the THINK City is the first vehicle of its type to be granted pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification.

THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.

About Valmet Automotive:

Valmet Automotive is a leading provider of automotive engineering and manufacturing services to premium cars makers. In 40 years, the company has produced in Finland over 1,100,000 high-quality vehicles, including 220,000 Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars.

The manufacturing of both the THINK City and the Garia golf car started at Valmet Automotive in 2009. The production of the Fisker Karma hybrid vehicle is scheduled to start next year.

Valmet Automotive is a part of Metso Group.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well . . . they build them there, why NOT sell them there?
      • 4 Years Ago
      To me it is comical to read these posts, because I remember the "old days". "Valmet" was a acronym of "Valtion metalli" IE. "Government metal", and "Metso" produced just paper. Things change.

      30k+ EUR for hardly highway capable pure city car is way too much. Wont sell much.

      "With its market-leading range, driveability" Range is not any better than Leaf range and driveability with that performance specs can't be that good. 16 secs to reach 55 mph? Ancient Fiat 127 could easily beat that. Top speed of 69mph?

      This is marketing talking. I would love to see engineer talk about same car. It might have something to make it worth buying, but those points mentioned isn't.

      How come they didn't make it have a little bit more oomph under the hood? 100kW engine can't be that much more expensive than 30kW engine. Or at least 50kW engine so that you don't get run over by some SUV behind you in traffic lights? PEM can't be that expensive.

      http://www.thinkev.com/The-THINK-City/Specifications/Technical-data
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish it the best but it does need a neew look. it's a model from pre EV revolution of the old small weak ugly EV philosophy. I don't see it ending well.
      yet another bankruptcy in the long line.
      I'd say that if I was in charge I would do it much different but as far along as they are on this dead end course and the massive debt I assume they have, I'm not sure that anyone could save it.
      they just keep pouring money into it. they should have started over a couple of hundred million dollars back.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "It will cost nearly 50 000 euros of which 5000 is car tax. If you want a/c it's even more :("

      Makes you wonder how Leaf and Volt retail at 25k euros!! Half Mitsubishi and Think.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Of primary interest to me is the method they (and other small automotive start-ups) choose to sell cars. Under former CEO Willums, Th!nk seemed to have a strategy of fleet sales first, which they are seemingly following, followed by sales to customers after a test drive at a showcase center or online order. In Europe, it seems they may partner with retailers such as Migros rather than establish dealerships, so a U.S. strategy might see sales through Best Buy, for example. In Finland, they seem to be going towards a more conventional car-dealership model, though the dealership would be considerably smaller than most. Perhaps a drive-center/showcase per state or region in the U.S.?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The price is almost 50 000 euros for some absurd reason I simply cannot understand.

      50k!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, sorry, I forgot the link. Here's the article from the Finnish national newspaper, translated through Google Translate: http://bit.ly/atnbtf

        It will cost nearly 50 000 euros of which 5000 is car tax.

        If you want a/c it's even more :(
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where do you get this figure? Everything I've seen suggests a price of 32.000 to 35.000 EUR depending on conversion rates. Though this is still expensive, it's in-line with current i-MiEV costs. Perhaps part of the reason is this,"Valmet Automotive is a leading provider of automotive engineering and manufacturing services to premium cars makers. In 40 years, the company has produced in Finland over 1,100,000 high-quality vehicles, including 220,000 Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars." The following site give 35.000 EUR.


        http://www.arcticstartup.com/2010/01/22/think-has-your-ev-car-ready-now/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once again, the Think "City" shows that it is best as a city car. Who would have guessed that!?!?! ;-)

        BTW, I assume that is still the European spec. The USA spec model will come with a larger motor that will enable it to hit 70mph.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lol :-D Google translations. Thank you. I live a bit longer.

        Short version:

        In city it is nicely quiet. Over 70km/h tire and wind noises can be heard loud and clear.

        Motorway is not a place to Think. It is hard to accelerate to required speed for joining other traffic. In city traffic accelerating from stoplights is not a problem, no delays there. It is better to run car in E mode than D mode, E-mode enhances energy recovery from braking. (doesn't explain other differences)

        For size Think is a runabout. Agile and easy to park. Suspension is poor, too wobbly.

        In testdrive car tended to go left, so driver needed to turn steering wheel right to keep car straight. Interior is ascetic and it makes tester to wonder why car has about 50k EUR price even that it doesn't have even AC.

        Car range about 160 is OK for good summer weather. Probably less in winter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        http://www.thinkev.at/preisetechnischedaten.php?m=preisetechnischedaten

        in Austria it's €35k with LiIon and €44k with zebra battery. LiIon comes with longer warranty and Zebra comes with higher capacity. Pick your poison!

        They should come down in price a lot after the initial run. You can buy their 21.5kWh LiIon for about $8k retail right now, I doubt they pay that much. €29k for a little car like this seems a lot to me. I would be surprised if it cost Valmet more than $6-8k to put this thing together. The rest might be for R&D.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Valmet will also build the initial runs of the Fisker Karma, so the Think is kind of like a little cousin!