• Apr 15th 2011 at 10:59AM
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Think City EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

With two small recalls in recent months and a long history of financial trouble, it probably shouldn't surprise us that the Norwegian electric car company Think is in trouble again. A year after Norwegian electric automaker Think secured substantial investments, it's reportedly facing financial issues again, writes the Norwegian business newspaper, Finansavisen. Production of the electric Think has apparently been halted at Valmet Automotive in Finland and 35 employees were let go over the last couple of weeks. James Andrew of Think Europe says that, "It is true that production is temporarily halted," but claims that the stoppage is due to "imbalances in the sharing" of Valmet Automotive's production capacity. A U.S. spokesperson told AutoblogGreen (read the full statement after the jump):

We have asked Valmet to temporarily stop production in Finland, while we rebalance our parts inventory in Europe. The stoppage in Finland has had little effect on our U.S. business. We have continued to receive gliders from Finland, and are continuing to ship vehicles to customers.

The Finansavisen says that a shortage in parts for the Think City is only half the problem. The Norwegian newspaper claims that the automaker's funds are running dry. Luis Salem, Think's vice president of global marketing, responded to the paper's claims, stating, "With regard to the economic situation we are in a startup phase, and we are always looking for new financial sources." With competition in the plug-in vehicle segment heating up, 2011 sales of the Think City have reportedly reached only 60 units in Norway.

[Source: E24 Bil via Google Translate]
Show full PR text
Our business in Europe and the U.S. remains strong. We are continuing to sell and ship vehicles to customers in both Europe and the U.S. In fact, consumer interest in THINK has significantly increased in the last couple of weeks, and we look forward to addressing this demand with a new U.S. consumer-facing web portal that will be launching shortly. We are also seeing a lot of interest from fleets in the THINK City – partially due to our participation in the GE EV Experience Tour earlier this year.

We have recently received a commitment from Project Plug-IN in Indianapolis to offer a $9,000 rebate in the THINK City in Indiana, which combined with our new, lower MSRP makes the net cost of the car $19,995.00 to most customers in Indiana.

We have asked Valmet to temporarily stop production in Finland, while we rebalance our parts inventory in Europe. The stoppage in Finland has had little effect on our U.S. business. We have continued to receive gliders from Finland, and are continuing to ship vehicles to customers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The tragedy is the Norwegian government, loaded with huge profits from the world's second largest oil and gas Trust (second only to Abu Dhabi) - did not lift a finger to help this little native son "green" the planet. Shameful in fact.

      Th!nk - an appropriate name for certain world leaders with vast resources who have chosen to stand on the sidelines doing business as usual - rather than get in the mix and help the world transition to non-fossil fuels.

      Shameful. And the car looks like barney rubble designed it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Norwegian government did invest in Think through a venture capital sovereign fund. Since August 2009, they've invested 65 million NOK (~12.1 million USD). Earlier this year the shares owned by the Norwegian public was sold to Ener1.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perhaps the government didn't help because the company has a poor business plan with a uncompetitive product. Should they pump taxpayer money into a company just because it is a "green" company?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is anyone surprised by this ? I personally like the car , but the
      pricing is a joke ,and Think blew the opportunity it had three years
      ago by investing so much time and money in the " OX ".

      A case of trying to run before you can walk !
      • 4 Years Ago
      They simply can't compete. Not enough car and way too much money, and it's going to get worse.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It never was an appealing design, and I've always found it hard to see who would choose to buy one, and why it was worth saving last time around. Even if it survives the latest glitch, I don't see it ever selling in quantity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Many will fail, and those who achieve some success will probably become targets of acquisition by the big guys.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It will get increasingly harder to sell a two seat electric car when a four-seat Nissan Leaf can be purchased for less money.

      Time is running out for the early EV pioneers companies that haven't managed to match Nissan, Ford and Mitsubishi.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Semms to me that Think's US rep is saying Think is doing better here than in Norway.

      Sounds like Think may soon call the US its new home base.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well it is already owned by the American battery maker Ener1
      • 4 Years Ago
      well if true that was sooner than I expected. although not really since I still expect them to go on for a little while longer and maybe sell a few stock thinks in usa and such.
      the CEO needs to get his millions in salary of course
      • 4 Years Ago
      Investinor, did not exist until Feb of 2009 - long after Th!nk had sought and received funding from investors around the world - but not Norway. Norway is a tiny nation made VERY rich on sales of fossil fuel to the rest of the world. They are also a nation who claims to be ecologically concerned. According to company records as of Spring 2010 Investinor put up $5M of the $170M Think raised from venture capital.

      Norway's Petroleum Trust (now called a Sovereign fund) is valued at $548 Billion. IF Norway was seriously interested in addressing ecological issues - we would expect to see more support for business trying to solve those problems.

      To be fair, the Th!nk car always looked a bit foolish to me. And perhaps their business plan was not up to snuff. But a lot of savvy investors put up money for this little Norwegian startup. And their own government, made fat on the sale of petroleum oil - big on stewardship of natural resources - ought to have done better. IMO.

      FYI Norway's Petroleum Trust value appreciated about 26% last year in this "recession."

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