A little later than anticipated, Think has re-started production of the City electric vehicles at Valmet Automotive's plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The first vehicles – at least 2,300 have been ordered -– will be delivered to customers before Christmas. Most of these customers are municipal authorities and utility partners. While they wait to take delivery of their electric cars, Think will expand its marketing and sales efforts throughout Europe and beyond.
Valmet also makes or will make the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, the Fisker Karma, and the Garia golf cart in Uusikaupunki. On Twitter, Think says, "We look forward to start delivering the long awaited Think City to our customers." That's great, but what about the promised announcement of a U.S. plant?
UPDATE: Think just tweeted: "Lots of questions about US availability of the THINK City. Expect a production site announcement likely in January; limited US sales Q4'10."
THINK CITY PRODUCTION STARTS AT NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY IN FINLAND
* First vehicles roll off the line at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki
* First new customer deliveries scheduled before Christmas
* Sales roll-out into key European markets continues
OSLO, Norway, 10 December 2009 – THINK, the Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker, has re-started production of the THINK City – one of the world's first urban EVs – at a state-of-the-art new facility with manufacturing partner Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland.
Valmet Automotive is a leading provider of engineering and manufacturing services to the automotive industry and recently became a THINK shareholder and strategic industrial partner. Today marks the start of production at Valmet Automotive's high-tech manufacturing base, which also produces Garia and Fisker alternative-fuel vehicles as well as Porsche AG's Boxster and Cayman.
The start of production at Valmet Automotive also marks a new start for THINK, which has made significant progress since announcing its re-capitalisation earlier this year with major new investors coming on board. In recent months THINK has made a series of senior executive appointments from the automotive and clean-tech industries, won major new contracts in the drivetrain supply business, started the roll-out of sales into key European markets and now, re-started production in Europe.
Richard Canny, THINK CEO, says: "This is a very significant day for THINK. We are back in production and I am so pleased that some of our very loyal customers can look forward to delivery of their long-awaited THINK City before Christmas. The order bank stands at around 2,300 vehicles, and our first priority is to deliver to these customers now that our vehicles are rolling off the production line again. Our next priority is to build on this order book with continued expansion in Europe and around the world."
He added: "Our strategic alliance with Valmet Automotive is much more than just about assembly – we are already reaping the benefits of Valmet's expertise in manufacturing and engineering – with time being taken out of the production process, more manufacturing done on site and an overall more efficient industrial solution, from product development support right through to final assembly."
The THINK City 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 been through extensive testing and validation and several hundred computer simulations and correlations.
Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, said: "Valmet already has expertise in the EV industry, but with the start of industrial production of the THINK City at our cutting-edge facilities in Finland, we aim to become a leader in the industry. The start of production is a very important step for both THINK and Valmet, and we aim to grow our strategic alliance alongside the growth of the THINK brand around Europe as more deliveries of the eagerly awaited THINK City are made in the coming weeks."
Sales of the THINK City have started in selected key EV markets such as Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, with first fleet deliveries due to start before Christmas. The majority of THINK sales in these countries have been made to municipal authorities and utility partners, supported by government incentives.
THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 18 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 drivetrain 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 provider of automotive engineering and manufacturing services of premium cars. In 40 years, the company has produced over 100,000 high-quality vehicles in Finland. The cars have been delivered worldwide. Today Valmet Automotive manufactures the Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG. Manufacturing of the electric Garia golf car started in 2009 and production of the Fisker Karma hybrid vehicle is scheduled to start in 2010. The company is a part of Metso Group.