EV manufacturer Th!nk files for bankruptcy
The manufacturer started selling its plastic-bodied City car in America last year, establishing a fully owned subsidiary with plans to sell 2-3,000 vehicles in 2011, and counting the Obama Administration among its early customers. In October, the 2,500th car rolled off the production line in Oslo, and a City-derived van was announced in January.
But manufacturing in Europe halted in March, and American battery supply partner Ener1 severed its ties in May claiming Th!nk owed £22.1m ($35.4m). The New York based company had invested £7.81m ($12.5m) to help set up its American subsidiary 12 months previously.
Some of the money is expected to be recovered either by selling to another investor, or through liquidation of its assets. Ener1 said it wasn’t expecting any significant return from the liquidation.
Th!nk was acquired by Ford in 1999, after experiencing financial problems. It was the start of a four-year relationship which helped bolster its global identity. But it had struggled since Ford's departure in 2003, with production shutting down in 2004, then again in 2008 at the start of the recession.
Despite extensive marketing in the US last year, the City’s high price of £21,244 (£34,000) was rumoured to be curbing enthusiasm among consumers.