The manufacturer of the Think City electric car—Think Global is having a hard time securing financial support to continue operations and is now seeking state aid from the Norwegian government. Think CEO Richard Canny announced that the company requires up to $29 million in loan guarantees. Think plans to lay off 50 percent of its staff and temporarily stop production so they can restart in the first quarter of 2009.
The global financial crisis has made it tougher to get working capital and the company’s parts suppliers are insisting on more stringent financial terms.
Think, which used to be owned by Ford, is already manufacturing the Think City for sale in Europe. It had plans for rolling out a new model with a top speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of about 100 miles. It had contracted Ener1 and A123 Systems—both battery makers, to supply lithium-ion batteries for the city cars.
The company had previously gone bankrupt twice before securing new investors in 2006. The Norwegian government has said that they would not directly intervene to bail out Think.