In yet another twist for the beleaguered Norwegian EV maker, THINK has been bought from the administrators and the tiny car will go back into production once more.
A quick recap — THINK founded in 1991 and some time later runs out of money. Ford steps in and injects $123million. Then loses its bottle and pulls plug in 2002. Company gets bought and sold, including a brief phase in the hands of Kamkorp, which now owns Bristol Cars. Battery maker Ener1 helps out, but then also pulls plug earlier this year, claiming it’s owed $32million. That’s how it fell into the hands of Oslo based administrators.
So it’s a brave man who takes this problem child on — step forward Boris G. Zingarevich, a “serial entrepreneur” based in St Petersburg, Russia. So, yes, another car company falls into Russian ownership, following TVR, Spyker, Bowler, Zagato and, almost, SAAB.
So what does Mr Zingarevich know about making cars? Not much, but one of his existing investments is important because its… Ener1, the battery manufacturer whose kit was already being used in THINK EVs and which was owed a lot when the company went down.
Not only has Zingarevich got the all important batteries for production, he has also enlisted the assistance of Valmet of Finland, which in recent years has built 9-3 Convertibles for SAAB and Boxsters for Porsche, to help get the THINK city car rolling down the line once more.
As part of all this a new company has been created, Electric Mobility Solutions AS, based in Norway and which will be owned by Zingarevich, Ener1 and Valmet, the last two of which will take equity in lieu of the cash they were owed when THINK went under.
Production will restart in early 2012. If they last that long.