Plastics-bodied carmaker Think in bankruptcy
Plastics News has written hundreds of inches of copy on the plastic-bodied Think car. But it looks -- once again -- like the company is in serious financial trouble. And despite growing global interest in electric vehicles, this time the company might not get another chance. Our sister publication Automotive News Europe is reporting today that Norway's Think Global AS has filed for bankruptcy. Incredibly, this is the fourth time that the company has collapsed financially in its 20-year history. According to ANE's Douglas A Bolduc, this time liquidation is a possibility. The company has a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Think North America, which has a manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind. The location was considered a plus since local RV suppliers have plastics expertise that can help a low-volume automaker like Think. But while the U.S. subsidiary is a separate entity, its future now is in doubt because it is financially supported by the parent company. Plastics News staff reporter Rhoda Miel visited the Elkhart plant a few months ago. Check out this story, with a link to a video report, for more on the company, including plenty of plastics-specific details. You may recall that Think was owned by Ford Motor Co. from mid-1999 until January 2003. Think's most recent troubles were signaled a few weeks ago, when battery maker Ener1 Inc. said it would return its 31 percent stake in the Norwegian company and take a $73.3 million write-down on the investment.
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