DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. will use a global brand called Th!nk to sell a line of environmentally conscious vehicles and to develop fuel-cell technology.
Initially, the brand will sell a Th!nk City electric car, a Th!nk Neighbor low-speed vehicle for use at resorts and golf courses, and two electric bicycles.
'This is the first full-line automotive brand dedicated to environmental transportation,' Ford President Jac Nasser said at the Detroit auto show Monday, Jan. 10.
John Wallace will head the new 350-person group, which also will develop battery and fuel-cell electric technology carrying the Th!nk brand name.
Th!nk City is now sold in Norway. The urban commuter car, which has a range of 55 miles, will be sold in the United States by the fourth quarter of 2001, Ford said. Ford can build 5,000 City units annually worldwide.
In the United States, 47 Ford Division dealers franchised to sell and service electric vehicles will market the City.
The low-speed Neighbor, which will be available with two and four seats, has a top speed of 25 mph and a driving range of 30 miles. The vehicle can travel only on private roads and is designed for use at resorts, retirement communities, golf courses, college campuses and industrial sites.
The Neighbor will be marketed primarily online, although any U.S. Ford Motor Co. dealer can sell the vehicle. Ford will ship the vehicle directly to consumers. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2000 in the United States. Ford is considering marketing the Neighbor in Spain and Portugal.
Ford also unveiled a Web site devoted to providing environmental information about its cars and trucks.