MUNICH -- Production of Think Global's electric minicar started today at contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive's plant in Uusikaupunk, Finland.
The Norwegian automaker stopped output at its factory in Aurskog, near Oslo, in the second quarter as a result of the financial crisis.
Valmet is one of the investors that helped Think raise $47 million in capital this summer to exit court protection in Norway.
Think plans to begin deliveries of the City full-electric car before Christmas. Most of the units are for government-sponsored fleets with cities in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
“The order bank stands at around 2,300 vehicles, and our first priority is to deliver to these customers now that our vehicles are rolling off the production line again. Our next priority is to build on this order book with continued expansion in Europe and around the world,” CEO Richard Canny said in a statement.
Think hopes to have 4,600 units of the two-seat City built in Finland 2010, sales director Richard Waitz told Automotive News Europe in October.
In November, Charles Gassenheimer, chairman and CEO of lithium-ion battery maker Ener1 Inc., which has a 31 percent stake in Think, told Reuters that Think had picked a site in Indiana for its U.S. manufacturing.
Think spokesman James Andrews said today that Indiana is one of four U.S. states in the running to get the plant. He declined to name the other three states vying for the contract. A decision on where to locate U.S. production is due in late January to early February, he said.
Ener1 is Think's largest investor. Its subsidiary EnerDel will supplier Think with lithium-ion batteries. Swiss company MES DEA supplies the City's alternative nickel-sodium batteries.