Electric automaker Think rises once again. Following the company's latest bankruptcy and rumors that the long-running EV maker would be bought by Turkey's BD Otomotiv, it is now official that Russian investor Boris Zingarevich has taken hold of Think and will relaunch the company. Zingarevich, who already had "indirect ownership of less than 40%" of Think's shares, was the winning bidder in a bankruptcy proceeding last month and now plans to relaunch a refined Think City in early 2012 with help from established partners Ener1 (the U.S.-based li-ion battery maker) and Valmet Automotive (the production company in Finland). Think's headquarters are in Norway, and this will remain the case.
Since all the players are the same, Zingarevich's prepared statement seems a bit strange (read it in full after the jump). He said:
Well, Think had that same combination before the bankruptcy, and look where that got them. Aside from the Valmet production for Europe, Think's one offering – the Think City – had also been built in Elkhart, IN and a local media there says that production "could soon resume according to company officials." We'll see.
With the potential of working with the leading American automotive lithium-ion battery maker and Europe's top automobile engineering and manufacturing company, I believe we could have exactly the right combination and value chain to ensure that the brand will be increasingly competitive in the worldwide electric vehicle market.
Related Gallery2011 Think City: Quick Spin
Photos Copyright 2011 Jeff Glucker / AOL
[Source: Think, Inside Indiana Business]
Electric Vehicle Business Continues in the U.S. Market
Elkhart, Ind. (July 25, 2011) – THINK North America, Inc., which holds the exclusive license to market THINK brand electric mobility products in the U.S. market, has a new owner following the purchase of the company's parent, THINK Global AS, out of bankruptcy in Norway.
Electric Mobility Solutions AS won a bid for THINK Global's assets, which included shares of wholly owned subsidiaries THINK North America and THINK UK, both of which remained going concerns during the bankruptcy proceeding of THINK Global.
THINK North America will continue to support service and warranties for existing owners and future buyers of the THINK City vehicle in the U.S. THINK is continuing to sell pure electric vehicles in the North American market from the company's Elkhart-based assembly facility.
THINK will continue its strategy of marketing vehicles primarily to fleet customers, as well as to retail customers on a limited basis, in Indiana and a number of other designated electric-vehicle-ready states. The company will also maintain its active participation in public efforts to further advance the mass deployment of electric vehicles throughout the U.S.
The THINK City is a 100-percent electric, zero-emission modern city car designed for urban commuters and fleet customers that want to make a bold statement about protecting the environment and reducing dependency on imported oil. The vehicle has a top highway speed of 70 mph and an estimated cruising range of 100 miles on a single charge.
Electric Vehicle Maker THINK™ Resets for a New Start
OSLO, Norway (July 25, 2011) – THINK Global AS, a leading manufacturer of pure electric cars, has been purchased by a prominent international technology entrepreneur who is committed to maintaining the company's key role in global transportation electrification.
A court-appointed trustee selected Mr. Boris G. Zingarevich, whose investment operations are based in St. Petersburg, Russia, as the winning bidder following a bankruptcy proceeding initiated by the Norwegian carmaker last month.
In addition, Mr. Zingarevich has signed a memorandum of understanding with American advanced lithium-ion battery maker Ener1, Inc. and Finnish automobile engineering and manufacturing concern Valmet Automotive, Inc. to cooperate in relaunching THINK.
"Having achieved the position of one of the world's most highly regarded electric vehicle products, the THINK brand is a valuable asset that deserves to continue its key role in the global shift to electrification," said Mr. Zingarevich. "With the potential of working with the leading American automotive lithium-ion battery maker and Europe's top automobile engineering and manufacturing company, I believe we could have exactly the right combination and value chain to ensure that the brand will be increasingly competitive in the worldwide electric vehicle market."
The assets of wholly owned subsidiaries THINK North America and THINK UK, which have remained going concerns during the bankruptcy proceeding for THINK Global, were also acquired in the transaction. Financial advisory services were provided by LATUM, a specialized investment banking and services company.
Ener1 and Valmet were the senior secured creditors of THINK when the company filed for bankruptcy after failing to raise adequate capital to continue financing operations. Ener1 and Valmet are negotiating stakes in the new company on the basis of a debt restructuring. Mr. Zingarevich has been a major investor in Ener1 since 2002 and provided bridge funding for THINK while the company attempted a reorganization before filing for bankruptcy.
The name of the new company that will market THINK brand products is Electric Mobility Solutions AS, registered in Norway. A new sales and service structure for THINK will be announced soon. The production restart, with a refined version of the THINK City, is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Over its 20-year history, THINK achieved the status of the leading dedicated electric vehicle maker in the world. The THINK City has accumulated more than 48 million km of road experience in the several countries where it has been marketed. The current model has a range of 160 km on a single charge and provides one of the most engaging and spirited drives of any car in its class.
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About Mr. Boris G. Zingarevich
Mr. Zingarevich is an international serial entrepreneur with investments spanning a wide range of new and traditional industries in a number of countries. He has been the principal investor since 2002 in the leading American automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., on whose board of directors he sits. Mr. Zingarevich is a founder and strategic shareholder in Ilim Group, a joint venture with the American company International Paper and the largest timber products company in Russia.