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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by dpeilow, Dec 15, 2008.
Breaking: Th!nk looking for helping hand, temporarily halts production - AutoblogGreen
Oh no! I hope Th!nk can make it.
Didn't expect this to happen, hope they make it through.
Expecting Cobos to say something soon (once morning hits in Denmark & Norway).
He hinted at it yesterday in another thread, but I saw this and it is apparent the threat is much more immediate than he maybe thought.
Yes they are in trouble as has been reported. After what the news media is saying here, their coffers are empty. They've given almost every employee an early unpaid christmas vacation. They've got some pretty big investors which are funding them, but the investors says they wont add more money without loan guarantees from the state, and it seems the state so far is unwilling to offer those. There is a big stimulus package coming in the change between january and february, but no one yet knows the contents of that.
I find it a bit strange myself that the state isn't stepping up, but it might be because of the investors. The investors do have the money so they can go in and fix this. Still one of them Stein Erik Hagen, has been in pretty nasty fights with the Prime Minister in the media this year. Either one accusing the other of publicly crucifying the other in the media. Sounds really petty, and it is. This last bit about why the goverment has helped Think are my musings though.
I didn't expect this either. Supposedly the start-ups like Tesla and Th!nk had major advantages over the Big 3 that are hampered by unions and bureaucracy...apparently not. Shows they may not be entirely different afterall. The question is, at what volume do they need to produce to become profitable?
I think the problem with them both is they are not really very profitable this early in the process combined with a big need to grow to become profitable. Combined with a complete dryup of the capital markets means they easily run out of cash. Both Think and Tesla has been able to build a "new" EV for about $100-200 mill, in addition to building up their company and production facilities, so they are still plenty nimble. "New" because Think's city is very much based on Ford's research, and the TR is drawing heavily on Lotus' expertise.
Anyway about Think, it seems the investor I mentioned above, Stein Erik Hagen, and his investment company owns about 6% of Think. He is now saying he wants to save Think. In a day or two I suppose we'll know what happens...
Th!nk denied aid from the government:
Electric Car Darwinisim: Th!nk Falters | Hybrid Cars
This is depressing news to hear. Th!nk have been through so may ups and downs over the years. I was hoping they would still make it.
Looks like that's a no. :frown:
Think may be saved by Stein Erik Hagen's double-or-nothing plan - AutoblogGreen
That's based on the no that the goverment did this weekend, so nothing new there. There also seems to be a translation error somewhere. They have suspended most of their production workforce, not laid anyone off, big difference.
They are also not asking for loans from the state but simply a loan guarantee from the state, so our fidgety banks will consider loaning them money. Looking at the E24 webpage it seems the investors are going back and forth on what will happen.
I might add that our LO leader has said that the goverment NEED to intervene on Thinks behalf. LO is our "national union", a sort of union of unions. They are seriously interconnected with our biggest political party, the Workers Party. The workers party has the majority among our ruling parties.
And the Workers Party has overruled LO recently in some other political issues, so saying yes in such a relatively speaking minor case as this might be good for our goverment, politically anyway.
Just to answer Grahams last post, as an answer to that, Petter Stordalen (a Tesla Roadster buyer BTW) has said he has about 2 mill US invested in Think, and that is as much as he wants to invest. He claims it wasn't really an investment for a big return, but more as a support for a green carmaker. We'll see what Hagen does with that answe tomorrow I suppose. As it's almost midnight here.
I'm following your interesting and impacting blog about Tesla Motors and Electric cars now since over a year intensively. Thank you for being able to participate reading this blog, if only hearing your opinions and still not participating actively. I took some time to get in and to cross the language barrier you know - as I'm living in switzerland, Europe.:redface:
The news about the think car is sad. I saw this car exposed in Zurich two months ago. Even if I didn't like the car that much: Only two seats, polymer body panels, limited maximum speed - I would have liked the option to select between several electric cars of good quality though. Th!nk would now enter in the third year of his existence - in a very hard business. Seems to me that you need about 5-10 years to get this business profitable within mass production and marketing. In this troubled times it's obviously difficult to maintain a large timeframe like this.
BTW: I was promised to get a sample of the electric smart next year - for my personal use! Hopefully I will be able to tell you more about this or even shoot some pics
Yes, the Th!nk story is sad. The more electric car choices the better for the industry.
Please let us know how your time with the electric Smart goes!
What an opportunity for a new player to come in though and snatch up a start-up already in production. Helloooo Google, or other tech firm that may be sitting on some cash. What an opportunity.
or are they also having difficulties?
Or Intel itself, which Andy Grove already wants to start producing batteries...
Think hints that Norwegian government aid might be coming after all - AutoblogGreen