From: Associated Press
Published March 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Norway's Electric-Car Maker Think Nordic Declared Bankrupt

OSLO, Norway — Think Nordic AS, the electric-car maker once owned by Ford, was declared bankrupt Tuesday after failing to meet wage and other payment obligations.

Think Nordic, based in Aurskog, northeast of Oslo, is now expected to go into liquidation.

"This is a sad day," Think Nordic CEO Christopher Neal told The Associated Press. "I hope and believe in a future for the electric car."

Neal said the company had no immediate prospects for a new project, under Think or any other name, but he hoped investors would be drawn by the expertise built up by Think's staff.

The company had been owned by Ford Motor Co. until late 2002, when Ford lost faith in battery-powered cars as a way of reducing pollution.

Under Ford, hundreds of the tiny, rounded, two-seat Think cars had been imported to the United States for a three-year test. About 300 were returned to Norway in 2004.

Ford agreed to sell the unit in late 2002 for an undisclosed sum to Swiss company Kamkorp Microelectronics, which took over in January 2003.

Despite efforts to develop new models and an 11 million kroner ($1.6 million) grant from the Norwegian Research Council in May, Think Nordic suffered chronic economic problems and was never able to resume full production. About 1,000 of the cars were made.

The bankruptcy proceedings were opened after employees filed with the court for unpaid wages in January, followed by an unsuccessful round of debt negotiations that made bankruptcy virtually unavoidable.

Source: Associated Press

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