Think Starts US Production
Production began on Thursday, with the models to be put together from partially-assembled kits sent by Think's partner Valmet from Finland. These first steps taken onto the American market are hoped to bring the manufacturer to an output rating of 2,500 vehicles per year in 2011.
Currently, the Elkhart plant is a very small business, employing only 25 local workers. The employment scheme will grow rapidly though, with Think planning to have 100 people on its payroll in Elkhart next year and no less than 415 by the end of 2013.
“This plant will be a model for efficiency and quality, as we’re going to be sharing best practices among Elkhart, Oslo and Finland,” said Think manufacturing Director Karl Turner.
“Our process eliminates the need for paint or welding shops, so it is environmentally very clean, is low capital intensive and is readily replicable for other locations to support future growth.”
The Think electric vehicle is now being produced both in Europe (in Finland by Valmet) and in the US. The electric power train fitted onto the car allows it to achieve a top speed of 100 km/hour (62 mph) and gives it a sprint time from naught to 62 mph of 6.5 seconds. During summer and with the heater off, Think City has a range of in between 170 km (105 miles) and 203 km (126 miles).