Norwegian Electric Carmaker in Need of Gov. Support

Even though it builds one of the most attractive vehicle types nowadays, Norwegian electric carmaker Think Global lost the fight with the global recession and asked for support from the local government. It's arguments? The company started losing money as a result of the financial crisis, so government money is a must in order to maintain the same production level. Think urgently needs between $14.5 million and $29 million in loan guarantees, Richard Canny, chief executive, was quoted as saying by the New York Times in a press conference.

Obviously, such an announcement raises questions regarding the cost-cutting measures the carmaker may apply in the next few months. Think may fire up to 70 percent of the total workforce, Canny explained, with production suspended until the first months of 2009.

Soon after that, Rikke Lind, Norway’s deputy minister of trade and industry, denied Think's request, explaining that “the government
cannot go in on the ownership side or provide loans to specific companies in today's situations,” according to a Reuters report.

However, the rest of the government members shared a different opinion as Think's chief executive told the NYT that financial support is still possible, but no details regarding the loan value were provided.

“We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our existing shareholders. And we appreciate the encouraging news that the Norwegian government may take actions which would put in place a plan for the ‘clean car’ sector of the Norwegian automotive industry, similar to those recently announced in Sweden and the U.S. Funding for green technology in the automotive sector is an urgent global priority,” Canny said in an email sent to the NYT.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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