Elkhart Hit Again By Bankruptcy Of Norwegian EV Startup
ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The bankruptcy filing of an electric car manufacturer has clouded the future of a northern Indiana factory that was touted as an economic boost for an area hit hard by job losses in the recreational vehicle industry.
Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said a company official told the city's economic development director that the factory there wouldn't be affected by Norway-based Think Global's bankruptcy filing, but he remains concerned.
"We don't want them to be a failure," Moore told The Elkhart Truth. "We want them to be successful."
A spokesman for Think North America didn't immediately respond Thursday to phone and email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The company started production in December with a few dozen workers at the factory that once produced parts for recreational vehicles. The company planned for the factory to have some 400 workers by 2013 and eventually build more than 20,000 cars a year.
But the newspaper reported Thursday that production at the Elkhart factory was shut down recently as it waited on the delivery of parts.
A major creditor said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Think Global could face liquidation in Norwegian courts.
New York-based Ener1, which makes lithium-ion batteries in the Indianapolis area at its EnerDel subsidiary, said it expected a possible $35 million loss on unpaid loans and accounts receivable from Think Global.
The Elkhart factory was the first North American production site for the Think City, a compact, two-door car that the company had been making at a plant in Finland.
Think North America issued three recalls on the first cars produced at the Elkhart factory for defects to its gear shift levers, seat belts and defrosting systems.