TH!NK City bankruptcy featured in Chicago Tribune cover story

Two years ago, it was billed as the economic solution to the struggling city of Elkhart. Today however, TH!NK City's local plant sits full of car parts and empty of any employees to assemble them.

It was just over a year ago now when NewsCenter 16 toured the facility's assembly line. At the time, TH!NK projected sales of 2500 vehicles in 2011 alone. It also boasted hopes of hiring 70 additional employees. We now know how far off those estimates were.

According to a Jan. 27, 2011 Chicago Tribune article, TH!NK City now has just two people on its payroll, no active orders and to no surprise, the automaker is bankrupt.

"That's business. Ultimately it's in the hands of buyers and customers and I still hope that these vehicles will find a reasonable place in the market,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said while touring Elkhart County on Friday.

Auto experts say pricing was TH!NK’s biggest flaw. The compact car retailed for $41,000, more than $8,000 higher than what it had originally promised.

Despite thousands of dollars in grants, tax abatements and incentives that poured into the pipe dream prospect, Gov. Daniels says the state doesn't stand to lose a single penny.

"Our arrangement always is to provide conditional support. If a company gets on its feet and starts hiring people, then we give them temporary tax relief on the taxes they're paying. TH!NK hasn't gotten to that point,” Daniels added.

According to the Chicago Tribune article, a Russian investor has purchased TH!NK City's parent company TH!NK Global. The business is now run under the name Electric Mobility Solutions.

A spokesman told the Tribune, management is currently under the restart process and a new strategy should be released to the public soon.


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