Here’s a bit of good news from the otherwise dreary alternative automotive world: Norwegian electric carmaker Think has put 44 laid-off employees back to work following the completion of a round of interim financing.
In December, Think halted production of its City battery-powered urban runabout and laid off half its workforce as financing to expand the company’s operations dried up. Then last week Think announced that it had obtained a $5.7 million bridge loan from investors led by Ener1, a battery maker who is supplying the City with lithium-ion power plants.
The financing has been completed and Think said Friday that it had rehired 44 workers in management, sales and supplier operations. But Think is hardly out of the Norwegian woods yet. The company still needs to raise around $40 million to resume full-scale production of the City and proceed with its plans to sell the electric car in select European markets outside Norway before expanding to the United States. Think has raised more than $100 million from European and U.S. investors, including General Electric (GE) and Silicon Valley and East Coast venture capitalists.
“We are very content that this first visible step in our plan towards restart now is in place,” said Think CEO Richard Canny, a former Ford (F) executive, in a statement. “We still need to raise the permanent capital, but this first call-back signals both internally and externally that Think is committed and able to turn the situation into a positive direction for the company.”