Ford Signs Kamkorp letter of intent for Th!nk

Buyer: Kamkorp Microelectronics, Switzerland

Frazer-Nash Research Limited
Mytchett Place, Mytchett, Surrey, GU16 6DQ, UK
44(0)1252 520000 fax: 44(0)1252 515401

Company: Think Nordic, Oslo, Norway

Kamkorp Microelectronics, producer of the Frazer-Nash electric vehicles, will acquire Think Nordic, the Norway-based electronic car division of the Ford Motor Company. Ford announced that it would no longer sell electric cars in the U.S. and that it was looking to withdraw from its Think Nordic venture. The financial details of the deal were not announced.

The Kamkorp group's headquarters are in Singapore, but its flagship company is Surrey-based Frazer-Nash Research, the modern manifestation of a famous name from the days of vintage motoring in the chain-gang style. Current designs include golf carts, delivery vans and city cars, all electrically powered, as well as solar-assisted vehicles for the Sydney Olympic Games.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 19, 2002

Ford Signs LOI With Kamkorp for Th!nk Nordic

Ford Motor Company recently announced it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Switzerland's Kamkorp Microelectronics to sell its Th!nk Nordic electric vehicle (EV) division in Norway. The automaker said Kamkorp is expected to continue development and production of battery-powered EVs at the Th!nk Nordic plant in Aurskog, Norway.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity," said Kamkorp European business development director Bernd Winkler. "There is a 10-year history of EV production in Norway, and the workforce [there] has unrivaled experience and expertise in this specialist area. Ford has kept this tradition alive, and now we are thrilled to be negotiating to take it over."

Last year, the automaker announced that it would cease investing in all-electric, battery-powered vehicles, opting instead to focus its research and development resources on hybrid electric and fuel cell-powered vehicle technology.

Ford noted that under the agreement, Kamkorp will be granted the right to use the "Th!nk" and "city" brand names.

"We are now hopeful that this is just the result we have all worked hard to achieve," said Ford of Europe vice president of European sales operations Ingvar Sviggum. "We promised the workforce we would do everything possible to maintain the business as a going concern and to protect jobs."

(EIN STAFF: 1/3)

via: Electric Vehicle Today


Ford to sell Norwegian electric car subsidiary

December 20, 2002


OSLO, Norway -- Ford Motor Co. has agreed to sell the electric car company Think Nordic to electric vehicle maker Kamkorp Microelectronics in a deal that could keep the small Norwegian operation going. Terms were not disclosed.

Think Nordic managing director Ingemar Bjoerholt said Thursday that Ford and Kamkorp had signed a binding letter of intent and planned to complete the transaction in January.

He said they had agreed not to disclose a price.

"It is good news," said Bjoerholt. "The most important thing is maintaining the technology and production that we have developed."

He said Kamkorp's products include Frazer-Nash electric vehicles. He said Kamkorp Microelectronics was registered in Switzerland, while its parent company Kamkorp Ltd. was based in Britain.

In late August, Ford announced it would stop selling electric cars in the United States, and was prepared to withdraw from the Think Nordic plant that makes the Think City, a two-seat car that is powered by electricity rather than gasoline.

Ford, which is based in Dearborn, Mich., said the market for electric cars was too small and it wanted to focus on other technologies for cleaner-running cars and trucks, including hydrogen fuel cells and the gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

Since then Think and Ford have been seeking a buyer rather than shutting down the operation.

Ingvar Sviggum, a Norwegian who is a vice president of Ford Europe, refused to disclose the sales price, but confirmed that it was low.

"Ford, of course, must have made the basis extremely favorable so that Think Nordic could continue to be a success in the future," he said.

The Norwegian government helped fund the original development of the Think two-seater electronic cars before Ford acquired it in 1999. Think has about 100 employees, and has produced more than 1,000 of the cars.

The company had just finished developing a new model when Ford decided to pull the plug on electric cars. Bjoerholt said it wasn't clear when full production would start.

According to the Norwegian news agency NTB, Ford said in a letter to Norway's Minister of Industry that the new owner planned to continue the development and production of electric cars, and will retain the rights to the Think and City names.


Ford Motor agrees to sell Think electric-vehicle unit

December 23, 2002


Dearborn, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co. agreed to sell its Think Nordic electric-vehicle unit to U.K.-based Kamkorp Ltd. three years after acquiring the maker of no-emissions vehicles. Terms weren't disclosed.

Ford said in August that it would stop selling the vehicles, blaming slow demand. The second-biggest automaker has sold 5,280 Think Neighbor cars in the U.S. so far this year, less than 1/10 of 1 percent of Ford's total of
3.3 million.

Kamkorp's Switzerland-based Kamkorp Microelectronics unit will take over Think, Ford said in a statement. The agreement may preserve about 100 jobs at Think's Aurskog, Norway, plant because Kamkorp plans to continue development and production of electric vehicles, Ford spokesman Don Hume said.

Think was part of Ford's response under former Chief Executive Officer Jacques Nasser to pressure for cleaner-running vehicles. California has mandated that as much as 10 percent of the cars and trucks sold in the state be no-emissions models by the beginning of 2003. Ford acquired Think in 1999.

Ford has said it will concentrate on developing hybrid vehicles that use a combination of electric motors and gasoline engines, and fuel cells as alternatives to traditional gasoline-powered engines.

Nasser drove the first Neighbor off a Detroit assembly line Oct. 29, 2001, the day he was ousted from his job by Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. Under Bill Ford, the automaker has concentrated on its primary business of making cars and trucks.

Shares of Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford were unchanged at $9.78 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Ford now sells Think City small cars in Europe and in 2001 began offering Think Neighbor low-speed vehicles, which resemble golf carts.

Frazer-Nash Research is the flagship company of the Kamkorp group. In-house expertise and skills encompass the disciplines of electronic hardware, software and silicon chip design to mechanical, automotive, vehicle dynamics, composite materials and vehicle engineering.

The highly skilled designers and engineers of Frazer-Nash have innovated unique products and techniques which have always been ahead of their time and have continued with the tradition of excellence which has long been associated with the name of Frazer-Nash.

Since its inception the company has made continuous investments in the latest software tools and computer systems for silicon chip design, simulation and 3D modeling. Frazer-Nash has the most advanced rapid prototyping methods to confirm computer design and simulation to shorten product development timescales.

Frazer-Nash applies innovation and intelligent design to make sophisticated products which are simple to use yet are at the pinnacle of modern technology.

Frazer-Nash has supplied vehicles to many international sporting events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, and is proud to be an official supplier of solar assisted vehicles to the Sydney 2000 Games.

For further information please contact:
Ford Motor Company Kamkorp TH!NK Nordic
Don Hume Bernd Winkler Ingemar Bjorholt

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