Clean sheet of paper
“We have a clean sheet of paper when it comes to distribution,” Lock added. "We can take EV to where it is most wanted, which is in big, congested, polluted cities.”
A current example of this push is Think's decision to market the City in a dedicated electric mobility concept store in Zurich, Switzerland. The so-called "m-way" store was specially created and designed by Swiss retail giant Migros AG, which is Think's distribution partner in Switzerland. The City is available for lease or sale at m-way. Think says it will replicate the Swiss model in cities around the world as it accelerates its global expansion.
Engle said that the design of the City, which is compact and has plastic body panels that can take the bumps and bruises that are a part of urban driving, and the car's range, 160km (about 100 miles), make it perfect for cities.
Added Engle: “We proudly declare our city-ness. That is who we are. That is what we offer. We are determined to build a brand around that.”
Another one of Lock's jobs is to reduce the company's reliance on Norway, which accounts for a third to 40 percent of the brand's sales.
“That is declining as we add Switzerland, France and Spain to our distribution. Also we make our first deliveries to the fleet market in the United States in December,” Lock said. “Norway will be an important part of the mix instead of a dominating part of it.”
Think sells the City for about 32,000 euros (about $43,800) after incentives in Norway. The car's starting price in Switzerland is 35,000 francs (about $35,570).
When asked whether 30,000 euros is the target, Lock said the price point is changing on a monthly basis as competitors such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV enter the market. The i-MiEV and Leaf will cost a little less than 30,000 euros with incentives when sales start. The i-MiEV debuts in Europe before the end of the year and the Leaf arrives in early 2011.
Said Lock: “We will seek to be the best value for money we can be.”