Manufacturing, the Indiana Way

From Think.no: “THINK fortsetter sin globale ekspansjon og kunngjør ny fabrikk i USA“: ” THINK ønsker å starte salg av THINK City i USA senere i år, og bedriften planlegger å investere 43,5 millioner dollar i bygging og montering av fasiliteter og produksjonsutstyr i Elkhart County. Fabrikken kan iverksette produksjon i første kvartal 2011.”

Governor Mitch Daniels, Think's Richard Canny, announce Elkhart site for new electric vehicle plant. (Think photo.)That’s great news!

And what it means is, per AutoBlogGreen, “Officially Official: Think will build City electric car in Elkhart, Indiana“: “After all the announcements and retractions, hints and tax abatements, it’s come to this: Think will make electric cars in Elkhart, Indiana. Think has been talking about building and selling the highway-speed Think City electric vehicle to the U.S. for quite some time and two locations in Indiana – Elkhart and nearby Middlebury – were in the running the longest to get the manufacturing facility.” See also, “Think CEO Richard Canny talks about Indiana plant deal, electric car plans for the U.S.”

Detroit News, “Think cars to be built in Indiana” “Michigan remains in the running for a planned technology center for electric car maker Think, but lost out on Tuesday to Indiana as the site of the company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility. The technology center would employ about 70 people, said Think spokesman Brendan Prebo. A decision on that facility could be made in the next three to six months. Think CEO Richard Canny was in Elkhart, Ind., Tuesday to announce the Norwegian company plans to invest $43.5 million in a former glass factory to start building the Think City electric car there in 2011.”

Indiana continues to beat out Michigan for new manufacturing investment. How does that keep happening? Well, money played a role in this specific case, as the Elkhart Truth reports, “Local, state incentives helped lure Think to Elkhart: “Financial incentives offered by state and local governments weren’t the deciding factor in bringing the electric automaker to Indiana, Think executives said, though it was part of the ‘price of entry.'”

But also look to Gov. Mitch Daniel’s more general philosophy of streamlined government, regulatory efficiency, and a favorable workforce and tax environment. (Contrast that to California’s mistakes.) And, as he said in a recent interview, “We must never walk away from the manufacturing base that’s made us strong.”

And in related news, a KPMG news release reports, “Global Automakers Will Significantly Increase Spending On New Technologies, Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Says KPMG Survey“: “DETROIT, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — In response to consumer demand, senior automotive executives are expected to increase their investment in new technologies to produce more environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient vehicles, according to the 11th annual global automotive survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.”

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