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       Tuesday August 24 2004
Ford blasted for crushing 'Think' cars
Environmental activists occupied the roof of Ford's Norwegian headquarters south of Oslo on Tuesday.   They're calling for Ford to reverse its decision to destroy hundreds of Norwegian-produced electric "Think" cars, after Ford pulled the plug on the venture.
Electric car enthusiasts want to keep cars like this new "Think" model humming.
PHOTO: NINA BERGLUND



The early-morning demonstration by Greenpeace was set to be followed by another protest action at Oslo's City Hall. Drivers of "Think" cars still on the road in Norway planned to gather at the City Hall, and then drive out to the Ford headquarters at Kolbotn to also make their voices heard.

Norway's government minister in charge of transport, Torild Skogsholm, also has protested Ford's decision, calling it "incomprehensible."   She notes that "we have use for the cars in Norway... and it's amazing that Norwegian-produced cars are being destroyed in California."

The early-morning demonstration by Greenpeace was set to be followed by another protest action at Oslo's City Hall.   Drivers of "Think" cars still on the road in Norway planned to gather at the City Hall, and then drive out to the Ford headquarters at Kolbotn to also make their voices heard.

Norway's government minister in charge of transport, Torild Skogsholm, also has protested Ford's decision, calling it "incomprehensible."   She notes that "we have use for the cars in Norway... and it's amazing that Norwegian-produced cars are being destroyed in California."

They're all furious over Ford's moves first to abandon its Norwegian electric car venture called "Think Nordic," and then to decide to crush the "Think City" cars that had been exported to the US, mostly to California to satisfy air pollution requirements in place at the time.

When those requirements were eased, Ford had no more political need for its electric car venture and literally pulled the plug.

The little "Think" cars that Ford leased for a few years have a loyal following, however, and their drivers wanted at the very least to be allowed to buy them.   Protests also have been held recently in the San Francisco Bay area to fight the move by Ford.

There also are long waiting lists for the cars in Norway, where officials have encouraged use of electric vehicles.   But Ford has said it doesn't want any liability for the vehicles.   Instead of shipping them back to the new owner of Think Nordic north of Oslo, the cars are being collected and destroyed.

'Unacceptable'

Think Nordic's new owner, Kam-Korp Microelectronics, has claimed they were negotiating with Ford to take back the vehicles when Ford backed out.   Kam-Korp officials, who have launched into other electric vehicle ventures, have said they have no control over Ford's decision.

"It's unacceptable that one of the world's largest and most polluting car makers wants to sent environmentally friendly technology to the scrap heap in this way," said Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace.   "They at least shouldn't be able to do it without their employees knowing about it."

The activists also passed out information pamphlets about the vehicle destruction program to Ford employees as they arrived for work Tuesday.   Officials at Ford Norway have claimed they had no control over the decision made at corporate headquarters in the US.



Aftenposten English Web Desk
Nina Berglund






© 2004 Aftenposten Multimedia.








 
 





































































































































































































 
 





 
For archives, these articles are being stored on Kewe.info website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.