OSLO, NORWAY --- Norwegian electric automaker Think revealed plans to open a manufacturing plant in the U.S. to produce 16,000 cars annually in the first phase and more later.

"U.S. production is expected to start in 2010," the company said in a statement. In the first year, Think estimates a volume of 2,500 units.

Think said it is negotiating with eight different states, including Michigan, to secure a site for its manufacturing plant. The facility is expected to employ about 300 workers who will build the TH!NK city car, Reuters reported.

"Plans ultimately call for up to 900 employees and a capacity of 60,000 electric vehicles per year," the company said.

Think is owned by Novus Energy Partners, a private equity group.