think_north_car_web.jpgELKHART, Ind. (AP) _ A company plans to start production work on electric cars at a northern Indiana factory before the end of this year.

Think North America spokesman Brendan Prebo says 500 incomplete vehicles without power trains are being shipped from Finland to Elkhart, where assembly work will be completed before the cars are sold to selected customers in U.S. cities.

Prebo tells The Elkhart Truth that the company expects to initially hire about 25 people before ramping up its operations next year. Prebo said the company was "making good progress'' on its bid for a $25 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Norwegian-based company announced in January its plans to move into a former recreational vehicle parts factory and potentially have 400 full-time workers by 2013.