(CBS News) ELKHART, Ind. - Elkhart, Indiana lost jobs faster than any other city in the country in 2009. Both Democrats and Republicans promised to re-energize manufacturing in the city, backing a new electric car plant. But as CBS News investigated, instead of a boom, things went bust.
With unemployment peaking above 20 percent, Elkhart, Indiana was at the white-hot center of the economic meltdown, and a natural launch point for President Obama's electric vehicle initiative.
" So that's why I'm here today," the president said three years ago. "To announce $2.4 billion in highly competitive grants."
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels was also on board in convincing Norwegian company Think Global to open a plant in Elkhart to build Think City electric cars with a sticker price of about $42,000.
As incentive, the federal government offered Think City $17 million in stimulus tax credits.
Dorinda Heiden-Guss heads up the local economic development effort. "We were excited," she said. "We were invigorated at a very devastating time."
But it turns out the company had a checkered track record, including three previous bankruptcies. We recently visited Think City's Indiana plant, and here's what we found: a largely empty warehouse.
Everybody hoped that by this time there would be more than 400 workers inside a bustling plant. Instead, today, there are just two workers at Think City. Rodney and Josh are slowly finishing assembly on a few dozen 2011 models shipped in from Norway.
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