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Cry babies.... MB would not sell them cars so they could gray market them in the USA, so they sue MB. Sob! Have you seen what ZAPs dealers are charging for the gray market 450s?

MB retools cars, finds a partner with more resources (Penske) and outsells ZAP.
 

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It is evident to me that the whole article was produced by ZAP or it was produced for ZAP's benefit. All-in-all, a pretty one-sided statment of the case.
 

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It's "MarketWire" - meaning it's a press release off a wire service, and should not be confused with actual reporting.

Unless Zap had an exclusive deal to sell smarts, they really don't have any leg to stand on. It sucks, since they're stuck with older cars that'll cost twice what the 451s will, but that's business in the grey market. Yeah, it sucks, but that's business.

PAG could find themselves in the same boat after their contact (assuming a contract, yes) with MB expires.
 

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Smartmadness.com
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Oh man I hope and pray this does not effect SMARTS from being released in the US. I hope if PAG wins that they counter sue ZAP and make then go out of buisness.
 

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Oh man I hope and pray this does not effect SMARTS from being released in the US. I hope if PAG wins that they counter sue ZAP and make then go out of buisness.
No chance of ZAP delaying the planned release of smarts by MB/Penske.

ZAP has been pumping its stock for years now with promises that have yet to be delivered on. But they did get a few go-cart delivery vehicles to the local UPS. The look like electric Cushmans.

At least they did let me drive a smart from Santa Rosa to NYC last year. Now that was a blast. But a $30,000 smart was not in my future.
 

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Agree with spdickey - no way the smart launch is going to stop. Zap doesn't have that kind of money, and there's no way they're going to get their "dealership" (if it ever was one) back.

Actually, a successful smart launch helps them - they're probably gunning to settle out-of-court anyway (which is why they want to US jurisdiction), and a successful launch means more money in the kitty.
 

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Anywhere other than the rich fantasy world inhabited by ZAP's CEO, this lawsuit has zero chance of success.

What I had not realized is that ZAP are also suing G&K Conversions as part of this absurdity, and that G&K (good for them) have counter-sued.

This is from ZAP's latest SEC filing:
ZAP v. Daimler Chrysler AG, et al., Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC342211. On October 28, 2005, ZAP filed a complaint against Daimler Chrysler Corporation and others in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The complaint includes claims for intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations, trade libel, defamation, breach of contract - agreement to negotiate in good faith, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair competition. The complaint alleges that Daimler Chrysler has engaged in a series of anti-competitive tactics aimed at defaming ZAP and disrupting its third-party business relationships. As a result of the allegations, the complaint requests damages in excess of $500 million and such other relief as the court deems just and proper. Daimler Chrysler has successfully filed a motion to quash that complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the court’s ruling on that matter is in the process of being appealed. Two of the other defendants in the action, G&K Automotive Conversion, Inc. and The Defiance LLC, have filed a cross-complaint against ZAP in the Los Angeles Superior Court for, among other things, violations of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, statutory and common law unfair competition, and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage. ZAP has responded to the cross-complaint and denied engaging in any wrongful actions.
 

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Nothing in there about Penske Auto Group, either.....:) All this was before PAG got going with their present program I think.
 

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Smart A**
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Read the initial court filings as I did when I was originally looking to buy a Smart in 2005. ZAP had the U.S distributorship in the bag when Mercedes "decided" not to introduce the Smart to the U.S. Miraculously, 18 months after they break off discussions with ZAP, Smart announces a deal with Penske. I certainly understand why they might have wanted to do that, but it is still bad faith behaviour worthy of atleast distain if not a substantial settlement.


And yes, the press release is apparently written by ZAP to bolster their stock price.
 

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aka '24-42'
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Of all the speculation, quotes and selfserving opinions "Iho boy" is the closest to the factual story. Someday I'll tell all.

In the meantime, take a close look at where the next generation of city buses come from and who is bringing them to the US.
Don't count anybody out.

Donald LaFavor
 

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Smart A**
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From Zap's 2004 annual report filed with the SEC:

In 2004, we continued to enhance and broaden our electric vehicle
product line and we contracted for the exclusive right in the United States and the nonexclusive right world-wide to distribute the Smart Cars Americanized by ZAP, gas-efficient automobile. We acquired those rights in our agreement with Smart Automobile, LLC, a California limited liability company ("Smart Automobile"). Smart Automobile is importing the cars, assembled by Mercedes Benz
in Europe, and then making them compliant for sale in the United States with all applicable Federal and state regulations concerning automobiles. In an effort to become the largest distributor of advanced technology vehicles in the United States, we are actively developing a network of automobile dealers that will be qualified to sell our automobile and consumer products. In connection with establishing such dealers, we have arranged for a secured inventory floor line of credit for the first 150 such dealers through our agreement with Clean Air Motor, LLC ("CAMCO"). We have already established dealers in California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, Colorado, Florida and Michigan.
 

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Smart A**
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From Zap's 2005 Q2 SEC filing:

On October 28, 2005, we filed a complaint against DaimlerChrysler Corporation in the Los Angeles Superior Court, under the title ZAP v. DaimlerChrysler AG, et al. The complaint includes claims for intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations; trade libel; defamation; breach of contract - agreement to negotiate in good faith; breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and unfair competition. The complaint alleges that DaimlerChrysler has engaged in a series of anti-competitive tactics aimed at defaming ZAP and disrupting its third-party business relationships. As a result of the allegations, the complaint requests damages in excess of $500 million and such other relief as the court deems just and proper. DaimlerChrysler has not yet filed a response to our complaint
 

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Smart A**
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Here is Zap's business model back in 2004 & 5 for the Smart:

"SMART CAR AMERICANIZED BY ZAP. The Smart Car Americanized by ZAP, which is assembled by Mercedes Benz, is imported through a registered importer and made compliant for sale in the United States. Smart Cars must be modified to meet applicable U.S. laws before they can be sold in the U.S. As of this date and to our knowledge, through proprietary recalibration technology and through compliance contractor, G & K Automotive, which has clearances from the Department of Transportation and letters of conformity from the Enviromental Protection Agency, that allows models of the Smart Car, as modified, to be sold in the U.S. Additional clearances will be needed to sell this vehicle in volumes and to sell other models of the Smart Car. The California Air Resources Board must certify the car before it could be sold in California and four other states. ZAP will need to set up large contractors to handle the demand for this vehicle. The current EPA and DOT clearances gives ZAP the opportunity to be the first to market and distribute Smart Cars as Americanized for ZAP in the U.S. ZAP is not affiliated with, or authorized by, SMART GMBH, the manufacturer of SMART automobiles, or the SmartUSA division of Mercedes-Benz LLC, the exclusive authorized U.S. importer and distributor of those vehicles.

The Smart Car has a gas turbo engine. The car is a two-passenger coupe
eight feet in length that provides ample room for two adult passengers. Other
"smart" features and options of the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP include a
61-hp, 3-cyclinder turbocharged engine, equipped with an advanced electronic stabilization program, or ESP, an anti-skid design that throttles the engine torque along with an anti-lock braking system. The unique 6-speed automatic gear transmission with kick down function allows the user to switch between "automatic" and "manual" gear shifting via a control program that changes gears in response to varying driving characteristics. These cars are and will be sold through Voltage Vehicles to qualified ZAP dealers."

Hence G&K's involvement in the suit.
 

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...As of this date and to our knowledge, through proprietary recalibration technology and through compliance contractor, G & K Automotive, which has clearances from the Department of Transportation and letters of conformity from the Enviromental Protection Agency, that allows models of the Smart Car, as modified, to be sold in the U.S...

...Hence G&K's involvement in the suit.
I understand this bit, but I was surprised that G&K is named as a defendant in ZAP's lawsuit. I would have thought they had as much skin in the game as ZAP, and potentially lots to lose by Daimler naming PAG as sole distributor. I might have expected them to be a co-complainant. And yet now they are suing ZAP.

Any insight as to what's really going on here?
 

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From Zap's 2004 annual report filed with the SEC:

In 2004, we continued to enhance and broaden our electric vehicle
product line and we contracted for the exclusive right in the United States and the nonexclusive right world-wide to distribute the Smart Cars Americanized by ZAP, gas-efficient automobile. We acquired those rights in our agreement with Smart Automobile, LLC, a California limited liability company ("Smart Automobile"). Smart Automobile is importing the cars, assembled by Mercedes Benz in Europe, and then making them compliant for sale in the United States with all applicable Federal and state regulations concerning automobiles...
My understanding is that Smart Automobile, LLC had absolutely no relationship with DaimlerChrysler or Mercedes Benz. They were a completely independent business that obtained smarts outside of the US "through wholesalers, brokers and other entities" (from their own press release). I've yet to see anything published where ZAP claims to have had a US distributorship agreement with Daimler directly or any of its subsidiaries, and hence my doubts about the merits of their lawsuit.
 

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My understanding is that Smart Automobile, LLC had absolutely no relationship with DaimlerChrysler or Mercedes Benz. They were a completely independent business that obtained smarts outside of the US "through wholesalers, brokers and other entities" (from their own press release). I've yet to see anything published where ZAP claims to have had a US distributorship agreement with Daimler directly or any of its subsidiaries, and hence my doubts about the merits of their lawsuit.
ZAP tried to buy directly from MB claiming "purchase orders" for tens of thousands of smarts. MB said no, ZAP sued.
 

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Jesus, what is this country coming to? So they were buying cars from a company that by most court standards were infringing on the SMART name???

Then they try to get rid of the middle man and buy direct from the manufacturer. The manufacturer say's no and later decides to give someone who is MUCH better qualified to do this a contract to do just that.

If there is any law that would make ZAP right about thinking they deserve money, that law needs to be changed.

I think I will buy TV's from a guy who can get them for me in Japan, then if I get a bunch of "orders", I will go to the manufacturer and try to setup a direct buy and distributorship rights. If they say no, I'll sue them.

This is totally stupid thinking by most normal people standards.

So if IHO is closest to being right, you are saying that ZAP practically had the distributorship rights in the bag, when they changed their mind. WOW, that happens in business just about every minute of every day.

"someday the rest of the story" I hate crappola like this. The evil empire consipracy stuff. That's just business. Don't indicate there is more to the story to justify a position, but not tell it. That is too often used by people to make it appear they are more right then they really are and appeal to the idiots.

Who is 24-42?, and what are his real motivations??
 
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