No chance of ZAP delaying the planned release of smarts by MB/Penske.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.
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 courtâ€™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.
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....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.
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.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...
ZAP tried to buy directly from MB claiming "purchase orders" for tens of thousands of smarts. MB said no, ZAP sued.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.