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ZAP Places $1B Smart Car Order, Looks for Fulfillment Partners

ZAP has placed a purchase order for $1 billion worth of Smart Cars with smart GmbH.

ZAP is waiting for confirmation that smart GmbH will fulfill it. However, Reuters reports that DaimlerChrysler’s Smart division was unaware of any such $1B order.

ZAP says that it has received more than $1 billion in advance purchase orders for the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP (earlier post) from US auto dealers, and continues to receive more as a result of its marketing efforts.

Last week, ZAP delivered the first Smart Car Americanized by ZAP through its first authorized dealerships to a Nevada couple that had placed an order for the Smart Car more than a year ago. (And you thought waits for the Prius were long.)

ZAP appears to be running into some serious fulfillment issues, given the surge in demand for the car. The company has not agreed to accept all Smart Car purchase orders at this time. ZAP says that it is currently in discussions with a number of potential partners to meet the demand for the Smart Car.

ZAP is unable to guarantee delivery without striking these strategic relationships with manufacturing partners—in other words, someone has to actually perform the modifications.

Once ZAP finalizes the required strategic partnerships and has approval from all government agencies, it says that it will determine its delivery schedule for Smart cars in the United States.


Ron Fischer

Zap has (for what it's worth) made press releases claiming that both it's conversion partner and federalization process are complete.


It sounds to me like they were a little unprepared for the volume...nice situation, but not if you don’t have a solution...

John Wilson

This is a very complex process, requiring not only solid engineering and sourcing, but also serious cash in the bank and good financing tools to manage the "gold on the water" as the volume grows. It is one thing to build a few fancy prototypes. It is a very different thing to put all the pieces together to move hundreds of millions of dollars worth of base vehicles and hundreds of millions of dollars of conversion parts and have them turn into a profit. And, with smart's apparent shifts on base vehicle product planning, there's likely another huge problem looming - the car itself.

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