• Oct 31, 2005

You may remember a post back in August on a Brazilian car company named Obvio! The company's search for a U.S. partner has ended in a deal with ZAP, the environmentally conscious auto distributor whose $1 billion order for Smart minicars was recently turned down by DaimlerChrysler. In September ZAP purchased 20 percent of Obvio! and placed an order for 50,000 minicars. Obvio! currently has two vehicles designed, the 828 and the 012. This Reuters article states the 828 will go for $14,000 and include a 170-hp 1.6L engine that propels the minicar to 60 mph in a mere 5.2 seconds. The 012 (shown) will be a high performance version with more power and a price twice as high. ZAP claims that demand for the two Brazilian born cars are so high it's already stopped taking orders.



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  • 13 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      I have been watching Zap for about a year. I am convinced they are full of it. The Smart Car thing is a good example: Announce you have placed a billion dollar order, even after Benz has said they have no intention of using ZAP, and then see your stock collapse when Benz says its all BS. Why would Benz use ZAP when they have no capital, no track record, and if Benz decides to sell the Smart in the US they already have great distribution in place! Zap is all hype - no results. Just look at the volume of Press Releases....And NOW they are suing Benz!!! Maybe someday there will be a real player in the green auto biz.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I would love to see the crash tests that are done on these cars. I predict they won't be good. I wonder how stable this cars, at higher speeds, with the flow of traffic? Will they be able keep up with the 80mph traffic in Chicago, Detriot or LA? [when you're not in gridlock]. Plus the cars that are so lightweight, wouldn't the gas mileage be better? I would think a < 2k car with a small good motor would command 60mpg?
      • 9 Years Ago
      More Vaporware from ZAP. The ought to drop the "Z" add a "CR" to the front of their name cause folks, that's what they seem to be full of. They are never going to get the smart to market. They state EPA problems but that means they are not greasing the right wheels. They are great at press release and self promotions but have been a "no-show" on delivery. I too have all but given up on getting a SMART from them. Looks like it's TANGO for me.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree with #7. The mileage is no better than a Civic. What is the point?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Who's financing ZAP! ? And what happened to all the pre-orders for those SMART cars anyways?
        • 7 Years Ago
        My wife and I pre-ordered a SMart, but after driving one, decided to wait for the diesel or hybrid. We notified the company and received our deposit back in less than two weeks.
        We're still impressed with the Smart concept.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "ZAP claims that demand for the two Brazilian born cars are so high its already stopped taking orders." ZAP makes a lot of bold claims, but they never seem to materialize. Who are these 50,000 people who have supposedly pre-order these vehicles?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Way to go DCX (NOT). Turn down a huge order for vehicles when such a series of orders may well prove to make Smart car profitable - so instead, the very company you turn down, goes to a competitor and buys 20% of it and plans to beat you to the market in the US. Did the DCX guys who made this wondrously bright decision move over recently from GM by chance? LOL.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I hate to say it, but I've given up ever getting a smart car through Zap. The company seems to be a black hole. They do have a nice [private] showroom in Santa Rosa, CA - of cars you absolutely cannot purchase. Lotta good that does me.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Who's financing ZAP! ?" I was wondering that, too. They seem to be using a company called "Surge Capital" for the financing. http://www.zapworld.com/about/news/news_surge.asp They also just hired a German guy for EVP of Finance. http://www.zapworld.com/about/news/news_maxschederbieschen.asp
      • 9 Years Ago
      After meeting a member of Zap management team in August at an event in Northern California, and sitting in his personal Smart car, I am confident that this is all hype.
      • 9 Years Ago
      . "What we're getting here is Italian-style quality that people know and love -- with Chinese pricing," said Steve Schneider, ZAP's chief executive. "That sounds like a winning combination to me." Anybody want to buy some prime Florida swampland? This company has never produced a car. Wait until the DOT and EPA get their hands on a prototype! If you owned a Fiat or Alfa you'll know "Italian-style quality" is not very good. FIAT stands for "Fix it again Tony." The reason they're not sold here is few would buy them, though the biodegradable Alfa brand built up a cult following.
      • 9 Years Ago
      According to the Obvio! website, it only gets 29.4 MPG city and 40.7 highway. $14k??? No, thanks. http://www.obvio.ind.br/obviona/cars.htm
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