JINHUA, China and SANTA ROSA, CA (February 7, 2008) – In a joint announcement, US electric car pioneer ZAP (OTC BB: ZAAP) and China Youngman Automotive Group announced today they are reviving the 100-year-old electric car brand Detroit Electric for their automotive joint venture. Detroit Electric officials look forward to bringing new vehicle technologies to market by 2009, and beyond that the possibility of bringing new manufacturing and green collar jobs to California.
Detroit Electric plans to introduce its first electric cars and buses in 2009. The ZAP Alias, which is under development for the joint venture, will be one of several vehicles being planned to carry the Detroit Electric brand. ZAP is planning a presentation on Detroit Electric for North American auto dealers at NADA 2008, the world’s largest auto show for dealers. Learn more about the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual meeting and exhibition, February 9-12, 2008 in San Francisco at http://expo.nada.org.
Detroit Electric was an early 20th Century electric car, perhaps the most popular in history. The Anderson Electric Car Company started building the cars under the Detroit Electric brand over 100 years ago. Anderson of Detroit, Michigan is the longest running electric car company in history, operating between 1907 and 1939. In its heyday, Detroit Electric was an American icon and the cars were very popular with customers like Thomas Edison, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Henry Ford’s Wife Clara, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Detroit Electric plans to build a special edition electric vehicle based on the original Detroit Electric as a tribute for the new name of the joint venture.
While joint venture officials are reviving the Detroit Electric brand, the first offices and facilities are planned, not for Detroit, but California. Management will be opening offices in California and evaluating manufacturing opportunities for economic development within the state.
“We see California as a launch pad. It is one of the most ready markets to adopt these new green vehicle solutions,” said Detroit Electric Chairman Albert Lam. “The governor and his leadership here have created a fertile environment for us to create and grow. Many are talking about the future of the auto industry and Detroit Electric is a name that will speak to generations about the past and the future of automobiles.”
A British national, Mr. Lam left his position as CEO of Lotus Engineering in October 2007 to pursue the new business opportunity with Detroit Electric. He was responsible for bringing Youngman, ZAP and Lotus Engineering together. Since 2003, Mr. Lam served as the CEO for Lotus Engineering as well as Executive Director for Lotus Group International (2003-2006). Mr. Lam has 20 years of relevant industrial experience serving companies like Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford and others. His experience spans across Automotive, Consultancy and IT of which 13 years was spent at senior management/leadership positions, including Managing Director for Apple Computer Asia and Sun Professional Services. Mr. Lam has experience with startup companies and a track record in growing and expanding businesses. He attended Coventry University in the UK where he earned a Masters of Science degree in robotics and manufacturing, and registered for a PhD program in Complex Knowledge Systems.
“Detroit Electric has already completed a five year business plan and mapped out the ten year product plan,” said Mr. Lam. “It is our intention to introduce affordable and practical everyday electric vehicles, working with our technology partners to deliver some of the leading edge technology in motor drive, battery and hydrogen fuel cells. Our plan is to launch with a 12-meter pure electric transit bus, the ZAP Alias, and two family sedans as early as the summer of 2009. This is no longer a wish list but an eventuality; it is a matter of willingness to change.”
Detroit Electric plans to build an array of cars, trucks and buses with the latest automotive technologies. The vehicles will be manufactured under the supervision of Youngman Automotive, one of China’s newest automotive manufacturers and a leading manufacturer of buses and trucks. Youngman is a government-sanctioned, private holding company with 12 manufacturing subsidiaries. Youngman is expanding it manufacturing in China, which covers an area over four million square feet. Youngman employs 4,000 workers, including 700 in-house research and development staff. With seven new production facilities in process, Youngman expects to soon have the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles per year, including more than 10,000 buses annually.
“We are proud to have a chance to re-build this great car name after 100 years,” said Youngman Chairman Mr. Pang Qingnian.
ZAP will manage the sales, marketing and distribution of the joint venture products. ZAP is selling a full-line of electric vehicles through a growing number of dealerships in the United States. ZAP is also organizing international distribution for its current and future vehicles.
“Attitudes are changing around the world and in California I believe there is a growing awareness that environmental health and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand,” said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. “Green-collar jobs and innovative fuel efficient vehicles will be a win-win for California’s environment and economy.”
About Youngman Automotive
Youngman recently introduced advanced manufacturing technology to its facilities in a joint venture with Neoplan of Germany. Youngman’s manufacturing is based on the ISO9001 international standard of quality for its bus production. The manufacturing facility in China covers an area over four million square feet.
Youngman employs 4000 workers, including 700 R&D staff. With seven production facilities in process, Youngman expects to soon have the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles per year, including a capacity to build 10,000 buses annually. For more information about Youngman Automotive Group, visit http://www.youngman-bus.com.