Oh, you thought the saga of would-be US Smart car distributor Zap was over? It's not over, in fact the good part is just starting. The company filed a lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler, accusing the Smart owner of causing irreparable harm to Zap's business by refusing to fill its order for the Fortwos it planned to make US-ready. Zap is seeking $500 million in damages from DCX, which once intended to bring the Fortwo to the US, but was stopped by unfavorable exchange rates and DOT/EPA requirements. The company has repeatedly said it would never deal with middlemen like Zap, and is likely not pleased with the thought of its cars traipsing about the US with no control over their service and marketing. We'll see if this gets wrapped up before the next-generation Fortwo, rumored to be coming to the states, is completed (2008?).
More on the Zap Smart saga [internal]