SOURCE: ZAP

February 26, 2008 07:00 ET

China Youngman Plans to Ship 1,000 German Technology-Based, Quality CNG Buses to the US Within 12 Months

US-China Bus Deal Projects $200 Million in Revenues by 2009

SHANGHAI, CHINA and SANTA ROSA, CA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2008) - Youngman Automobile Group, China's premium quality bus and coach manufacturer, announces plans to ship 1,000 high quality German technology-based CNG (compressed natural gas) buses to the US within the next 12 months.

Following last month's announcement, ZAP (OTCBB: ZAAP) has been appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor for these buses within North America. Lotus Engineering Inc., the US-based subsidiary of Lotus Engineering, a global Company headquartered in the UK, will be leading the homologation and US certification process, which is expected to take a few months to complete. The Company expects to deliver its first shipment by fourth quarter of 2008 under the ZAP brand.

"For the last fourteen years we have been building luxury motor coaches based on German standards of quality in partnership with Neoplan and we are number one in our domestic market," said Mr. Pang Qingnian, Chairman and President of China Youngman Automobile Group. "Now for the last four years we have managed to penetrate into the international market, selling in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Europe and The Middle East. The US is one of the last and prize trophies for us. With Chinese-based economics and German-based quality, I believe our buses offer the best quality at half of the price."

China Youngman Automobile Group and ZAP also plan to open an assembly plant to carry out the final assembly in California, creating green collar jobs for the United States.

"Our meeting with ZAP and the Governor of California in October of last year has convinced me that this partnership goes beyond just selling buses to the United States; we can leverage the skilled work force in the US to deliver the highest quality products," Mr. Pang added. "We shall manufacture and produce the components for these products in China and have them assembled in the US, a business model that allows us to enjoy the best economics as well as being part of this green movement in the heart of California."

Depending on the final vehicle specifications, ZAP expects to price these buses between US$175,000 to US$230,000, typically half the price of comparable buses in the US market.

"We have spent the last 6 months organizing and forging a number of strategic partnership deals and really have some strong people supporting us now," said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. "In the past, we have failed to gain significant traction, but I believe we have learned and are ready to embrace these new changes. The chance to distribute this quality of buses at a competitive price would bring significant benefits to our customers and shareholders. We have already started a number of discussions to recruit creditable distribution partners within the US and I envision there to be significant growth potential for these buses."

Youngman's engineers shall be working with the engineering team from Lotus Engineering to ensure the products meet the certification requirement for the US market. The team will be working on a 12-meter CNG bus as their first product to hit the US market. Since this is a quality product based on German technology and engineering, officials believe the certification and homologation should be a smooth process.

"Youngman Automobile Group is a strategic partner of Lotus Engineering with a number of projects being carried out in the UK, Malaysia and China. I am proud to have a chance to assist the Youngman Group from the US," said Mr. Don Graunstadt, CEO of Lotus Engineering Inc., based in the Detroit area. "Through its relationship with Neoplan, Youngman has experience with the US homologation process, so we expect the homologation and certification for this bus will be relatively straight forward."

About Youngman Automotive Group

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 Jinhua, China covers an area over four million square feet. Youngman employs 4,000 workers, including 700 research and development 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.young-man.cn.

About Lotus Engineering

Lotus Engineering has been behind the design and construction of some of the most successful cars in history and is one of the world's premier automotive consultancies with engineering centers in Asia, North America and Europe. Employed by many of the major car manufacturers, Lotus Engineering maintains a strong tradition of excellence in the automotive business with cutting-edge engineering expertise, and talented, visionary staff. Lotus Engineering offers full engineering services capable of taking a project from initial concept and product design, through development, testing and prototype build, as well as production and production support. Lotus is one of only two OEMs that has experience in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing its own products offering this range of expert services to third parties. This gives Lotus a highly respected premium position in today's automotive industry. For more information, visit http://www.grouplotus.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    China Youngman Automobile Group Co. Ltd.
    Rachel Pang Caiping
    Director
    +86-579-2256088

    ZAP
    Alex Campbell
    707-525-8658 x 241
    acampbell@zapworld.com