ZAP Orders Up as Auto Industry Tanks

Zap Xebras Ready to Roll

Neighborhood electric vehicle manufacturer ZAP reported that its third quarter, which ended September 30, was its best ever, or at least since it launched the Xebra model in 2006. In fact, it shipped 200% more vehicles in the third quarter of 2008 than it did in the same quarter last year.

While this is absolutely good news — the company has even upped its workforce by 30%, something the Big Three couldn’t do this summer — it has to be put in perspective. ZAP is a small company, so a 200% increase in units shipped means 240 went out the door this summer, as opposed to 80 in 2007.

In comparison, the rest of the industry slumped hard in August. Sales were down 15.5% over last year, making it the worst August the auto industry has seen in a decade. GM’s sales were down 20%, Ford was down 27%, Toyota dropped 9% despite the popular Prius, and even steady Honda dropped 7%. But Chrysler had it the worst in August, with a 34% drop in sales.

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