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DaimlerChrylser To Bring Next-Gen Smart Car to US in 1Q 2008

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The current smart fortwo.

DaimlerChrysler will bring the successor to the smart fortwo to the US market in 1Q 2008, according to Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management DaimlerChrysler AG. The new smart will be distributed by international automotive retailer UnitedAuto Group (UAG), which will establish between 30 and 50 smart dealerships initially.

The successor to the smart fortwo will be available in US markets in three models. These will not initially include the diesel, although both diesel and a micro-hybrid are potential future products, according to UAG Chairman Roger Penske.

Following the success of the smart fortwo in Europe with more than 750,000 attracted customers and the increasing demand for affordable and fuel efficient small cars in the USA, we are now bringing this new kind of mobility to US cities. The time has never been better for this—and I am convinced that the smart fortwo as an innovative, ecological and agile city car will soon become just as familiar a sight on the streets of New York, Miami or Seattle, as it is today in Rome, Berlin or Paris.

—Dieter Zetsche

The announcement was expected, although DaimlerChrysler reportedly had considered cancelling the smart line. Earlier this year, DaimlerChrysler absorbed the smart organization into the Mercedes group, and decided to focus on the smart fortwo car, cancelling the planned production of the smart forfour. (Earlier post.)

DaimlerChrysler has sold 750,000 smart cars worldwide since their introduction in 1998. In Canada, 4,000 smarts were sold last year—a major increase above the target of 1,500 the company had set.

Pricing is not established, although Penske said he expects to sell the car below $15,000.

UnitedAuto Group is the second-largest auto dealer in the US and is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. UAG operates 296 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands, and 27 collision repair centers.

Comments

Lotfw

You think ZAP will get any result from their lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler?

Bud Johns

These make great city commute cars.......imagine a scaled down prius drivetrain in one of these.

Mark_H

I wonder if Americans, even urban dwellers, are ready for a vehicle this small...

Sam Houston

I want to buy one.... but... I am scared everyone will think I am a fruit if they see me in it.

stomv

^ Maybe they will. But, you could always prowel for cute girls interested in something different. Driving one of those with a hottie in the passenger seat couldn't hurt...

Neil

A freind of mine bought one ... loves it.

Rick

Lots of these in Vancouver, BC. They don't make sense to me - 2 seats and ordinary gas mileage - nothing practical about them - some people just like the look.

Lotfw

The diesel versions apparently can deliver extraordinary
MPG

Patrick

I'd be interested in a coupe version of the Smart Roadster. Lighter than a Lotus Elise...just give it a tiny bit more power than it comes with stock.

Bike Commuter Dude

Buy a motorcycle with a fairing and a rain coat and you have the same thing. Better fuel consumption, and no body will mistake you for a "fruit". Except if you wear a leather vest without a shirt.
The principle advantages to both bikes and the Smart vehicles is their ease of parking ability in very tight urban environments. Bicycles are even better, providing you live in a city where bike racks are availiable.

Rafael Seidl

Bud Johns -

smart showed a hybrid concept car at last year's Frankfurt trade show:

http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/frankfurt/0509_smart_crosstown_concept/

I would expect the new smart to feature a higher power rating than the current one, and also to be a little bigger. That's what usually happens when an existing car is revised.

It will be interesting to see what the new design looks like, since looks are a key selling feature. IMHO, the crosstown looks a lot worse than the production model, but that's a matter of personal preference. Also, Europeans and Americans have different aesthetic sensibilities.

The current model is less practical than a Toyota Yaris or similar, and more expensive. Even at $15k, the new fortwo will hardly be a steal.

sebastian

let's hope it has got the next generation smart will get a better powertrain cause the acutal one is junk in addition the car feels cheap, not really like a daimlerchyrsler car also engineered by mercedes guys

Keith

Ordinary fuel economy? Huh?

I can get 105 mpg US with my smart CDI (diesel)

There is nothing ordinary about this car.

wed

Heck of a lot better than a bicycle or motorcycle if you're driving in typical midwestern USA weather. Maybe they need to set up a marketing agreement with those new urban condos & apartments that are always lacking good parking spaces. Could squeeze a lot more of these into a parking garage.

DHofmann

I'll definitely buy one if I can run it on a biofuel (biodiesel or E85). Anyone wanna start a petition?

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