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Old 11-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Smart, United Auto reach deal to bring fortwo to the U.S. in early 2008

Smart, United Auto reach deal to bring fortwo to the U.S. in early 2008

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/...nited_Auto.php



Quote:
FRANKFURT, Germany: Smart GmbH and United Auto Group Inc. said Thursday that they will bring the two-seat smart fortwo to the U.S. in early 2008.

Boeblingen-based Smart, part of DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes Car Group, said its President Ulrich Walker had signed a general distributor agreement with United Auto Chairman Roger Penske on Wednesday.

"This is absolutely the right car in the right place at the right time. It embodies the unique combination of a lifestyle and design-oriented vehicle that is ecologically appealing," Walker said. "Smart is uniquely designed, offers the lowest cost of ownership and is very fun to drive."

The agreement outlines all aspects of the model's sale in the United States, including sales, service and the initial launch.

The first dealerships to carry the car are expected to be announced in the second half of 2007, with the car available to buyers during the first quarter of 2008.

United Auto will be responsible for picking potential dealers and developing and maintaining the vehicle dealership network throughout the U.S. It will focus mainly on highly populated areas and have 30 to 50 dealerships.

Smart launched the fortwo in Canada in 2004, and last year it sold about 4,000 models there, or twice what it had initially forecast.

Last year, Smart sold 143,000 cars worldwide, a small increase from the 139,000 it sold in 2004. It produced 124,300 cars in the same period, down from 152,100 the previous year.

Earlier this year, DaimlerChrysler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said that high gas prices, congested roadways and the constant search for parking made the fortwo an ideal car for U.S. buyers, particularly in urban areas.

The fortwo's three-cylinder, 700cc engine has significantly lower emissions than other cars and gets an average of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per gallon (nearly 4 liters) in combined city-highway driving and will sell for less than US$15,000 (Ä11,749).

Other automakers also have begun selling small, sporty small cars, including Toyota Motor Corp., which has the Yaris, and Honda Motor Co., which sells the Fit.

DaimlerChrysler has spent nearly Ä1 billion (US$1.3 billion) on restructuring Smart, cut 300 of the 750 jobs at the unit's headquarters and ended production of its larger, four-seater forfour model.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:59 PM   #2
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I've only seen two on the road, can't wait to see more of them.
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Pretty cool that this thing meets US crash standards.



Or does it? Are they going to change bumper locations or anything like that?

I'd be interested in this car.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:45 PM   #4
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^ I believe they just had a video on here or pictures of the car passing the crash tests and it did amazing well!
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:08 PM   #5
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So what happens to the current importer, Zap Cars? They must be livid that D-C is reneging on their distribution deal.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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i saw a video from top gear where they crashed a smart into a concrete barrier at 80mph. it was offset toward the driver side... the result was quite amazing... the body pretty much kept its ovalish shape and the passenger side door was still perfectly functional.

im thinking that the car would just get pushed aside more than crushed by its own weight since its so small.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:24 AM   #7
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The Smart for2 has been sold in Canada for over a year now with GREAT success. I see at least 1-2 of them on the road ever single day and everywhere I drive.
Not something I would personally drive however it is a cool little car. I find that business' tend to buy them as a form of advertising as EVERYONE wants to see them. Glad to see DC is finally bringing it to the US market, I think the car will sell very well in larger cities without a question.

The crash standards are more strict in Canada so the car will have no trouble passing the US standards. As well someone else mentioned the car is very safe and exceeds most crash standards with flying colors.

Mike
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
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Seen a couple of these around ATL area...
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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I love it, but why make the US wait another year and a half?!

There is one floating around the central Jersey area. Saw it parked at the movie theater last time we were there.
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:38 PM   #10
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^ Maybe promos?
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:38 PM   #11
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There's one for sale in Colorado Springs. I took a look at it. It looks pretty spartan inside - like there's no cover around the bottom of the e-brake lever, so you can see the springs and the pivot point, etc. I could literally hug it - put my fingers on both sides of the car at the same time. It does look very cute..
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:15 PM   #12
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Consumer Reports did a test with one in this month's new issue. They said it was one of the worst cars they have ever tested.

MikeCandler, check out http://www.toronto-subaru-club.com/forums/index.php ! Theres a London section as well!
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:17 PM   #13
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I know you're only the messenger, but I take every review CR does with a grain of salt. Whether it be a "Smart car is the worst car ever" or "Subaru is the best car ever" or "Hoover vaccum cleaners don't suck, which sucks" etc.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by importdriver View Post
MikeCandler, check out http://www.toronto-subaru-club.com/forums/index.php ! Theres a London section as well!
Thanks buddy, I will check it out.

Mike
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:27 PM   #15
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:15 PM   #16
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More Pics & Release:



Press Release:
Quote:
Even more smart with the new fortwo

smart fans get their first glimpse of the eagerly awaited new smart fortwo, with the release of photographs to coincide with the World Premiere.

To be launched in the UK in autumn 2007, the new smart fortwo is even more comfortable, even more agile, even safer and even more ecological than its predecessor.

The new car has a fresh, more masculine appearance, but retains its unmistakably iconic look. The striking tridion safety cell that is also one of the main safety features, and the innovative but practical plastic bodypanels, are still an essential part of the car that has become a familiar sight on British roads.

The new smart fortwo has re-engineered, uprated petrol engines and is slightly larger in size. The 19.5 cm (7 inch) increase in length has been used to give even better pedestrian safety and rear impact protection, as well as improved ride comfort.

The car has a newly developed transmission system, with five gears, which offers considerable advantages in terms of comfort, fuel economy and driving agility.

The smart fortwo cabrio's electric soft top is just one example of the enhanced comfort in the cabin. It is now fully automatic and can be infinitely adjusted to any position. This means that the rear part, too, can be opened to the final position and closed again at the touch of a button.

The familiar equipment lines will continue to be available; pure, pulse and passion.

UK pricing and specification to be announced nearer to the launch date.














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Old 11-10-2006, 05:15 PM   #17
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Old 11-10-2006, 07:09 PM   #18
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DaimlerChrysler Slashes Costs for New Smart

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/arti...1446-OISBI.XML

Quote:
STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - The new version of DaimlerChrysler's <DCXGn.DE> two-seater Smart car will cost much less to make than its predecessor, a company official said on Thursday.

Material costs for the new ForTwo, which rolls out in Europe next April and in the United States in early 2008, are 12 percent lower than the original model introduced in 1998.

The new car also takes a fifth less time to build, at a plant in France, officials said at the model's unveiling.

DaimlerChrysler has sold 750,000 Smart ForTwo cars. Officials would not make a sales forecast for the new version.

Smart has lost money since the brand was launched in October 1998 but aims to be profitable in 2007 after it slashed costs and jobs and reduced its model lineup to just the two-seater.

Overall Smart brand sales fell 20.6 percent in the first 10 months of 2006 to 96,200 units.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:01 AM   #19
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Promotional Video, Get Smart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk85ZaftlLM

Soundtrack sold separately?
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:09 AM   #20
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Does anyone know top speed of this car?
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:36 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberpirate View Post
Does anyone know top speed of this car?
Saw one on RT 91 South keeping up with 70mph traffic.

I'm holding out for the roadster!!!

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