Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Rich Helms' Grinch smart in the Uxbridge Santa Claus parade.
For more, including photos and instructions to make a santa hat for your car, go here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Detroit Auto Show Preview: The Smart Cars Are Coming...Still

By Ray Wert
Despite already being the recipient of an announcement they'll be coming in 2008 (back in June) and an announcement detailing what they'll look like (back last month) -- the folks at the German-American hybrid have decided the 2006 Detroit Auto Show's the place to complete the immortal announcement trilogy of the smart brand. So we'll have -- yes -- the third announcement that smart is coming to the 'merican shores occurring here in the D in January. All we know is our excitement level's gone from a dizzying level of "meh" to a point where we're now so excited we can barely stifle our yawns. I myself am looking forward to trying to spot one driving by over the inevitable berms of snow surrounding Cobo on the first day of the show. Who am I kidding, I'll never be able to spot it.
Read more here.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

South African smart

Auto Africa - Oct 26 to Nov 5 2006
South Africa's Official smart website

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mercedes Car Group Sales Increase by Five Percent in November to a Record of 110,800 Vehicles

In November, the smart brand delivered 8,900 vehicles to customers worldwide. For the period from January to November, sales amounted to 105,100 units. In view of the upcoming model changeover of the smart fortwo and the phasing out of the smart forfour, the result was in line with the expectations. Nearly all smart fortwo cars of the first generation are sold out. Deliveries for the second generation of the smart fortwo which was unveiled in November will begin in April 2007. The new model has been met with a very positive reception in the media.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chinese electric car not so smart

Posted on December 17th, 2006 by John Pospisil
They say that intellectual property laws are getting better in China, but you have to wonder when you hear stories like this one. Shandong Huoyan Electromobile, a small Chinese car maker, has been forced to halt production of its City Spirit, a tiny two-seat electric car, after DaimlerChysler threatened to take legal action because the City Spirit looked too much like its Smart car.According to a report on Autoweek, Shandong Huoyan Electromobile used a toy model of the Smart to inspire the design of the City Spirit. The cars were exactly the same length and many components, such as the grill and rear window, looked identical.
While Smart is powered by a three-cylinder petrol or diesel engine, the City Spirit was powered by a electric motor. Price was an even bigger difference, with the City Spirit costing 4200 Euros in Europe, or about about half the price of the Smart car.
Read more here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The backseat driver's guide to San Francisco

An open-top buggy with a computer for a tour guide is the best way to see San Francisco, says Matt Rudd; plus other special ways to see California’s greatest city
Sixteen miles per hour and I’m absolutely terrified. You wouldn’t think a grown man could be terrified at such low speeds, but it’s because I’m being chased up one of those Steve McQueen hills by a tram. Unlike Steve McQueen, I’m not in a Ford Mustang. If I were, it wouldn’t be a problem, would it? But instead of the Mustang, I’m in a bright yellow buggy with a top speed of 40mph. That’s 40mph if you threw it off a cliff. Top speed up a San Franciscan hill seems to be 16mph. Sorry, 15mph. No... 13, 11, 9?
The tram is filling my wing mirrors and dinging its bell. I arrived in San Francisco only yesterday, and it feels like four in the morning, I don’t know whether trams are like buses (they can stop) or trains (they can’t). So I have no option but to keep the throttle open, lean forward, partially close my eyes and pray. The brow of the hill is within sight, but it’s too close to call: bystanders on either side of the street are stopping to watch the slow-speed chase. It’s not often you get to see a tourist squashed by a tram.
Read full story here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Audi to run on bio-diesel at Le Mans

Posted Dec 17th 2006 3:32PM by Noah Joseph
Automotive enthusiasts (racing fans in particular) and environmental lobbyists don't always see eye-to-eye. Make that seldom, if ever. But greener motorsports is something over which we can definitely sit down with our compatriots at sister site AutoblogGreen. In fact, we'd go as far to say that it's the one thing that could stand to keep automobile racing relevant in the modern era, and we'll applaud any series, team or supplier that moves the cause forward.
Audi, then, is a particular favorite, for their milestone achievement of fielding the diesel-powered R10 in endurance racing series and events – and winning, sweeping the field, in fact, despite the self-imposed oil-burning handicap. But the boys at Ingolstadt aren't about the rest on their proverbial laurels, they're pushing forward, together with their sponsors over at Shell. They've announced that at next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, they'll not only be racing on diesel, they'll be racing on biodiesel! Don't expect to see Audi engineers rummaging through the trash bins behind the local greasy-spoon, though. Audi will be using a synthetic derivative of plant-based oil (though we have no idea how something synthetic can be derived from something natural) produced by a subsidiary of team sponsor Shell.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Forfour has new lease of life as a smarter hybrid

A British-built diesel-electric hybrid prototype has been shown to government ministers in London this week.
The Zytek demo vehicle, based on the Smart Forfour 1.5 CDI, meets the government's Ultra-Low Carbon Car Challenge, emitting just 85g/km of carbon dioxide, well under the ULCCC target of 100g/km, and with a combined fuel economy of around 88mpg.
Zytek has been supported by the Energy Savings Trust, part of a £5m government-funded initiative to develop low-carbon vehicles. The ULCCC criteria state that eligible cars must be production-feasible within eight years, and be priced at commercially-feasible levels, as well as retaining all the space, safety equipment and expected features of their 'normal' equivalents.
Read full article here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spotted in England V

The Hillman Imp was a compact, rear-engined saloon (US: sedan) automobile manufactured under the Hillman marque by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler Europe) from 1963 to 1976. This one is technically a Sunbeam Imp.

The Reliant Robin (often but incorrectly known as the Robin Reliant), is a small three-wheeled car manufactured by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth, England. Being a three-wheeler, the Robin can be driven on either a motorcycle or car licence in the United Kingdom, and can be registered and insured as a motorcycle at considerable savings over a conventional car. The single wheel in the front steered, while the engine (also in the front) drove the rear axle.
The one pictured here is arguably one of the last made.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Obvio 012 - 100% Electric

Zap! is exclusive North American Distributor of this vehicle manu- factured in Brazil.
OBVIO ! fufills the needs of drivers who think ahead. The 012E model is a high performance electric microsport car with seats for three passengers. With this innovative and creative design from Brazil, you won't need gas at all. Just plug it into a conventional outlet and you're ready to go!
Electric Propulsion Drive System: 120 kW, 220 Nm, 13,000 rpm Regenerative braking
Battery: Li Ion, 39 kWh, 580 lb
Charger: Onboard, plug in anywhere, up to 20 kW
Vehicle to grid (V2G): Bi-directional grid interface

For more go to Obvio! & Zap!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Project Kimber AC Smart unveiled

We previously reported the news that UK engineering firm Project Kimber was planning to build a new version of the discontinued Smart roadster with the help of designer Gordon Murray. Project Kimber had released an earlier sketch of the car, but have now released a new sketch showing some of the changes they will make. The consortium will build the AC Smart at a site in the UK and is putting together a $65m investment to build it. It’s also made arrangements with Smart to buy the equipment made to build the original Smart roadster.
Though the AC Smart will share its underpinnings with the Smart Roadster, it will not simply be a copy with AC badges, according to What Car?. Working alongside Gordon Murray on the project is John Piper whose previous achievements include helping to build the JCB Dieselmax land speed record car, and together they’ll be honing the roadster to drive better than before.
Click here to take a look at our old story with the previous sketch.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Britain gets first on-street electric car chargers

Britain's first on-street charging points for electric cars were unveiled in central London as part of a wider bid to encourage drivers to ditch gas-guzzling vehicles.
The City of Westminster, which has the highest levels of air pollution in the kingdom, launched the power points in Wellington Street and Southampton Street in the Covent Garden entertainment district.
Electric cars are exempt from London's congestion charge, which costs drivers of other vehicles eight pounds (16 dollars, 12 euros) per day to enter the city centre.
"Putting free charging points on the street where people need them most is a simple concept which we hope will help galvanise broader appeal for electric car use," said councillor Alan Bradley.
"There have been technical hurdles to overcome, but we're confident the future lies in offering alternatives to petrol and diesel vehicles.
"Electric cars are ideally suited to city driving and we hope in years to come we will see more and more people using them to travel around the City of London.
Read more here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Popular smart car leaves competition dumbfounded

Tony Whitney, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, December 01, 2006
I recently attended the unveiling of a second-generation Smart fortwo automobile in Stuttgart. It was an automotive industry extravaganza and attracted personalities from every imaginable sphere. Apart from top executives from smart and Mercedes-Benz, luminaries included ex-Formula One champ Niki Lauda and top race-team owner and multiple Indy 500 winner (and Mercedes dealer) Roger Penske.

Read full article here.

Bologna Show: Smart Rolls Out 2007 Fortwo "Edition Limited One"

STUTTGART, Germany — Smart rolled out its 2007 Fortwo "edition limited one" at the Bologna Motor Show here on Tuesday, saying that the car demonstrates customization possibilities for the European market.The new Smart Fortwo made its worldwide debut earlier at the show. The special model is available only as a coupe with generous amounts of silver exterior trim.With the limited edition, Smart tries to inject more of a luxury feel into the little city car, with a special pyrite gray exterior, cognac-brown used-napa-leather look trim in the cabin and velour floor mats. Exterior features include a panoramic roof with a sun blind and 15-inch alloy wheels in a six-spoke design.
Read more here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Spotted in England IV

G-Wiz seen in London.

British spec fortwo in Lewes, East Sussex.

World Premiere of the New smart fortwo:

Stuttgart, Germany, November 10, 2006
The new smart fortwo has arrived: The smart fortwo coupé and smart fortwo cabrio were un-veiled to more than 550 international journalists yesterday evening in Stuttgart for the very first time. The location was unusual, but nonetheless very fitting for the smart fortwo: in the middle of the city, on the roof of a multi-storey car park.
In addition, there were presentations on comfort, agility, safety and environmental friendliness. After all, the new smart fortwo can do everything that its predecessor can do – but even better. This means that the new smart fortwo is even more comfortable, even more agile, even safer and even more environmentally friendly than its predecessor.

Read full report here.

Friday, December 01, 2006

smart fortwo Features in A Good Year

Text & Photos edited by F. de Leeuw van Weenen Source: DaimlerChrysler AG 10-26-2006 This year’s fourth big screen outing for the small city car

It played Clouseau’s cop car in “The Pink Panther,” provided Tom Hanks with a quick getaway in “The Da Vinci Code” and was a perfect vehicle for Garfield’s “owner” Jon Arbuckle in “Garfield 2”. Now the smart fortwo gets to play Cupid: the two-seater brings the lovers together in Ridley Scott’s new film “A Good Year.” Oscar-winner Russell Crowe plays a career-obsessed investment expert who rediscovers the love and simple life in Provence. “A Good Year” starts in German cinemas on November, 9th.
Life is turned on its head for Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) when he travels to France to sell a vineyard he has inherited from his great-uncle. Max’s travels through Provence in a smart fortwo mark the start of a new life. But the usually successful businessman doesn’t recognize it until much later. First he has to struggle with the navigation system and almost runs over an attractive young Frenchwoman, Fanny (played by Marion Cotillard), without noticing. But the smart fortwo brings about a reunion: Fanny recognizes the car outside the vineyard – and love gets a second chance. Then Max is offered a partnership by his boss. He has to make up his mind. Should he turn his back on the London business world?

NOTE: Author of this piece omitted Scoop starring Woody Allen, released earlier this year, in which Allen drives a smart fortwo in London.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Miller eyes parking lot tax

Mayor floats possible surcharge as one way to use city's new taxing powers to fulfill his green agenda
Nov. 27, 2006. 10:12 AM
Mayor David Miller, freshly armed with new taxing powers by Queen's Park, is considering the possibility of parking lot surcharges in downtown Toronto and North York's city centre.
And newly elected Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan said the city could perhaps go further, charging for city parking permits according to the size of the car you're driving.
"If you think about it, why should someone who drives a Hummer pay the same for a parking permit as someone who drives a Smart car?" Vaughan asked.
"You could have a system where owners of cars that give off higher emissions pay more for parking permits."
Read full article here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Spotted in England III

Opel Ascona

Perfect parking for purplish fortwo.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Club smart car gathering in High Park

It was foggy and cool as we rolled into the parking lot of the Grenadier in High Park on Saturday morning to meet some fellow smart car owners and enthusiasts. Glenn & Barry were already there and we were soon joined by Pat, Gary, Ivor, Brian, Estelle and Ariane. Our friend Clive, a Jeep owner, joined us for brunch too. There was lots of great conversation on diverse topics at the table. The sun was shining and the smart cars were attracting much attention when we returned from the restaurant.
Thanks to all who came - especially those who drove in from out of town.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Spotted in England II

Morris Minor Traveller, Spalding, Lincolnshire

smart roadster, Spalding, Lincolnshire

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spotted in England I

On our recent "Bonfire Tour" to England (October 17 to November 14, 2006) we snapped photos of several interesting vehicles, including smart cars. Over the next few days, I'll post some of these pictures.

Fortwo with Canadian flag sticker, Lewes,East Sussex

Nissan Figaro, Lewes, East Sussex

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Smart-car sales projected

44,000 possible in 2008 when Daimler releases minicar in United States

DaimlerChrysler AG may be able to sell as many as 44,000 of the two-seat Smart minicars each year in the United States when the vehicle goes on sale in 2008, said CEO Roger Penske of United Auto Group Inc., which will distribute the model in the world's largest market.
About 4,000 Smart cars were sold in Canada in the model's first year there, and the U.S. market is 11 times larger, Penske said in an interview late Thursday in Stuttgart, Germany, where DaimlerChrysler presented a new version of the Smart. No incentives will be offered on the car, which will start at about $11,000, he added.
DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche reiterated that Smart will break even next year.
Zetsche aims to capitalize on demand for fuel economy as the cost of gasoline hovers above $2 a gallon in the United States. The car gets more than 40 miles per gallon and has a range of about 400 miles, Zetsche said at the presentation Thursday night.

Read full story here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

‘Gas guzzlers’ to face charge hike

By Chris Wickham
Groundbreaking proposals to slam higher charges on residents with gas-guzzling' cars to park outside their homes have been proposed by Richmond upon Thames Council.
The borough would be the first in the country to charge more for residents' parking permits for those with cars that produce higher CO2 emissions and less for the least polluting cars.
The council will decide on November 6 whether to approve the plan which will see those with the lowest emitting vehicles pay nothing to park outside their homes with a sliding scale for higher emission vehicles.
Under the plans cars which emit less than 110 grams of CO2 per kilometre they drive, such as the Honda Insight petrol electric hybrid, would pay nothing.
Cars such as the Smart car with a 0.7 litre petrol tank or the Peugeot 107 hatchback would get a 50 per cent discount while a BMW X5, Jaguar X type or Porsche 911 driver is set to pay twice as much as before.
Read full story here.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Zap Xebra

The fun, compact, and affordable electric vehicle.
Speed:Up to 40 mph (65 km/ph) Range: Up to 40 miles (65 km) Charger: Onboard 110 Volt AC Motor: DC. Seating: Up to 4 (Max 500 lbs.) Battery: Lead Acid Classification: 3 wheel motorcycle (Zero Emission Vehicle) Dimensions: 10 Length (290 cm) x 4.66 Width (142 cm) x 5.05 Height (154 cm) Options: Upgraded Radio/CD, Color, Leather Seats Colors: Ocean Blue, Zebra Flash, Kiwi Green, and Lipstick Red
For more go to

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chinese Smart Car Copy May Hit European Markets Soon

Corporate losses stemming from copyright fraud in China have been estimated in the tens of billions. The latest replica, an electric Smart Car set enter the market soon, has stirred up legal controversy in Europe.
Last month, 13 million illegal videos and CDs were destroyed in China as a symbolic rejection of copyright violation. But now it seems that copying has been taken to the next level.
A duplicate version of the Smart fortwo has been produced by the Chinese company CMEC in the city of Suzhou and has already appeared in Hungary and Great Britain. Starting in 2007, it is to be sold for 4,200 euros ($5,250) under the name City Smart.
"When we designed the car we were aware that we might be opening ourselves up to legal action," said Jerry Chen, sales manager for CMEC, which is usually involved in importing and exporting machine tools. "That's why we've imitated the outside but concentrated on making the interior look different."
The major difference, however, is not the car's appearance but its engine. It has an electric motor that can only propel the vehicle up to 55 kilometers per hour (34 miles per hour), hence the name City Smart.
German Smart Car manufacturer DaimlerChrysler is trying to stop CMEC from selling the copycat vehicle and has demanded that its external appearance be changed.
Chen said that alterations have already been made to the front end and trunk. He added that "the entire impression is now very different," though photos that have popped up in recent weeks on Internet forums and Smart-fan sites reveal that the Chinese City Smart is practically identical to its European twin.
Whether or not CMEC's electric Smart will be released on the broader European market will depend on whether or not they are deemed legal. DaimlerChrysler's lawyers are currently looking into what legal steps can be taken.
DaimlerChrysler plans to introduce its own Smart fortwo successor in March 2007. After heavy losses recently, the Smart Car division hopes for a financial recovery with the more comfortable two-seater.
View source.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Coming to America

The Brazilian-made Obvio! will either be the little green car that could or, as one blogger put it, just 'roadkill.'By Mac Margolis- Newsweek
Oct. 2, 2006 issue - When automotive enthusiast Ricardo Machado made his play for the U.S. car market last year, no one paid him much mind. Machado, a lawyer and real-estate broker in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was by his own admission a stranger to the global automobile industry. What's more, the vehicle he unveiled at a July custom-car fair in Los Angeles—a whimsical, hybrid-fuel three-seater called the Obvio!—had yet to hit the road in America, or anywhere else for that matter.
But in just a few weeks, the Obvio—which Machado's designers modeled after an old Brazilian buggy—started getting second looks. Maybe it was the green-and-tangerine finish, or the trendy Brazilian Havaiana flip-flops glued to the gas and brake pedals. The engine—built to burn gasoline, ethanol or even natural gas—surely helped. "We had to rope it off at the San Francisco auto show" last November, Machado says. It wasn't just idle gawking: by fall 2007, the first batch of a total of 50,000 Brazilian Obvios (some models fitted with electrical engines) will hit the United States. A separate deal to send another 100,000 to Japan and Europe is also in the works.
View source.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Car or fashion accessory?

Photo: Body panel display at Smartville by ALT 2001

In the consumer society that offers something for everyone, there's now a way to coordinate your purse and your heels with your wheels before heading out for a night on the town.
The Smart car -- originally designed by Mercedes-Benz and Swatch -- can be purchased with optional, exchangeable body panels.
Just as Swatch consumers can swap out sections of their watches to suit their color preferences on a given day, Smart car owners can switch their car color by popping body panels off and on. No mechanic required.
"If you are going out to some event for which you would like to have a red car, you can re-skin the Smart in 25 minutes," said Tom Markides, owner of Prestige Imports in Randallstown and the first Maryland distributor of Smart cars.
A full set of panels for a Smart car costs about $900. But fashion -- on the roadway or the runway -- has never been cheap.
- Linda Strowbridge - Arbutus Times

Friday, October 13, 2006

New-car sales dip in Europe

HELSINKI — Renault and GM lost the most ground as new-car sales in Europe fell 2.6 per cent in September, though Fiat, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen saw sales grow, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association ACEA said Friday.
France's Renault SA saw the largest drop, slipping 14.9 per cent in September compared with the same month last year. It sold 104,815 cars in Europe in September.
Detroit-based General Motors Corp. sold 9.1 per cent fewer cars at 141,551.
Sales of PSA Peugeot Citroen SA cars fell four per cent, while DaimlerChrysler AG only slipped slightly with a one per cent decline with flatter sales of Mercedes and a sharp drop at its Smart car unit. Ford Motor Co. was down just 0.5 per cent, selling more Ford models and fewer Volvos, Land Rovers and Jaguars.
Read full article here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Business smarts 24: Pond's Foto Source, Guelph

99 Wyndham Street North, Guelph,ON - 519 823-5610
292 Stone Road, Guelph, ON - 519 822 7179

Pond's is locally owned and operated by Terry Leahey who is known in Guelph, and throughout the photographic industry, for staying ahead of trends with the latest equipment and supplies. Terry is also a founding member of the Foto Source group of stores - Canada's largest organization of independent Photographic stores with over 300 locations from coast to coast .

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Smart EV

We admit it, we kinda like the Smart Car in all its forms, which is why we picked up on this piece of news that the Merc-owned company is trialing an electric version of its micro car. The website says:
Think of a fortwo. Then think of an electric socket concealed behind what used to be the fuel cap. Picture the complete absence of exhaust fumes, so no CO2 emissions from the rear. Close your eyes and hear… no sound at all coming from the engine. Imagine no engine oil, no road tax, and no London congestion charge and you’ll start to get a sense of what really makes the new smart ev tick.
Powered solely by electricity, the smart ev can achieve the equivalent of 300 mpg – that amounts to a saving of up to 80% in fuel costs over the already highly economical smart fortwo. The ev can travel up to 71 miles between charges, which typically take around 5 hours – ideal for charging at work between your morning and evening commutes.
Smart Car are leasing their first 200 smart EVs to blue chip companies who are happy to meet Smart's requirements to power the cars using only renewable energy sources. When we say zero emissions, we really mean it!
Top speed: 70 mph! - the smart EVView source.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

smart Credit Card

In association with DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and HBos Card Services, smart has launched a new credit card for owners or enthusiasts. The card offers 0% pa on both balance transfers and purchases fixed for the first six months, free online Fraud Protection and an APR of 14.9% on the Platinum Card.
There's a green theme to all this too. The card itself is made from plastic PETG, which has minimal chlorine or other toxic chemicals contained in standard PVC credit cards.
On top of that, thanks to a partnership between smart and the Woodland Trust, every cardholder who activates their card will generate the planting of five new trees, offsetting the 1091kg of CO2 a smart fortwo coupé is assumed to generate during 6000 miles of motoring.
The smart card has been launched to over 60 smart dealers throughout the UK. Applications can also be made online at, or by calling 0808 000 8080.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Beat goes on for tiny Japanese imports

Cute little kei-cars are fun and frugal Legal in Canada under 15-year rule
Oct. 7, 2006. 01:00 AM
Michael Banovsky - Special to the Star
Hooray for loopholes. How else would I be driving a 660 cc, three-cylinder, 60-odd-horsepower Japanese micro-car through the truck-infested streets of Vaughan?
The ride in question was a bright yellow Honda Beat roadster, the type of vehicle originally designed to woo Japanese ladies into using a small car instead of a scooter for their shopping trips. In Japan, it's a kei-car: a maximum length of 3.2 m, maximum width of 1.4 m, and a maximum displacement of 660 cc.
Most enthusiasts know about the 15-year rule here in Canada: if it was not originally sold in Canada or faced import restrictions when new, in most cases that vehicle will be allowed into the country after 15 years.
Earlier this year, Wheels writer Laurance Yap extolled the virtues of the Nissan Skyline GT-R, a legend in Japan and on Gran Turismo discs the world over.
Now, thanks to Eric Mojilever, owner of Shrink My Ride — and a few other Toronto players — you, too, can downsize your transportation without driving an egg.

Read full article here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Citroen Considers Selling Cars in Canada

By William, Oct 5, 2006 8:46 AM
PARIS – Automobiles Citroen may use Canada as its beachhead into North America.
“If we can homologate our cars in Canada, it’s a potential,” says Frederic Banzet, vice-president-international sales. “We’re looking at it.”
Canada’s rules on automotive homologation are not as strict as those in the U.S., and cars such as the Smart Fortwo and the GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.–built Chevrolet Epica and Optra are sold there but not in the U.S.
The Canadian market absorbs about 1.6 million light vehicles per year, of which a little more than half are passenger cars, the sector in which Citroen would compete. The French auto maker won’t have a cross/utility vehicle to sell until next year.
Well-established generalists that don’t manufacture in Canada, such as Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., sell about 30,000 units a year in the country.
Read full story here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New peek at next SMART fortwo

Posted Sep 25th 2006 6:01PM by John Neff
Mercedes-Benz has decided to provoke our curiosity once again over the next generation SMART fortwo. We've already seen a sand sculpture of it, as well as some mysterious detail shots that promote Coke, but today SMART has released a pair of brand new renderings ahead of the Paris Motor Show at which the car will not debut. Word is it'll launch on its terms at a special event held later in the year. While little information is given about the new fortwo, SMART does say that it will be do everything the current fortwo can do – but a little better. That sounds to us like it will grow a smidge in a few key dimensions and feature a more powerful and efficient engine lineup. That is the trend these days, no?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Toronto smart car Meet

Date & Time: Thurs Oct 5, 2006, 6:30 pm
Place: Kelsey's Bar & Grill Address: 636 Dixon Road, Etobicoke
(401 & 427 - near Pearson Intl. Airport) Phone: 416-240 6932 Menu :

Mercedes unveils 100% recyclable car

An "Eco-Roadster" from the Mercedes Advanced Design Studio in California will be one of the highlights at the LA Autoshow '07 competition.
The Mercedes-Roadster is named the "Recy" and looks like a wood carving. The car would be made out of wood, alloys, glass and rubber to make it 100 percent recyclable.
The form is to transfer the style of the legendary SL into the future. However the two-seater has only two peaks behind the passengers instead of a convertible top. A roof is not intended.
The goal with this competition according to the organizer was to make the vehicle and its driver experience a deep feeling with the environment and help protect it. Therefore the presented concepts consist of recyclable raw materials. The winner will be announced on November 30 at the LA Auto Show
View source.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Business smarts 23: Shlegel's Gymnastics Centre

Schlegel’s Gymnastics Centre Incorporated is committed to the provision of quality programs. Providing solely recreational programs to all age groups, Schlegel’s facility, curriculum and philosophy cater specifically to the recreational athlete.

Schlegel's Gymnastics Centre Inc.
220 Wyecroft Road, Unit 52
Oakville, Ontario L6K 3V1
Phone: 905-842-ELFS (3537)
Fax: 905-842-3539

Fuel-sipping Smart cars may rival hybrids:

Tiny vehicles carry driver, one passenger, a few grocery bags

Oct 01, 2006 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX) -- If everyone drove Mercedes' Smart cars, the line of vehicles at traffic lights would be only half as long and parking lots would hold twice as many cars.
A two-car garage would become a four-car garage. If you're still pressed for space, you could park one of these tiny cars on the front porch.
With fuel economy of about 50 to 60 miles per gallon, Smart cars could give hybrids a run for their money. And, unlike the hybrids, there are no expensive battery packs that eventually have to be replaced.
Now back to reality. While two of the micro cars could be squeezed into one parking space, there's only room inside for the driver, one passenger, and a few bags of groceries.
The Smart car is an odd vehicle. It's like a replacement for a motor scooter, but you're protected from the weather, said David Thomas with, a Web site for automobile enthusiasts.
Read full article here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Business smarts 22: Richard Shorney, REMAX Broker

Richard Shorney, Broker RRS
Aboutowne Realty Corp, Brokerage
67 Lakeshore Road West
Oakville, Ontario L6K 1C9

905 338 9000

Second Annual smart Centre Mississauga Meet

Edward Garcia and Justin Sookraj worked their magic with the weather and the crowd yesterday to host a very successful customer appreciation event at Hilton Falls Conservation Authority near Milton.
The 46 smart car owners and their kin enjoyed barbequed hotdogs -- including Yves Baverian the king of veggie dogs--soft drinks and freshly picked local apples. Lots of smart stuff was given away in their draw. Thank you Ed and Justin for making your smart customers feel valued.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mercedes-Benz won't sell small car in U.S.

PARIS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - DaimlerChrysler's premium brand Mercedes-Benz won't sell a small car in the United States even though consumers in the world's biggest car market are clamouring for fuel efficiency, a top Mercedes official said.
"In the U.S., Mercedes is perceived as a luxury car," Mercedes Car Group sales and marketing chief Klaus Maier told Reuters at the Paris car show, stressing his group did not want to dilute the brand by moving too far down market.
Maier said a 6-cylinder C-Class Mercedes-Benz -- a posh car in Europe -- was seen as an entry-level model for the brand in North America.
Exchange rates also play a role in the company's calculations. Mercedes originally dropped plans to market its German-made B-Class car in North America because the strong euro made sales there unattractive.
"You have to consider very carefully whether the investment to introduce the B-Class (in North America) would pay off," he said, pointing out that the car, launched in Europe last year, would be two years old by the time it reached America.
Mercedes does not sell its even smaller A-Class car in North America, although it will launch its two-seat Smart car in major U.S. cities in 2008.
Chrysler, the U.S. arm of the world's fifth-biggest carmaker, has been suffering from U.S. consumers' sudden aversion to inefficient light trucks and sport utility vehicles, on which it depends for the bulk of its sales and profits.
Chrysler has been negotiating with potential partners to build a subcompact model that it cannot afford to develop on its own and a decision is due by year's end.
It also is launching more fuel-efficient models in a bid to capture consumer demand and compete with Asian rivals whose more economical cars are in favour.
Maier ruled out selling a Mercedes-Benz model under the Chrysler brand in North America.
© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Car buyers get smart at Randallstown dealership

Baltimore Business Journal - 2:44 PM EDT Monday
by Stephanie Wentworth, Staff
Baltimore got a little smarter over the weekend.
Prestige Imports, a car dealership that focuses on imported and specialty vehicles, received its first shipment of so-called "smart cars" Sept. 23. Prestige is one of the first dealerships in Maryland to sell the tiny egg-shaped cars that have been popular in Europe since the late-1990s.
The Randallstown dealership said Monday it had received 30 smart cars that are selling for $27,900. The small two-seat vehicles are 8 feet long and 5 feet wide and resemble golf carts. The cars average 60 miles per gallon of gasoline, according to a news release.
Prestige Imports sold its first two cars to Neil and Deni Tabor, owners of Ashley Custom Homes in Hampden. The couple plans to have their company's logo and Web site painted on the car doors.
Daimler Chrysler began selling 30,000 smart cars in the United States during the third quarter. Company officials told Inc., a vehicle information service, the car maker plans to increase production by 60,000 vehicles per year after its smart car debut.
View source.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

smart car Helps Brampton Bloom

City of Brampton wins the 2006 National Communities in Bloom competition.

The civic pride and beautification competition isn't just about flowers. Communities are judged in a wide range of areas: tidiness effort, urban forestry, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcover areas, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, and community involvement. The annual spring and fall cleanups earned marks, as did the city's biodeisel fueled buses and Smart car/hybrid fleet for bylaw officers.

View source.

Media Release#: 06-057For Immediate Release - April 04, 2006
Little Blue Cars Help Keep Brampton Clean And Green
BRAMPTON- The City of Brampton this week has introduced the first of 16 Smart cars and hybrid vehicles driven by By-Law Enforcement officers and aimed at conserving fuel and reducing emissions.
“Local municipal governments must take a leadership role as the importance of climate protection escalates,” said Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell. "By using Smart cars and hybrid vehicles, the City of Brampton will avoid producing up to 32,000 kilograms of CO2, and ultimately save the taxpayer $13,000 in fuel cost savings this year alone."

Read full article here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

String Isetta

Hi Annette,
We're just back from a break in France - had a beautiful cottage in the Tarn, about 45 min from Toulouse. Went to Albi last Saturday where the attached was taking part in the Fete de la Patisserie - don't ask, but there was a huge amount of free cake!
The vehicle was charging about through the crowds. It has a cord-laced wirebody on a steel frame, and the driver sits outside, high at the back, and pedals and steers. At one point he had three large kids inside and two women on stilts sitting on the roof (again, don't ask), and was happily pedalling away, no sign of a sweat!
Great break, very restful, now back to a serious Rocket groundrush . . .
best wishes,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sneak peek: 2007 smart fortwo

For more photos go to Leftlane News.
If you speak Dutch, read more on smartforum netherlands.