Monday, June 19, 2006
TAKE ONE WEE CAR, ADD GLITZ ... ZOOM!
Celebrity cachet helps drive demand for eco-friendly automobiles
Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, June 19, 2006
At the 2003 Academy Awards, Cameron Diaz and Tim Robbins made an unlikely fashion statement: They each arrived at the Kodak Theatre in a chauffeur-driven Toyota Prius.
Since then, celebrities and wannabe celebrities have been getting behind the wheels of eco-friendly cars, to show that they're committed to alternative energy -- and that it's easy to be green. It's working. Toyota has sold 224,975 Priuses since 2003 without paying one penny in direct marketing to promote its hybrid brand.
Now, in the latest Hollywood extravaganza "The Da Vinci Code," Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou can be seen zipping down Parisian sidewalks in the tiny Smart car. Good gas mileage (60 mpg) and easy parking have made the vehicle ubiquitous in Europe.
But will the two-seat micro car, made by DaimlerChrysler and small enough to put on a pool table, come west the way the Japanese-made Prius came east? In other words, on green hipster wings?
Read full article here.