Tuesday, July 04, 2006

DaimlerChrysler to import Smart Cars - no US plants

DaimlerChrysler has announced it will sell the two-seat Smart Car in the US in early 2008, but will not open manufacturing plants in the US.
The Smart Car is the two-seat, less-than-nine-foot-long and easy-to-park mini subcompact from Europe. It is sold in 36 countries, with Italy it's biggest market at annual sales of 40,000 cars. The car is manufactured in France, and at least initially, Daimler Chrysler will ship the cars from there. Earlier market studies in the US proved it was not the time to sell the Smart Car in the US, but given that gas prices are likely to remain at $3+, with the Smart Car getting 40+ mpg, now is the time. The car lists at about $15,000. A test drive of the squat vehicle with its three-cylinder engine prompted the editor to sigh and say, "so it's come to this."

Source: The Manufacturer


Smartcar Owner said...

interesting....why do u think mgmt didnt want us plants?

SmartCar Fortwo and forfour

SassyQuack said...

If the Smart cars catch on, there will be US plants. I think they are just being cautious for now as previous research did not show Americans to be open to the Smart car. It would be silly to open a bunch of plants without a proven market. I can understand...the car doesn't look as safe as a big hulking SUV...and isn't soccer mom friendly. I've loved them since I first saw one in Italy in 2000 though, so I hope they catch on.