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

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