Germans Take An Interest In “The Greening Of America”

from USA TODAY: Smart, the Mercedes-Benz mini-car brand that evolved from a 1993 joint venture with watchmaker Swatch, definitely will launch a small four-seater in the USA in September 2006, but it might decide to sell one of its toy-like two-seaters here even before that, according to Smart CEO Ulrich Walker.
The U.S.-bound Formore isn’t displayed at the Detroit auto show, however, because Walker says it doesn’t make sense to show a car so far in advance of launch.
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Walker says reaction from showgoers to the two-seaters on display here will help Smart, unprofitable despite selling 153,000 cars in 36 countries last year, decide what to charge for the Formore and what other model might be popular in America.
Typical price for a two-seater in other markets is about $14,000, Smart says.
Despite American aversion to small cars, Walker says, Smart should appeal because of distinctive looks and the 50- to 60-miles-per-gallon fuel economy of its small-displacement gas and diesel engines. Smart cars would be sold at Mercedes-Benz dealerships.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.