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Old 29 Jun 2006, 06:52 pm
F. H.
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Default DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on
sale here in early 2008.
By John O'Dell
Times Staff Writer

June 29, 2006

The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.

The German automaker, which has been selling the two-seater in Europe
since 1998, said Wednesday it planned to introduce the Smart in the U.S.
early in 2008.

With a fuel-sipping three-cylinder engine that gets about 60 miles per
gallon on European highways, the Smart could be a big hit here. But
first Americans will have to be convinced that something so small can
hold its own against pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles that could
carry the 1,600-pound Smart in back.

Dieter Zetsche, DaimlerChrysler's chief executive and former head of its
U.S.-based Chrysler Group unit, is betting that $3-a-gallon gasoline and
crowded streets and highways will help overcome concerns about size.

At just 8-feet, 2-inches in length, the Smart ForTwo, as the model is
called, can be parked in half the space occupied by a full-size pickup.

DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz unit, which builds the Smart at a plant
in France, designed it to stand up to much larger vehicles, Zetsche
said. The passenger cabin is framed in high-strength steel that is
designed to work like the safety cage of a modern race car, isolating
passengers from the shock of a collision.

"We are very confident about the safety features and structural
integrity" of the Smart, Zetsche said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

The Smart has never made a profit. Zetsche is betting that a redesign
and stepped up marketing in Europe next year will turn things around and
that U.S. sales in 2008 will provide even bigger profits.

The next-generation Smart ForTwo will be sold in the U.S. through a
dealership chain to be established by United Auto Group Inc., the
brand's U.S. distributor and marketer and the second-largest operator of
new-car dealerships in the U.S.

Zetsche said United Auto, led by former auto racer Roger Penske, expects
to have 30 to 50 dealerships ready when the Smart is launched and will
continue expanding until the U.S. market is covered. He said the Smart
would be promoted as a commuter car in urban areas and as convenient
transportation in leisure communities.

One of the risks the Smart brand faces is pricing. There are several
small cars in the U.S. market, such as the Honda Fit and Kia Rio, that
have room for four or five passengers and are priced in the same range
as the Smart.

Zetsche said the car would be priced under $15,000.

DaimlerChrysler hopes to sell 20,000 Smarts in the U.S. in 2008. Philip
Reed, a senior auto industry analyst at Edmunds.com, said he believed
the company would easily achieve that goal. "It will sell not only
because of its fuel economy and equipment but because of its looks and
appeal."

The Smart isn't totally new to North America. DaimlerChrysler began
marketing the car in Canada in 2004 and last year sold 4,000 Smarts there.

And a Northern California company, Zap, began importing and distributing
a version of the European Smart to the U.S. about a year ago. The cars
are converted to meet U.S. safety standards and exported by a private
firm with no connection to DaimlerChrysler.

So far, Santa Rosa-based Zap has sent about 200 of the cars to various
dealers, who sell them for prices starting at about $20,000.

"We knew from the start that it was only a matter of time" before
DaimlerChrysler began selling the cars in the U.S. at a lower price,
said Zap spokesman A.J. Gilbertson. But until 2008, he said, Zap has the
only Smarts around.

*

(INFOBOX BELOW)

Big and small

A comparison of the Smart and the Hummer H2

Hummer H2 Smart
Curb weight 6,400 lbs 1,600 lbs.
Length 15' 9" 8' 2"
Width 6' 9" 4' 11"
Height 6' 7" 5'
Seating 6 2
Cylinders 8 3
Fuel tank 32 gal. 10 gal.
Horsepower 325 60
Miles per gallon* 8 to 13 40 city/60 hwy.
Price (in thousands) $50+ under $15


*Estimated by industry sources.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 06:54 pm
F. H.
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

F. H. wrote:
> DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.


http://img332.imageshack.us/my.php?i...seater8ao.jpg][I
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 07:14 pm
Edwin Pawlowski
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Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.


"F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06...
> DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
> The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on sale
> here in early 2008.
> By John O'Dell
> Times Staff Writer
>
> June 29, 2006
>
> The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
> DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.
>
> The German automaker, which has been selling the two-seater in Europe
> since 1998, said Wednesday it planned to introduce the Smart in the U.S.
> early in 2008.


If I lived in a city, I'd get one. They take up little space and are easy to
find a parking spot for. Seemed to be the most popular car in the cities in
Italy. Rome is about 20% Vespas, 25% Smart. They did very well in a front
end crash against a Mercedes.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 08:18 pm
zwsdotcom@gmail.com
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.


Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

> If I lived in a city, I'd get one. They take up little space and are easy to


I'd like one, but the price will not be right. It will be more
expensive than a regular compact car like a Focus or Chevy Cavalier.
The regular car does so much more.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 08:28 pm
TeGGeR®
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

"F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in
news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06:

> DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
> The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on
> sale here in early 2008.
> By John O'Dell
> Times Staff Writer
>
> June 29, 2006
>
> The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
> DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.



<snip>


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah.

Canada has these rolling telephone booths since...what? 2003?

Daimler Chrysler loses money on each and every one, in spite of their high
purchase price.

There are forty inches (I checked) between the front bumper and the top of
the steering wheel. You wanna bash into something while driving a "Smart"?
Go check how many inches separate *your* steering wheel top from *your*
front bumper.

You know why "Smarts" are officially "safe"? Because there are too many
dollars between you and the other vehicles.

--
TeGGeR®

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 09:21 pm
Edwin Pawlowski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.


<zwsdotcom@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> If I lived in a city, I'd get one. They take up little space and are easy
>> to

>
> I'd like one, but the price will not be right. It will be more
> expensive than a regular compact car like a Focus or Chevy Cavalier.
> The regular car does so much more.


Depends on where you live. In most US cities and any small town, the Focus
or Cavalier is a better overall deal. In some European cities, the
congestion is horrid and the difference in size means parking 4 blocks from
your apartment instead of 12 blocks. In most of Italy, gas was $5.80 a
gallon when I was there in March. An extra 5 or 10 mpg is a big difference.
The Smart is also cheaper there than it will be here.


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 10:03 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

TeGGeR® wrote:
> "F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in
> news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06:
>
>
>>DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
>>The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on
>>sale here in early 2008.
>>By John O'Dell
>>Times Staff Writer
>>
>>June 29, 2006
>>
>>The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
>>DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.

>
>
>
> <snip>
>
>
> Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah.
>
> Canada has these rolling telephone booths since...what? 2003?
>
> Daimler Chrysler loses money on each and every one, in spite of their high
> purchase price.
>
> There are forty inches (I checked) between the front bumper and the top of
> the steering wheel. You wanna bash into something while driving a "Smart"?
> Go check how many inches separate *your* steering wheel top from *your*
> front bumper.


40" doesn't necessarily mean a thing. check this out:
http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/Cra...operVsFordF150
i'd trust 40" from daimlerchrysler more than 80" from ford ANY day.
>
> You know why "Smarts" are officially "safe"? Because there are too many
> dollars between you and the other vehicles.
>

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 29 Jun 2006, 11:35 pm
clare at snyder.on.ca
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

On Thu, 29 Jun 2006 20:03:19 -0700, jim beam <nospam@example.net>
wrote:

>TeGGeR® wrote:
>> "F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in
>> news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06:
>>
>>
>>>DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
>>>The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on
>>>sale here in early 2008.
>>>By John O'Dell
>>>Times Staff Writer
>>>
>>>June 29, 2006
>>>
>>>The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
>>>DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.

>>
>>
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>
>> Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah.
>>
>> Canada has these rolling telephone booths since...what? 2003?
>>
>> Daimler Chrysler loses money on each and every one, in spite of their high
>> purchase price.
>>
>> There are forty inches (I checked) between the front bumper and the top of
>> the steering wheel. You wanna bash into something while driving a "Smart"?
>> Go check how many inches separate *your* steering wheel top from *your*
>> front bumper.

>
>40" doesn't necessarily mean a thing. check this out:
>http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/Cra...operVsFordF150
>i'd trust 40" from daimlerchrysler more than 80" from ford ANY day.
>>
>> You know why "Smarts" are officially "safe"? Because there are too many
>> dollars between you and the other vehicles.
>>

They are very crash surviveable. You may end up in the next county,
punted like a football, but you should survive. VERY good structural
engineering. I would not want to get sandwiched between two 18
wheelers - but that is true in ANY vehicle today - including a Hummer.

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jun 2006, 02:30 am
Dave and Trudy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.


"jim beam" <nospam@example.net> wrote in message
news:24WdncWH-8HnCTnZnZ2dnUVZ_sidnZ2d@speakeasy.net...
> TeGGeR® wrote:
>> "F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in
>> news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06:
>>>DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
>>>The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on sale
>>>here in early 2008.
>>>By John O'Dell
>>>Times Staff Writer
>>>
>>>June 29, 2006
>>>
>>>The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
>>>DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.

>>
>>
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>
>> Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah.
>>
>> Canada has these rolling telephone booths since...what? 2003?
>>
>> Daimler Chrysler loses money on each and every one, in spite of their
>> high purchase price.
>>
>> There are forty inches (I checked) between the front bumper and the top
>> of the steering wheel. You wanna bash into something while driving a
>> "Smart"? Go check how many inches separate *your* steering wheel top from
>> *your* front bumper.

>
> 40" doesn't necessarily mean a thing. check this out:
> http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/Cra...operVsFordF150
> i'd trust 40" from daimlerchrysler more than 80" from ford ANY day.
>>
>> You know why "Smarts" are officially "safe"? Because there are too many
>> dollars between you and the other vehicles.

Jim, I would have thought that someone of your experience and intelligence
would better evaluate a source such as Bridger. Your link shows the result
of two head on crashes, one of which (the F150) is actually a front end
offset crash as opposed to the Mini which is a true front end impact...Next
the table of data listed were compiled by two "scientists" one of which is
from Cal Berkley which has a reputation of being anti-everything
establishment/American/or even moderately conservative. These data are
misleading and actually of little value as they list number of deaths per
1mil vehicles but they include not only the hitter but also the hitee. This
means 10 Yugo drivers hit 10 F150 and all 10 Yugo drivers are killed, then
BOTH the Yugo and the F150 are credited with 10 fatalities. Although
technically correct, this is a way to skew these data to support (or in this
case smear) a particular position or belief. In any such a study one must
ask the question; "Do the researchers have a personal agenda that may color
his perspective, analysis, and findings?". Also interesting was the fact
that the researchers lumped into a single category all Ford trucks, to wit,
"F-series". These are the best selling vehicles in the U.S. and have been
for decades. This allows for consideration of many more crashes than for
other categories... BTW, in the 1970s the Mini was banned from import into
the U.S....Why? Because Ralph Nader convinced someone that no vehicle with
12" wheels (maybe 10" I disremember) could be safe enough to operate on
American roads. Besides which, these nowadays are not real Minis or Mini
Coopers or Mini Cooper Ss.

Dave D

Dave D


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jun 2006, 06:40 am
Jonny
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

Odd, TV news said 75 highway/ 45 city.
Vehicle is good for 1 or 2 persons. They need a longer version for more
people and to carry a sizable amount of groceries etc. Pricey compared to
other high mpg cars currently on the market, but seems to fare more mpgs.
Maybe the maker is counting on this as a factor to sway the buyer.
Weight, engine displacement, and appropriate horsepower provided for such a
vehicle makes sense to get such mpg. Size (wind resistance) and weight are
the biggest obstacles to mpg, next the controllable lead foot and population
associated "parking lot" city driving commutes.
--
Jonny
"F. H." <connectu2@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:cJZog.20153$Yk.14009@trnddc06...
> DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.
> The company's Smart car, available in Europe since 1998, is to go on sale
> here in early 2008.
> By John O'Dell
> Times Staff Writer
>
> June 29, 2006
>
> The tiny Smart car is only two-thirds the size of a Mini Cooper, but
> DaimlerChrysler has big plans for it.
>
> The German automaker, which has been selling the two-seater in Europe
> since 1998, said Wednesday it planned to introduce the Smart in the U.S.
> early in 2008.
>
> With a fuel-sipping three-cylinder engine that gets about 60 miles per
> gallon on European highways, the Smart could be a big hit here. But first
> Americans will have to be convinced that something so small can hold its
> own against pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles that could carry the
> 1,600-pound Smart in back.
>
> Dieter Zetsche, DaimlerChrysler's chief executive and former head of its
> U.S.-based Chrysler Group unit, is betting that $3-a-gallon gasoline and
> crowded streets and highways will help overcome concerns about size.
>
> At just 8-feet, 2-inches in length, the Smart ForTwo, as the model is
> called, can be parked in half the space occupied by a full-size pickup.
>
> DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz unit, which builds the Smart at a plant in
> France, designed it to stand up to much larger vehicles, Zetsche said. The
> passenger cabin is framed in high-strength steel that is designed to work
> like the safety cage of a modern race car, isolating passengers from the
> shock of a collision.
>
> "We are very confident about the safety features and structural integrity"
> of the Smart, Zetsche said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
>
> The Smart has never made a profit. Zetsche is betting that a redesign and
> stepped up marketing in Europe next year will turn things around and that
> U.S. sales in 2008 will provide even bigger profits.
>
> The next-generation Smart ForTwo will be sold in the U.S. through a
> dealership chain to be established by United Auto Group Inc., the brand's
> U.S. distributor and marketer and the second-largest operator of new-car
> dealerships in the U.S.
>
> Zetsche said United Auto, led by former auto racer Roger Penske, expects
> to have 30 to 50 dealerships ready when the Smart is launched and will
> continue expanding until the U.S. market is covered. He said the Smart
> would be promoted as a commuter car in urban areas and as convenient
> transportation in leisure communities.
>
> One of the risks the Smart brand faces is pricing. There are several small
> cars in the U.S. market, such as the Honda Fit and Kia Rio, that have room
> for four or five passengers and are priced in the same range as the Smart.
>
> Zetsche said the car would be priced under $15,000.
>
> DaimlerChrysler hopes to sell 20,000 Smarts in the U.S. in 2008. Philip
> Reed, a senior auto industry analyst at Edmunds.com, said he believed the
> company would easily achieve that goal. "It will sell not only because of
> its fuel economy and equipment but because of its looks and appeal."
>
> The Smart isn't totally new to North America. DaimlerChrysler began
> marketing the car in Canada in 2004 and last year sold 4,000 Smarts there.
>
> And a Northern California company, Zap, began importing and distributing a
> version of the European Smart to the U.S. about a year ago. The cars are
> converted to meet U.S. safety standards and exported by a private firm
> with no connection to DaimlerChrysler.
>
> So far, Santa Rosa-based Zap has sent about 200 of the cars to various
> dealers, who sell them for prices starting at about $20,000.
>
> "We knew from the start that it was only a matter of time" before
> DaimlerChrysler began selling the cars in the U.S. at a lower price, said
> Zap spokesman A.J. Gilbertson. But until 2008, he said, Zap has the only
> Smarts around.
>
> *
>
> (INFOBOX BELOW)
>
> Big and small
>
> A comparison of the Smart and the Hummer H2
>
> Hummer H2 Smart
> Curb weight 6,400 lbs 1,600 lbs.
> Length 15' 9" 8' 2"
> Width 6' 9" 4' 11"
> Height 6' 7" 5'
> Seating 6 2
> Cylinders 8 3
> Fuel tank 32 gal. 10 gal.
> Horsepower 325 60
> Miles per gallon* 8 to 13 40 city/60 hwy.
> Price (in thousands) $50+ under $15
>
>
> *Estimated by industry sources.



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