• Jun 28th 2006 at 12:15PM
  • 43

Dieter Zetsche came to Detroit today to announce some pretty big news... not so much that SMART is coming to the U.S. (that was the worst kept secret of June 2006), but rather that Roger Penske and UnitedAuto Group Inc. will be the one doing the honors.

The SMART ForTwo will be offered in the States starting in 2008, giving DaimlerChrysler enough time to get the vehicle's safety ratings up to snuff. The automaker expects to unload 20,000 units a year -- an aggressive goal given the fact that SMART currently sells 40,000 units in 36 countries per year. The car will go head-to-head with BMW's MINI brand, which will be redesigned for the 2007 model year.

Penske owns UnitedAuto Group Inc., the second-largest dealer group in the United States.

[Source: Reuters, Automotive News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      No, on the Smart Roadster.... Hopefully that will find life as an MG Roadster!


      (the Smart Roadster look fun, saw a lot of them zipping around the countryside in Europe)
      • 9 Years Ago
      It's good for a car to be so polarizing. That means it has a chance at being a hit.

      For those that don't like it, that's OK. As another poster said, it's about choices.
      • 9 Years Ago
      For everyone here who is knocking the Smart fortwo. Have you ever driven one ? I have and believe me they are the best fun you can have on four wheels without taking your clothes off. I have driven many different cars over the years, including several American models, but none have given me as much fun as the Smart. Many people complain that the Smart is too small and not safe compared to much larger vehicles. How many of the same people ride or have riden motorbikes without caring about the consequences of being squashed by a 4*4 ?. I had a motorbike and I know what I would prefer to be in in an accident. Sometimes you have to think outside your little box and take a chance. So if you get a chance, please try a Smart car, I can gaurantee you will have a ball. The Smart is a small on the outside, fun to drive, brilliant unconventional package for people who dont want to run with the pack.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You know, while these will make phenomenal city cars--for those with too much money to buy a moped--they raise an interesting question: A lot is made about how they can fit two of these in a parking spot. But how does that work when there's ony one meter? Who pays? Hmm.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yeah! How fun!

      All of you nay-sayers need to get off yer high-horses. This is NOT a car for everyone, but there are people out there that will be very happy with one of these. It's all about choices people... now we have one more, whether you like it or not.
      • 9 Years Ago
      OK I just HAVE to add something here.

      2006 SMART car.
      2 seats.
      Room for a couple of bags (squish).
      3-start NCAP euro crash test rating.
      4.7-4.8 litres/100 km fuel economy in Euro tests(current 45kw gasoline turbo engine, automatic) - not forgetting that the possibility of a diesel in the US is probably nil.
      Price - estimated on autoblog comments previously, at up to $20,000 US.
      Emissions - they'll be able to make it pass the needed emissions by 2008 with the new Mitsubishi engine, but 660cc and a turbo thrashing about is not going to make things easy.

      2006 Toyota Prius
      5 seats.
      A trunk (and split folding REAR seats for lots of room if only 2, 3 or 4 seats are needed).
      5-star NCAP euro crash test rating.
      4.3 litres per 100 km. fuel economy in Euro tests. (BETTER fuel economy than the SMART For Two).
      Price from $21,000 US right now.
      The car pollutes 11% as much as the current California emission requirement. Right now.

      Yeah, it's a real SMART car, all right.
      • 9 Years Ago
      matt: "emissions - SULEV right? well so is the ford focus and anything with a GM 3800 series III V6."

      Oh like you could PAY me to drive that shit.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Believe it or not, I was in traffic with one today in St. Louis...a local ford dealer has 7 used ones sitting on his lot. I have no idea where they came from.

      Only in America will a bunch of people get all riled up and argue about what non-domestic econo-car will kick the other car's ass.

      The car is Smart for some people, and no I won't buy one. I have a 90 pound dog, so it isnt for me...but the guy across the street who lives alone, and doesn't have off street parking, should have the CHOICE to buy whatever the hell he wants. Welcome to America Ya'll!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Dave, mopeds aren't all-weather and don't hold two people and where do you put your groceries?

      (That said, I'm finally taking a motorcycle training course (MSF) to expand my options and -cough- have fun.)
      • 9 Years Ago
      12, that argument is old. there are recycling programs for those batteries for the plastics and heavy metals - plus they have longer support for those items. Plus, what kind of "replacement" item will they offer in the ~10 years that pass?
      • 9 Years Ago
      One nice tip I would like to share with you is that the Smart Cars are already available in the USA. ZAP (Stock Symbol:ZP - NYSE), a California-based Company, imports them, modifies them to American Standards and distributes them to its dealers. There is no need to wait until 2008 to save money with gas and have a cool car. Check it out at www.zapworld.com.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If they can get the diesel version in here, I'll consider buying it.

      At least it's rear wheel drive, like a real car.
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