• Jan 15th 2007 at 9:06AM
  • 7
Smart USA has begun recruiting North American dealers to sell the diminutive two-seater and is starting with current DaimlerChrysler dealers. While those already selling DC products would not be required to build a stand-alone Smart showroom, they would have to dedicate 2,000 sq feet to the product and provide a separate entrance. Automotive News reports dealers would be expected to invest about $300,000 apiece for the priviledge of selling Smarts. AutoNation, which runs 13 Mercedes dealerships, says it is among 400 candidates hoping to get Smart franchises.

To build U.S. awareness of the Smart brand, three tractor trailers will tour the country this summer, taking Smart cars to the masses in 37 cities. Potential buyers will then have a chance to test drive the ForTwo and find out just how intimidated even the smallest SUV will make them feel. Those still interested in buying, can look forward to the first of 2008, when the cars should actually hit dealer lots.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "just how intimidated even the smallest SUV will make them feel"

      I don't wanna hear it! ;)
      Look at the photo above, they are sitting just as high as the taxi next to them, they've got nothing to scare them. They need to try riding around in a Lotus Elise, where Camry window sills are higher than your head and you only know SUVs as "those things with wheels and doors but no windows"... Once they experience that they will welcome the ForTwo's normal height.

      I say that but the truth is that these will sell like crazy during the first month or so and then the used market will be flooded with them once their fat, used to driving a Cadillac, owners realize that the car isn't for them. I'm not saying they don't have their place, but they've been publicized so much that they are "trendy" now. Cool people will buy them, realize they aren't their cup of tea, and then put them back into the market for people like me (who have wanted one for 5+ years) to snatch up.

      I'm not going to hop on any waiting lists but I'm so there when these start hitting regular dealer lots!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really like the picture at the top of this article.

      Not sure why; maybe it's the bright primary colors, that it's the first sunshine i've seen in a few months, or the inherent sexiness of the Crown Vic :P, but i just like it.

      Is this a stock photo, or smart promo material? And are we capitalizing "smart" now? :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      SUVs are not intimidating. The 5'2" phone-gabbing, kid-yelling, fry-eating, all while failing to drive well soccer moms hurling them along....they're scary.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thanks for creating this great article on the smart, I would like to personally invite you to the new smart site just launched.

        The new smart website is focused on the 451 smart fortwo ( 2008 smart car ) and its web address is: http://www.451s.com

        451s.com was created to help bring together worldwide smart owners and smart enthusiasts. While this site is focused on the 451 smart fortwo sold in America and Canada it is open to all smart's and the worldwide smart community.

      • 8 Years Ago
      That's less than a Hooters franchise!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I live in Germany and had a Smart CDI (diesel)for 1 year. It was great fun driving it in the City, but forget the german Autobahn, it was too slow. In the USA you will not have this problem. Thera are no Audis with 200km/h or more which nearly like to kill you, just because you dare to overtake a truck.
      YOu can drive circles around any SUV before they now what happened to them :).
      By the way, the CDI (Common rail Dieselengine) only needs 3 - 4 Liters /100km !! In the city !!
      (This is what a big SUV needs on the first 100 yards in the morning .....)
      Maybe the Cars in the USA will start beeing as small as in Europe, growing prices for Oil will do the rest ....
      Tschüss aus Deutschland
      • 8 Years Ago
      A ketchup-red Smart in a sea of mustard-yellow cabs. There's a hot dog joke in there somewhere.
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