When the Smart fortwo arrives early next year, there's little doubt that its small footprint, quirky styling and enviable fuel economy will make it one of the hottest automotive products of 2008 – but will it be sustainable? An article in AdAge discusses some of the finer points about the arrival of the fortwo, but recognize that it isn't for everyone and once the early adopters get behind the wheel, the possibility of a substantial decline in volume is a possibility.

Knowing that sales will be somewhere in the ballpark of 20,000 units annually, Smart has decided that its marketing expenditure in the States will be limited, instead relying on online spots and word-of-mouth rather than TV and print advertising. They've even decided not to hire a U.S.-based agency to handle promotion.

Expect the fortwo to reach dealers in January of '08, with the 20,000 consumers who've already put $99 down to get first dibs. We'll see where sales go from there this time next year.

[Source: AdAge]

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