• Jan 20th 2010 at 9:29AM
  • 28
2009 Smart Fortwo Click above for high-res image gallery

Intent on putting 2009 – and its devastating 41-percent sales plunge – into distant memory, Smart USA is rolling out its first lease incentive program designed to kick-start sales (along those lines, former Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak was appointed as president of the company just two weeks ago). Smart has run pilot leasing programs in the past, but this is the first program offered nationwide.

Launched two years ago, sales of the tiny Fortwo were initially strong. However, as the novelty wore off the unimpressive subcompact and gas prices dropped, customers grew cold. The failing economy only made matters worse. First year sales were 24,622 units. In 2009, Smart USA moved just 14,595 cars.

The terms of the Daimler Financial Services deal include a 36-month/10,000-mile lease with less than $2,000 out of pocket. Payments are $169 plus tax. The program is scheduled to run through the end of February.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its going to take more than a lease agreement. It really doesn't have much worth beyond a commuter car and in this economy that's a luxury item, especially one this expensive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      if that's how much they were paying ME I'd still not be excited about this car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      lol it is only a matter of time before they pull Smart out of US. RIP
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everyone here is unintelligent except for me. They reprogrammed all transmissions for free last year. If there's a transmission problem; my trailer hitch would've exposed it by now.

      - I came through 2008 gas hike untouched. I beat an E92 335i in traffic (yes , length is more important than muscles), I enjoy the cheapest insurance of any car in the country, i got security of RWD, and ... It is THE SAFEST CAR ON THE ROAD.

      -Why don't you people step off the stationary wheel for a moment and see what stress-free living is all about. You DO know stress causes cancer and heart disease right? =D
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiddling while Rome burns. All the marketing magic and lease gimmicks won't change the fact that the car sucks. It is too expensive for what you get, the mileage is poor, and the transmission is horrid.

      Smart's first, second, and third priorities should be: fix the car, fix the car, and fix the car.

      Consumers understand that you can get a Honda Fit for the same money that gives them more room and better mileage. The folks who bought a Smart car as a fashion accessory have already bought one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why the hell would I want to lease that, when for the same amount you could lease a Corolla, which seats 4 adults, gets good gas mileage, and the downpayment is less than they are asking. Plus, the Corolla is well equipped too. Smart isn't offering anything with those steep lease payments, when there are full sized cars, which get almost the same fuel mileage at the same lease rates.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only a thrifty diesel and a better transmission can save this little car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring the roadster !
      • 5 Years Ago
      actually found a niche market for these last weekend.
      was at an RV show where a number of the RVs has a separate compartment for your 'toys'; ATV, motorcycle,... NOT the ones where the couches fold up so you can pull your bikes in and take it out to pull down your couch and bed.

      If I'm a retired couple running around in an RV, sticking one of these in that bay is a lot easier than pulling that old geo tracker, prism, Saturn SL1 behind you. And it will fit, they have 10-11 feet which the smart fits into

        • 5 Years Ago
        I dunno, I'd still be scared sh*tless to drive one of those anywhere other than a golf course
      • 5 Years Ago
      The car works well in cities where commuting by car is viable and parking is difficult - ex: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC.

      However, the pricing on the car is too high for a car of such limited functionality. Its roomy enough for a daily driver but the tranny is really annoying.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honestly, even 169 a month, this is ridiculous. About $1600 up front and a 3 year, 10,000 mile limit? Even if yearly, which I assume it is, that's lower then the yearly average. Finally, the lease is longer then the warranty. Someone get these guys a second gun so they can shoot themselves in the other foot too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they're targeting people in the city, in which case the mileage limit wouldn't be AS huge a deal, though still regrettable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this car is only good for tight parking spots
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