Last summer, during Cash For Clunkers, Smart USA offered what sounded like a good deal: buy a Fortwo for just $99/month. Of course, that low price wasn't quite as good as it sounded. Now, the Penske Automotive brand is trying a new deal to get people into the tiny city cars: a $169 per month lease program.
Just a few weeks ago, former Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak was hired by Penske Automotive to head sales and marketing for its Smart USA operations. Now Lajdziak will take over the entire operation as the new president of Smart USA, replacing Dave Schembri, who held the post since its inception.
Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak spent several months this summer and fall working closely with Roger Penske and his staff trying to iron out the details of a proposed purchase of the brand from General Motors. As we know, that deal fell apart when Renault's board of directors vetoed a deal to supply cars to a Penske-owned Saturn. When GM decided to shutter Saturn, Lajdziak announced that she would retire from General Motors at the end of this month.