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The all-electric Smart EDs may not be here yet, but a companion app for the little city cars is already available in the iTunes App Store [$9.99 for the U.S version, $11.99 for the EU version]. Called Smart Drive, the app is one half of the Smart Drive Kit (the other is a holder that connects your iPhone to the dashboard and to the Fortwo's entertainment system) and is suitable for use in non-electric Fortwos as well. Heck, you could probably use this app in any car you wanted with limited funct

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2009 Smart Fortwo – Click above for high-res image gallery

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During the blur of the Detroit Auto Show this week, we checked in with fresh Smart USA president Jill Lajdziak to see what the boss has to say about her new job, sales of the fortwo in the U.S. and what's up with the all-electric Smart Ed. Lajdziak only recently joined up with Penske Automotive and Smart after spending time as general manager at Saturn. She was named to the top post just last week.

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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.

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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.

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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 the brand's proposed purchase from General Motors. As we all know, that agreement 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 promptly announced that she would retire from General Motors at the end of this month.

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It may not have a starring role alongside the latest electrics from Renault at the Frankfort Motor Show this week like its bigger Better Place competitor, but Coulomb Technologies with its ChargePoint Network is happy to inform the world it's getting a good dose of Teutonic love itself, thank you very much. The company, which has taken to calling itself "the leader in networked charging station infrastructure," has just be named by smartUSA as its preferred supplier of charging stations for its

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2009 Smart ForTwo – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the smart ed

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One of the newest cars to drop into the US market is the Smart ForTwo. A decade after its European debut, the two-seat city car finally arrived stateside after several abortive attempts by both its parent company Daimler and independent distributors. This time around Daimler worked with a US distributor set up by serial entrepreneur and race team owner Roger Penske to create SmartUSA. At the LA Auto Show last week we sat down with SmartUSA president David Schembri to discuss the company's first

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DaimlerChrysler's U.S. distributor for the tiny Smart fortwo has taken more than 20,000 reservations for the upcoming minicar, with customers paying $99 upfront for the privilege of being one of the first in the country to own one. With base models expected to start below $12,000 and rising up to roughly $17,000 for a convertible version, the cost effective model took less than four months to tally up its pre-release orders.

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We just shared with you earlier today a news item that SmartUSA will be trekking across the United States, coast to coast, to show off their new Smart FourTwo that will be available to U.S. consumers for the first time next year. Now, we get news that 12,600 deposits of $99 have already been placed for the diminutive little machine, and the tour hasn't even started yet! With three-quarters of the expected total allotment for the year already spoken for, if you want one and still have not put any

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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,

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