Daimler exec extraordinaire, Dieter Zetsche, sat down with reporters for a breakfast meeting earlier today and discussed the future of the smart brand here in the States. As we're well aware, over 30,000 consumers have put down deposits for the smart before it comes to market next month, and according to Dr. Z, demand will exceed the number of smarts destined for U.S. shores. At the same time, however, he didn't want to give exact figures on how many smarts Daimler expects to sell in 2008.
The talks also centered on the future of smart in the States, including the possibility of diesel-powered fortwos and the testing of a fleet of all-electric smarts in an unnamed urban city, similar to a program in London.
Daimler has 65 dealerships lined up to sell smarts in the U.S., with another nine due to go live before the end of next year. Thirty-three of the stores will be "co-located" within existing Mercedes-Benz franchises, which is similar to how BMW originally launched the MINI brand across the globe.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]