When smart first decided to offer its diminutive fortwo in the United States, the automaker and Penske, the U.S. distributor, pegged a goal of 20,000 sales for its first year. That mark has come and gone, a full two months ahead of schedule. In early August, we heard that Penske had raised its sales expectations to somewhere between 24,000 and 27,500, a mark that shouldn't be hard to hit considering that over 7,000 units have been delivered in the last three months. This is the first year that the city car has been available in the States, but the brand has actually been around for about ten years. Our understanding is that the automaker could sell way more units in the U.S. if units could be built fast enough. Dave Schembri, president of smart USA, was on hand for the historic event. The car was delivered to Patrick Zipper in Dallas, Texas. Next question: Will the sales success continue on into 2009?

[Source: smart USA]
PRESS RELEASE:

smart USA Delivers 20,000th smart fortwo in the United States
Innovative Vehicle Reaches Significant Sales Milestone in Less Than Ten Months

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Oct 31, 2008 smart USA Distributor LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc.,delivered the 20,000th smart fortwo at smart center Dallas, in Dallas, Texas. This sales milestone was accomplished in less than ten months from the initial sales launch of the vehicle in the United States.

"Hitting this landmark just ten months following sales launch proves that the smart fortwo is changing the landscape of America's highways," said Dave Schembri, president of smart USA. "More U.S. consumers are discovering that the fortwo is the right car at the right time, offering a high level of fuel efficiency, comfort, agility, safety and ecology."

The smart fortwo continues to be an attractive vehicle solution for American consumers in our value-oriented, environmentally responsible society. It is the most fuel efficient, non-hybrid vehicle in the United States according to the 2009 EPA Fuel Economy Guide, achieving an average of 41 miles per gallon on the highway. The fortwo is also certified by the EPA as a "Smartway" vehicle, which indicates good environmental performance, placing it among the "greenest" vehicles on the market.

The 2009 model year smart fortwo will begin to arrive at dealerships for delivery to consumers the first week of November. The new model adds two additional color choices for its exterior interchangeable body panels with "rally" red, a color reminiscent of a fire truck, and metallic gray joining the color pallet. The vehicle has been on sale in the United States since January 2008, and is available at 73 smart centers in 35 states.

Further information about smart USA can be found at www.smartusa.com.

ABOUT the smart fortwo and smart USA

smart USA Distributor LLC, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. The smart fortwo is a brand of and is manufactured by Daimler AG. This technologically advanced vehicle achieves 41 mpg on the highway and is an ultra-low emissions vehicle, as certified by the State of California Air Resources Board. The vehicle is 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and comes equipped with many functional and safety features found in most luxury models. smart is currently sold in 36 other countries, and more than 1,000,000 smart fortwos have been sold since 1998. The 2009 smart fortwo is available in three trim levels ranging in price from $11,990(a) to $16,990(a). For more information visit the smart USA website -- www.smartusa.com.

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