Smart has announced that it, the purveyor of pint-sized conveyances, has partnered up with Nissan to build a new vehicle slated to go on sale here in the States. Details are remarkably scarce at the moment, but Smart has been kind enough to roll out a couple of sketches to give us an idea of what's coming down the pike. From the press release, we're told that the new creation will be a five-door, B-segment competitor powered by a gasoline engine, and that it will go on sale late 2011.
Given the short lead time, we're that the car will likely be based on the Nissan Micra, especially since Nissan's current B-segment car, the Versa, is one of the largest offerings in that class. The sketches don't exactly reveal too much, other than the fact that the vehicle will retain the Smart penchant for unique design.
As of right now, the two companies have merely signed a Memorandum of Understanding. That means that the final decision still has to go through numerous approvals before getting the go ahead. Still, it's good to see Smart making moves to get out of the rut the company has been in for the past year or so. Hit the jump to read the official press release.
smart USA and Nissan to Collaborate on New Vehicle for the U. S. Market
Bloomfield Hills, Mich., (October 6, 2010) – smart USA Distributor LLC ("smart USA"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG), announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. ("Nissan") for the collaboration of a new vehicle for sale in the United States.
Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, smart USA would obtain the rights to procure and distribute a five-door, gasoline powered, B-segment vehicle from Nissan for sale through the smart USA retail dealership network in the United States. The new vehicle is expected to be available for retail sale in the fourth quarter of 2011. A sketch of the proposed vehicle can be viewed at the smart USA Media Newsroom.
smart USA President Jill Lajdziak said, "The new vehicle will expand smart USA's product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation."
Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger Penske added, "We are proud to be a partner with both Daimler and Nissan, two companies focused on bringing high-quality, fuel efficient products to the U.S. market."
Further details of the non-binding MOU are not being released at this time. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including the completion of definitive agreements.