It's Official...The Smart Car Is Coming To The U.S.


PHOTO

Posted by www.eMercedesBenz.com on June 28th, 2006 

There's been rumors, speculation, and heresay by automotive  
journalists. There's been hoping, begging, longing and pleading by  
tree-hugging American smart fans. Today, it's finally official - the  
smart car is headed to the United States.

In a press release issued today, the company has announced that  
beginning in 2008, the successor to the smart fortwo, i.e. the new  
smart fortwo, will be made available in the U.S. in three models.  
Already sold in 37 different markets, the American smart will feature  
the same trademark elements that make the European version so unique,  
including the tridion safety cell, ESP, and a number of airbag systems.

As for the distribution of the smart, that duty lies solely in the  
hands of the UnitedAuto Group, the company chosen by DaimlerChrysler  
to be the exclusive distribution partner of the subcompact brand.  
Responsibilities of the UAG include awarding potential dealers as  
well as developing and maintaining a smart vehicle dealership network  
throughout the United States and Puerto Rico

Here's what DaimlerChrysler AG Chairman of the Board of Management  
and head of Mercedes Car Group Dieter Zetsche had to say about smart  
coming to the U.S.: “Following the success of the smart fortwo in our  
first North American market, Canada, and the increasing demand for  
affordable and fuel efficient small cars in the U.S.A., we are now  
bringing this new kind of mobility to U.S. cities. The time has never  
been better for this – and I am convinced that the smart fortwo as an  
innovative, ecological and agile city car will soon become just as  
familiar a sight on the streets of New York, Miami or Seattle, as it  
is today in Rome, Berlin or Paris."

To learn more, keep scrolling for DaimlerChrysler's official press  
release.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE


smart vehicles go USA: UnitedAuto Group selected as future exclusive  
distributor


Detroit, MI / B÷blingen, Germany, Jun 28, 2006
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management DaimlerChrysler  
AG and head of Mercedes Car Group today announced that  
the unique and urban-friendly smart brand will enter the U.S. market.  
Beginning in 2008, the successor to the smart fortwo will be  
available in U.S. markets in three models. The U.S.A., as the world's  
largest automotive market, will be the 37th market for smart.

The Parties have agreed on the framework for the exclusive  
distribution of smart vehicles by international automotive retailer  
UnitedAuto Group, Inc. . UnitedAuto will be responsible for  
awarding potential dealers and developing and maintaining a smart  
vehicle dealership network throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

DaimlerChrysler AG Chairman of the Board of Management and head of  
Mercedes Car Group Dieter Zetsche said, “Following the success of the  
smart fortwo in our first North American market, Canada, and the  
increasing demand for affordable and fuel efficient small cars in the  
U.S.A., we are now bringing this new kind of mobility to U.S. cities.  
The time has never been better for this – and I am convinced that the  
smart fortwo as an innovative, ecological and agile city car will  
soon become just as familiar a sight on the streets of New York,  
Miami or Seattle, as it is today in Rome, Berlin or Paris."

Like its predecessor, the smart fortwo successor will have all the  
important features that make customers feel safer and more  
comfortable. As part of the Mercedes Car Group, the smart vehicle  
will be equipped with unique technology, including the “hard shell”  
tridion safety cell, ESP and various airbag systems.

UnitedAuto expects to qualify potential dealers using an open process  
that will focus on their commitment to the brand and strategic  
locations in key markets with facilities that meet the needs of the  
brand and the customer. Demonstration of outstanding customer  
satisfaction metrics will also be a key element to qualify for the  
franchise. The initial rollout of retail outlets is expected to start  
in mid-2007, with the official launch of the smart brand planned to  
occur later that year. The smart vehicle is expected to be sold in  
the U.S. starting in early 2008.

UnitedAuto Chairman Roger Penske remarked, “We are thrilled with the  
opportunity to represent the smart brand in the United States and  
Puerto Rico. Through our international diversification, we’ve seen  
the benefits the smart brand provides in Europe. We believe the U.S.  
market will embrace the smart vehicle with its exceptional fuel  
economy, environmentally friendly features, and advantageous price  
point. We look forward to a successful launch of this vehicle over  
the next several years.”

For further information about the smart vehicles please refer to  
www.media.smart.com or www.smartusa.com.

About UnitedAuto

United Auto Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan,  
operates 296 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different  
brands, and 27 collision repair centers. UnitedAuto, which sells new  
and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and  
replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all  
brands it represents, has 173 franchises in 19 states and Puerto Rico  
and 123 franchises located internationally, primarily in the United  
Kingdom. UnitedAuto is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 2000  
and has approximately 14,000 employees.

About smart

Since October 1998 the smart fortwo has attracted more than 750,000  
customers in 36 countries. As a brand of DaimlerChrysler, smart  
benefits from the parent corporation's technical expertise and  
extensive experience in the automotive business. The successor to the  
smart fortwo will be launched in Europe next year and will be  
available in the USA for the first time the following year.

smart, as one of the youngest car makes on the market, stands for  
innovation, functionality and joie de vivre and especially appeals to  
customers who are interested in new, clever and trend-setting  
solutions in the automotive sector. smart drivers are characterized  
by attitude, not by age, profession, gender or any other  
'traditional' criteria clustering groups of people. smart people are  
open minded, question the existing and live consciously.


For more Mercedes-Benz news and information, visit  
www.eMercedesBenz.com.

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