Smart's ForTwo Aiming for Big U.S. Sales
Washington DC November 27, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that the 8-foot, 8-inch Smart ForTwo micro car comes to U.S. shores in January, and even with gasoline prices well above the $3-a-gallon mark it remains to be seen whether Americans will flock to buy the tiny, two-seater car.
MSNBC reports that Smart has already sold more than 770,000 ForTwos in 36 countries, and Smart USA is banking on robust sales in the United States.
The Smarts on sale here will be made in France and sold through 73 U.S. dealers, including Mercedes dealers and dealerships that are part of the Penske Automotive Group. Smart says more than 30,000 consumers have put down a refundable $99 deposit to reserve a Smart car. The company is hoping to move at least 30,000 units in the first year. Not many U.S. subcompact cars sell in the 30,000-unit range.
Close competitors like the Kia Rio and Scion xA sold 28,388 units and 32,603 units in 2006, respectively, while the significantly larger Scion xB sold 61,306 units and the popular Mini Cooper sold 39,171 units.