Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Smart coming to the US in 1Q08 - to be sold by Penske

In a move that really doesn't surprise anyone who has been following the rumors over the last few weeks - DaimlerChrysler announced today that they will be importing the Smart brand of city cars to the US starting in the first quarter of 2008.

In an interesting move that helps minimize their exposure if the cars refuse to sell, DCX isn't creating a brand new dealer network to sell the cars. Instead, they have decided to partner with Penske's UnitedAuto Group - though it is not immediately apparent what the exact nature of the partnership is other than that Penske's company will sell and service the vehicles. Our guess would be each UnitedAuto Group dealer in urban areas (specifically on the East and West coasts) will add special Smart showrooms within a showroom to minimize their costs rather than build dedicated facilities.

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