It's tough being Smart these days. After selling a stunning 24,622 Smart ForTwo models in 2008, its first year on the market, sales sank 41 percent last year.
Now Smart has started leasing, launched a car-share service in Austin, Texas, and even hired well-respected ex-Saturn president Jill Lajdziak to run the show. Still, they're finding it a lot harder than it used to be to move the metal.
So, we humbly submit our own, Car Connection-original idea: Go talk to the NYPD!
Tell 'em that their three-wheeled Cushman scooters are tippy, unsafe, and just way too Seventies. That's right: Cut the cops a sweet deal to put new Smarts on the streets of old New York.
NYPD - Cushmans by Flickr user tom_hobokenEnlarge Photo
NYPD Nissan Altima HybridEnlarge Photo
The New York Police Department is already using a handful of Nissan Altima Hybrids, so they're hardly averse to cars other than the V-8 Crown Vic cruisers that will go out of production sooner or later.
Sure, a high-speed chase in a Smart is laughable, but we bet it's faster than those Cushmans. The speed limit in the five boroughs is mostly 30 mph, anyway.
Not to mention that Smarts actually have real heating, air conditioning, windows, that kind of thing.
And besides, if they came in NYPD livery, we bet there wouldn't be any of that lawless Smart-tipping that those hooligans in the old Amsterdam are prone to.
Whaddaya say, Ms. Lajdziak?