Smart dealers are reportedly excited by the announcement that they’ll get another vehicle to sell alongside the two-seat Smart ForTwo minicar sometime next year. GreenCarReports confirms that Smart has reached a deal with Nissan Motor Company to sell a new five-door, five-seat gasoline-powered subcompact car here by the fourth quarter of 2011.
No name has yet been announced, and Smart refers to it simply as the “B-segment” car.Smart ForTwo’s declining sales may have something to do with this move to another vehicle, but it makes smart (pun intended) marketing sense. The new subcompact will compete against the popular Honda Fit in a segment that’s growing quite rapidly.
In a news release, Smart USA President Jill Ladziak said “The new vehicle will expand Smart USA’s product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation.”
Actually, the new Smart small car looks pretty appealing and seems to fit right in with the automaker’s commitment to build cars that produce minimal environmental impact while delivering sporty and fuel-efficient driving.
What many consumers may not know is that Smart is a unit of the Penske Automotive Group, the nation’s second-largest auto retailer. Roger Penske, chairman of the board, has a long history in both racing and the auto business. He’s built Penske Automotive Group to its position today of 172 franchises in the U.S. and 152 internationally on the strength of his business acumen and astute grasp of the kinds of products consumers want.
Looking forward to the new “B-segment” small car from Smart? Join the crowd.