The Smart Car is a compact, energy-efficient little car that's been popular in Europe and Asia for nearly a decade now. But until now, the United States has not been smart enough to have the Smart Car.
Finally, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler is bringing it to the United States. Arriving in January 2008, the American version is called 'smart fortwo'. So small it does not even get capital letters for its name.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG, says 'smart fortwo' is the right car at the right time for Americans, who are facing volatile fuel prices, increased urban congestion and a mindset of environmental responsibility. Something drivers in Europe have faced for generations already -- exactly why the Smart Car is so popular there.
I've seen Smart cars parked sideways, like a motorcycle, in cities including Paris. And I've seen them keeping up with the big boys on the legendary German Autobahn.
So if you have $99 for a deposit, get in line behind more than 30,000 other smart consumers to reserve one of these little green gem cars.
Mercedes parent Daimler says the market for the 'smart fortwo' is first-time buyers looking for something affordable, city dwellers looking for something functional and easy to park, baby boomers needing a third car for commuting, and empty nesters who no longer need a large car with a back seat and a roomy trunk. That pretty much sounds like everybody, except perhaps a large family.
Here's the downside -- just 70 dealerships nationwide, and only those in major cities, will be selling the 'fortwo'. Maybe, if we are smart enough to make the 'smart fortwo' a best-seller, then maybe Daimler also will bring to the USA the four-person Smart that I've seen also on the streets and highways of Europe and Asia. Check out some 'smart for two' video on You Tube.