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Smart or Dumb Sales Plan?

Customization option is likely the most aggressive ever offered.

by on Jul.08, 2010

Turn a Smart fortwo into a personal statement with the maker's new Smart Expressions program -- but is it little more than a gimmick?

With sales taking a sharp tumble, Smart USA is hoping to rebuild demand by giving buyers the ability to extensively customize the brand’s fortwo microcar.

The new program, dubbed Smart Expressions, will not only let buyers choose from 93 paint colors, but also bring a color swatch of their own to match the color of their car to just about anything – whether a shade of lipstick or the colors of a favorite sports team.

Smart will also offer a series of full or partial vehicle wraps. Eventually, buyers may be offered the ability to design their own vehicle wraps.

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Marketing!

Smart is looking for some sort of spark to bring it out of its sales funk. Earlier this year, Jill Lajdziak, former general manager of GM’s Saturn brand, was tapped by Smart USA distributor Roger Penske to take over from the brand’s first manager, Dave Schrembi. Sales dropped 38% between its 2008 launch and the 2009 sales meltdown that affected the entire auto industry.

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