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Smart Brings In Outside Designer House

Aiming to counter slow sales with new small car.

by on Nov.17, 2010

An "outside" designer has been hired by Smart USA to work up a real-world version of this concept 4-seater due out by 2012.

Struggling to overcome cripplingly slow sales, Smart USA has brought in an outside design house to work on the new small car the maker is developing with help from Nissan.

Jill Lajdziak, smart USA president, confirmed to that Penske Automotive Group, has turned to an outside design partner to work with Nissan on both the exterior and interior design for a four-seat Smart.

Lajdziak declined to identify the designer but confirmed the project is already well along.

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The project is particularly unusual because Smart USA is working directly with Nissan on the vehicle, without the participation of the smaller maker’s German parent, Daimler AG.

The 4-seater coming from Smart USA-Nissan is expected to be ready for the market by the end of 2011 or in early 2012, at the earliest.