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Smart Not Planning U.S. Version of ForFour 4-Seater

Betting a new version of the ForTwo can do the job.

by on Jan.22, 2014

Daimler AG's Smart brand will remain a one-model brand in the U.S. for the time being with the ForTwo.

Desperate to replace its aging ForTwo model and expand its appeal, Daimler AG’s Smart brand will nonetheless skip the U.S. market when it comes time to launch a second, larger minicar.

The troubled brand’s top executive told Automotive News she doesn’t think the cost of upgrading the planned ForFour model would be justified by what are likely to be modest sales, at best, in the American market.

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While a final decision has yet to be made, the likelihood that there’ll be no U.S. version of the ForFour is leaving some observers scratching their heads, especially when compared to what Smart’s competitors have been doing to expand their own appeal. (more…)

Daimler, Nissan, Renault Project Billions in Savings From New Alliance

Partnership could save Smart brand, help makers expand global presence and product lines.

by on Apr.07, 2010

Among the many projects set in motion under the new alliance is the development of a next-generation Smart fortwo, as well as the addition of a 4-door micro-car.

Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have signed a broad agreement on strategic cooperation that they claim will enable the two groups to collectively save nearly $3 billion, over the next five years, while helping all three makers to expand their global presence.

Among initial efforts, the new partners will cooperate on the development of a new product for Daimler’s struggling Smart car brand; they will also work on new gasoline and electric powertrains.  And a variety of additional cooperative ventures are under study, confirmed Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and his counterpart, Carlos Ghosn, who serves a dual role as chief executive of both Renault and Nissan.

“The lesson from the last crisis in the auto industry, in 2008 and 2009, is that you better be global, that you cannot do it alone, and that you better have friends,” Ghosn said, during a conversation with U.S. journalists.

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As part of the agreement, the two groups will exchange small amounts of equity.  This will give the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1% stake in Daimler, while the German makers get a 3.1% stake in both Renault and Nissan.

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