Published on January 6th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
new smart models for 2015 to improve growth
smart is a rather odd company. They’re purveyors of compact little city cars, designed with rigid underbodies and fibreglass body panels. smart is quite like Lotus, if Lotus aimed for mass-market compact passenger cars instead of sports cars. Gentle curves and bright contrasting colours are a large part of smart’s design approach.
There is a great deal of interest in the new smart generation: Almost a million people visited the smart roadshow across Europe, promoting the launch of the new smart fortwo and smart forfour. 995,000 visitors took up smart’s invitation to celebrate the joy of living in their cities and to experience the new smart models liveQ. Running from the end of July until November 2014, the smart roadshow’s itinerary took it to 15 major European cities.
The market launch of the new smart models took place in many European countries on 22 November. In Germany alone, over 50,000 customers visited dealers on the launch weekend and over 6000 test drives were agreed upon.
smart is preparing the ground for further growth with the launch of the dual clutch transmission in March, which is without parallel in the segment, and with the market premieres of the new smart generation in the USA and China in 2015. Today, both countries are already very important markets for the young Stuttgart-based car brand and saw rising sales figures also in 2014. In the United States, almost one in four smart sold was an electric drive in the last year. And only five years after smart’s market launch, China already became the second-largest sales market for the smart fortwo in 2014, directly after Germany.
“In 2014, we planned lower worldwide sales due to the ramp up of our new models and reached our goals. In 2015 we will be launching the new models in our most important markets outside of Europe, and in 2016 we aim to build on this and play an instrumental role in shaping mobility and life in the world’s cities on a sustained and sustainable basis,” states Annette Winkler.
smart isn’t as popular in our market given their steep pricing, but this may change with some price revision, along with the improved quality and better features that are said to be in the works. These new models slated to replace their predecessors are a little more grown up in nature and design, drawing on contemporary design to appeal to a larger audience. They’ve dialled back on the quirkiness and focused on improving value- something that most buyers would appreciate.