Published on April 20th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
smart fortwo makes it’s way to China
With the 16th Auto Shanghai comes the launch of the new smart (note the lowercase) fortwo for the Chinese market. The previous generation was introduced in the Chinese market back in 2009, with 70,000 examples being sold in the country over the past 6 years.
Considering how massive the Chinese market is, this isn’t a particularly large number, but perhaps this next generation model may be what smart needs to get a foothold in the super-compact premium segment.
The new generation of smart fortwo was announced worldwide at the start of this year, being quite an impressive generational jump over the outgoing model. It took the overall dimensions of the smart fortwo of old, and worked on improving aspects like quality and features.
While the original smart fortwo had a similar marketing model to the Minis of old (cheap to buy, easy to run), it was the engineering costs that pushed the market cost of the car up and made it too difficult to sell to a large audience.
In rethinking their branding strategy, smart has managed to make the fortwo a more premium product and is attacking a different segment entirely. It’s unlikely that we’ll see the smart fortwo on our shores given how the previous generation was poorly received, but depending on the success of the coming forfour, we may see a suitable market for the smart brand in Malaysia again.