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http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2010/10/smart-to-sell-small-nissan-model-in-the-u-s-next-year-the-smart-forfive.html



Struggling with diminished sales, Daimler’s Smart Car division will expand its lineup in the U.S. with a new Nissan-made small car. The subcompact five-door will be powered by a gasoline engine and go on sale late next year.

As a B-segment car, this subcompact fits in a class with models like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Chevy Aveo.

“The new vehicle will expand Smart USA’s product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation,” Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak said in the statement.

While neither automaker has commented on the product, it will likely be based on Nissan’s new global Micra platform, which comes with a choice of either a 1.2L three-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 79 hp or a supercharged 1.2L direct injection engine version. And considering Smart’s naming strategy, we expect the new model to be called the Smart forfive.
 

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as a past smart car owner and afficianado, I have mixed feelings about this. from a business standpoint, it makes sense since "smart" has really nothing but an "ED" :eek: (LOL) for electric drive coming out in the near future. a Nissan built vehicle will hopefully keep smart centers from going belly-up.

but from an owner/customer standpoint, one of the main reasons I purchased the smart was the fact that it was "small", "safe" (for it's size) and got decent gas mileage. in my eyes, smart is going down the same road as Saturn, starting to rely on other makes or manufacturers to update their lineup.

but then again, why am I not surprised? the new President of smart USA, Jill Lajdziak, was the head of Saturn.

unfortunately, we all know how that worked out for THEM! :(
 

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As a current Smart Car owner I think this is a horrible idea. No good has ever come out of re-badging someone else’s car and tweaking them to be your own. Anyone remember the Saab 9-2 or 9-7? A total disaster! I personally am more excited about the electric Smart Scooter that was shown recently at the Paris Auto Show then I am about this. You can do better then that Smart!
 

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As a current Smart Car owner I think this is a horrible idea. No good has ever come out of re-badging someone else’s car and tweaking them to be your own. Anyone remember the Saab 9-2 or 9-7? A total disaster! I personally am more excited about the electric Smart Scooter that was shown recently at the Paris Auto Show then I am about this. You can do better then that Smart!
It has been done before and also to great success. It just depends on the product and how it is marketed and sold. One most recent example is the new Buick Regal which is selling way faster than the dealers can bring in new stock. The Buick Regal is just a rebadged Opel Insignia. There are more examples. However if poorly planned it can fail very quickly like you guys mentioned. As far Smart getting a model from a different car manufacturer its also partly based on how poorly the Smart fortwo is doing. At its peak it only sold less than 30000 units in 2008 and has slowly been decreasing the past two years. They're hoping to move more units since Nissan has had great success with compact cars.
 

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I'm not saying that it will be a bad car. personally I LIKE the looks of the Nissan Sentra and Versa (sedan anyway) and have heard pretty much only good things about them.

what I AM saying is that if smart and Nissan make a car "together", what then will set it apart from any other car? what attracted me to buy a smart was first, it was fun to drive, second it was VERY safe for the size of car with it's engineered "Tridion Cell" roll cage construction and third, it's fuel mileage. of those three points, I only see maybe ONE (fuel mileage) that would apply to the car they would plan to market.

as I mentioned before, Saturn marketed themselves as "a different kind of Car Company" and they were......for a while. then GM mentality prevailed and down went the company. smart too was a 'different kind of car company' but now I just see it as becoming just another vehicle with 4 wheels and good fuel mileage. I'm not saying they won't be successful, it's just not what they originally intended.

that is truly a bummer.......:(
 
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