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Wheels.16

Fuel efficiency

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{Wheels.16.13}: Joseph Kang {jsk} Tue, 22 Mar 2005 09:09:57 CST (22 lines)

Some ominous news about smart (from thecarconnection.com):

Schrempp: Smart Could Go "Kaput"

In what amounts to a near "kiss of death," DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen
Schrempp told analysts that the Smart minicar brand "could be
expunged." The remark, made before a small group of analysts in
Munich, Germany, and reported by Automotive News Europe, all but
refutes pro-Smart continuity statements by Smart CEO Ulrich Walker and
Mercedes-Benz car group CEO Eckhard Cordes. "We are known for
unpopular decisions," Schrempp told analysts, adding that no certain
forward course lies ahead for the mini-compact brand. Smart has gone
on sale in Canada, but its U.S. launch of a newly developed ForMore
SUV has been delayed beyond a September, 2006 target date.

In the U.S., nearly 80 Mercedes dealers have signed up for the Smart
franchise. Smart's mini-compact models which launched the brand in
1998, the ForTwo and For Four, are not deemed large enough for U.S.
tastes, as contrasted with the larger ForMore. Schrempp said a
decision on Smart's future will be disclosed by the end of April. It
could come as early as April 6, say insiders, when DaimlerChrysler's
annual shareholders meeting takes place in Berlin. - Mac Gordon

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