Smart Starts U.S. Tour
United Auto Group (UAG), the sole distributor of the Smart car in the United States, has kicked off a national road tour of cities where Smart franchises are likely to be awarded. Smart “Fortwo”cars will be available for the public to look at, sit in and drive. Product consultants will be available at each stop to answer questions, and the average stop in each city is expected to last about five days. If a dealer franchise is awarded in a city before the tour makes its stop in that respective metro area, then the new Smart dealer will participate in that particular show. Smart has not announced any dealer selections at this time.
The tiny Smart will be a new experience for most American drivers – it is 106 inches long. This means the Smart Fortwo is three feet shorter than a Mini, which many Americans consider to be too small a car.
Three Smart tour crews are traversing the United States, but since the average stop will last about five days, and they may stop at as many as 70 cities nationwide, the Smart road show is not expected to end until November. Hopefully, there will also be tour jackets for the road show cast and crew, and who knows, maybe even a documentary later.
The Smart cars are scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in January 2008. Prices for the three levels of the Smart Fortwo have not been announced, but UAG has stated the base level Fortwo, the Pure, will be priced at less then $12,000. UAG has taken over 13,000 refundable $99 reservation deposits on the Smart car so far. The reservation entitles the holder to the “right of first refusal” on one of the future Smart cars.