Smart has no plans for crossover, CEO Winkler says
BIRMINGHAM, England -- Daimler's Wise subsidiary company is not going to enlarge its line with the SUV/cross over in the long run, the business name's Chief Executive Officer, Annette Winkler, stated.
Conjecture that Wise could include an sport utility vehicle gained impetus after Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the Shanghai auto-show in April that Smart would examine the crossover section if it determined to increase the manufacturer array.
Now Smart sells the 2-seat ForTwo worldwide and the ForFour four-seat version in Europe.
"We aren't intending an sport utility vehicle," Winkler stated in the Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday. "But never-say never."
When inquired whether Smart could create a roadster, Winkler stated "definitely not" because the section was too little for this type of derivative to generate profits.
Smart stopped production of its own roadster in 2005 and its first-era four-seat version a year later due to sluggish revenue. Plans for an sport utility vehicle known as the ForMore were shelved in 2006.
Smart re-launched the new ForFour in November. The back-engine version shares its underpinnings with the Renault Twingo and both vehicles are made in Renault's manufacturing plant in Slovenia.
Winkler stated creating the ForFour a combined undertaking with Renault had produced "tremendous economies of scale." She mentioned the ForFour was a more superior offering than the Twingo because it's better interior stuff.
Smart's worldwide sales were up 2-9% to 50,835 through May Possibly, improved by an modernized ForTwo and the ForFour, Daimler stated on June 8.
Through April, Wise offered 14,076 ForFour versions in Europe, according to JATO Dynamics marketplace research workers. European revenue of the for-two were 18,135 in the same interval, down 17%.
Daimler has stated it expects "significant" quantity increase at Smart in 2013, driven partly by the inclusion of new attributes including an elective Twinamic six-rate dual clutch transmission, uncommon for the city-car section. This replaces Wise much-maligned automatic manual-transmission that prioritized fuel-economy over finesse and relaxation when changing.
The Twinamic transmission continues to be an important driver of revenue in Europe, Winkler told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the summit. "That is the reason why we waited to start the brand new ForTwo in the United States and China since superior customers need the degree of relaxation offered by Twinamic."
The modernized ForTwo will go on-sale in the US in the autumn and starts in China in August. China has overtaken Italy to become Wise 2nd-biggest market after Germany with about 18,000 Smarts offered in China last year.
The ForFour isn't in the offing on the market in the U.S.
Contact Automotive News
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