Originally Posted by ElementalDragon
No.... they're not really missing a market. They just don't seem to have much interest in trying to fill an already over-saturated market. Between Fiat 500's (and all their outcroppings), Nissan Versa Note's, Chevy Sparks, Honda CR-Z/Fit, Toyota Prius C/Yaris, Ford Fiesta/C-Max.... there's already plenty of options that people are well aware of, and almost certainly with a dealership MUCH closer to them. Smart's are unique. Why would someone who hardly knows the brand look into getting a 4-seater Smart and potentially have to drive for an hour or more to the dealership when they could probably go just down the street and get a Spark or something similar?
The market is only over-saturated because American car buyers don't understand what car classes mean.
The smart is a city car. In most parts of the world, they're known as an A-Segment car. An A-Segment car is smaller than the B-Segment cars Americans love to call "economy cars". A-Segment cars typically are NOT designed to be cheap transport, but instead are designed to be good city transport.
Out of the cars you posted above, only the Chevy Spark and the Fiat 500 are true A-Segment (city) cars. The only other A-Segment cars sold in America are the Scion iQ (dead), Mitsubishi Mirage, and the smart. The fortwo is not in an over-saturated market if you define the market by their actual textbook definitions.
B-Segment cars are often called city cars, but they were never meant to be city cars...hence why cars like the Fiat 500 and the smart cost more than a car that's larger...because they have a different target in mind than a B-Segment car.
The new forfour is considered to be an A-Segment car. In countries outside of the USA, that it gets the big tax breaks and big insurance breaks that other A-Segment cars get, but are as roomy as a B-Segment car.
But unfortunately, since America does not give incentives to those who drive the smallest cars, a city car is seen as an unnecessary novelty.
And for that, I have to change my opinion. While I do think a forfour would sell better than the fortwo, I don't think it could ever come close to pulling Chevy Spark sales numbers. And so, probably not worth bringing over here.