I don't know where they are getting their release information, but it seems sorely out of date (we already knew that the 453 was to be unveiled at the Frankfurt show in 2013). And, a factory that is running near capacity doesn't sound like it's underperforming, even if US sales aren't all that. Looks like just another publication with an axe to grind.
They do mention that the new model will be 5% larger.
Smart Fortwo, Forfour city cars delayed |CarAdvice
The all-new Smart Fortwo city car is running around 12 months behind schedule and, according to a Mercedes-Benz source, should have already been on sale. The crucial new model for Daimler’s underperforming micro-car brand, which is being jointly developed with Renault-Nissan and was previewed by the Smart Forstars concept (above) at the 2012 Paris motor show, is likely to debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show in March, although this may stretch out to Frankfurt in September.
A revived, all-new Smart Forfour hatchback was scheduled for a 2013 release, but if the Fortwo isn’t ready for a Geneva show debut, the Forfour probably won’t see daylight until 2014.
According to our source from Mercedes-Benz, the third-generation Fortwo will be around five per cent larger than the current car, meaning it will maintain its ultra-compact proportions.
The upcoming Smart Forfour will be similar in size to the front-drive original
that launched in 2004 (below) and shared its mechanicals with the Mitsubishi Colt. Like the Fortwo, however, the new Forfour will be a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive design and is said to share much of its mechanical DNA with the new-generation Renault Twingo.
Smart made a splash at Paris with the vibrant and charismatic Forstars concept – a two-seat, glass-topped ‘sports utility coupe’ with a sizeable luggage area and smartphone synchronisation. The concept is believed to preview many of the design cues of the new Fortwo.