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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I guess Penske's not ready to throw in the towel on smart just yet, but a Versa clone? It sounds like a redux of the forfour/Mitsu Colt. :( Of course, it might just be a bridge model until the new generation arrives. Honda did the same thing with Isuzu Rodeo/Honda Passport until the Pilot could be introduced.

Penske Auto, Nissan Sign Deal to Sell Smart-Brand Cars in U.S.

"Penske Automotive Group Inc., a large chain of car dealerships, said Wednesday it reached a nonbinding agreement with Nissan Motor Co. to sell a Nissan-made small car in the U.S. market under the Smart brand name.

Penske already sells the tiny two-passenger Smart ForTwo minicar made by Daimler AG, and is interested in a adding a second model to the Smart line in hopes of boosting sales, Jill Lajdziak, president of Penske subsidiary Smart USA Distributor LLC, said in an interview.

The new Smart model, due in showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2011, is a four-door hatchback that Nissan already sells in other regions of the world, Ms. Lajdziak said. Nissan itself already offers a car of that type, the Versa, in the U.S. market."
 

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So no Smart DNA, Just a re-badge


smart USA soundboard: talk
Caution Concerning Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release involve forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements regarding smart USA Distributor LLC or Penske Automotive Group, Inc.’s ability to complete the transaction noted above. Actual results may vary materially because of risks and uncertainties, including completion of binding documentation, performance by certain vendors and suppliers, and other conditions many of which may be outside of our control. These forward-looking statements should be evaluated together with additional information about Penske Automotive’s business, markets, conditions and other uncertainties which could affect Penske Automotive’s future performance. These risks and uncertainties are addressed in Penske Automotive’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This press release speaks only as of its date, and Penske Automotive disclaims any duty to update the information herein.
Looks better than My versa, and it reads as if this re-badging will only be a US thing
 

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I had heard through the grapevine late last week they were making a big announcement today, guess this is it......

I'll keep my fortwo, thank you.....:)
 

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But it should bring more folks into the showrooms


From the facebook page
Conceptual vehicle rendering shown. Production model images to be released at a later date and may vary from the rendering shown
They do like to Cover there Buts
 

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So no Smart DNA, Just a re-badge

So the new lineup at our local smart store will be the smart ForTwo and the not-so-smart rebadged Nissan?

It would seem unlikely that the Nissan-made small car would have many of the safety attributes that come with the ForTwo?

Today our smart dealer has parts availability issues with a French made vehicle that shares some MB parts, now we are throwing a Japanese made Nissan into the equation - YIKES!

The good news - it gives the smart dealer yet another vehicle to sell, one that appears to offer seating for four. Is this the lifeline, the bridge that the brand needs in these tough times?
 

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While it may not have the same Safety DNA, do not discount Nissan's safety in this segment.

The Current Versa is a Top safety Pick from the IIHS, as long as it has ESP.
 

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Gee, I don't know,... if I wanted a Nissan, I think I would buy it from Nissan. Probably would get a better warranty that way and I definately wouldn't have to drive 4 plus hours to get to a dealer.
However, if smart U.S.A. would market the entire line of smart products to the U.S. ( as in DIESEL ) and push smart to produce some of the prototypes they've shown, such as the CROSSTOWN, I would buy more smarts from Penske Automotive, A.K.A. smart U.S.A.
 

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Don't need to get all balled up in our underwear over "safety" but here is the latest regards the Nissan Versa;

2011 Nissan Versa | 2011 5-Star Safety Ratings | Safercar.gov | NHTSA
Americas built (not necessarily North America), probably not a Versa?

Excerpts from Autoweek:

The car in the sketches bear some similarity to the Nissan March, a small car built on the same platform as the Versa but not sold in the United States. Nissan sells the March in Japan and a similar car, badged the Micra, in other countries.

Nissan launched a new-generation March in July. It uses Nissan's new global V small-car platform. The Versa is scheduled to switch to that platform with a redesign for the 2013 model year. The Versa is built in Mexico.

The deal will give Smart USA a new product to counterbalance falling sales of its only current model, the Smart Fortwo, which is built by Daimler AG. Through September, Smart USA's sales of the Fortwo totaled 4,779 units, down 62 percent from the same period last year. Smart sales in the United States peaked at 24,662 units in 2008.

Nissan will build the Smart car at one of its plants in the Americas but isn't naming the plant, spokesman David Reuter said Wednesday.

Asked why Nissan does not want to sell this product in its dealerships, Reuter said: "The Smart product does not compete with the products Nissan sells in the U.S. marketplace. We cover a broad spectrum with our product lineup and are happy with what we have."


 

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So no Smart DNA, Just a re-badge


smart USA soundboard: talk


Looks better than My versa, and it reads as if this re-badging will only be a US thing
The picture of this car must be distorted as it looks squashed and not attractive at all. I was attracted to the Smart car for it's exterior and interior looks. The car pictures here has no attraction at all. If I want a car with an engine that pokes out in front of the passenger compartment (as all other cars do), a useless back seat and a back end that looks like a Victorian bussle I would have bought a Ford not a Smart car. (And NO don't tell me about any other brand being better than Ford I won't touch them.)
 

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As soon as I saw the drawing and read "Nissan" I knew immediatley that it would be a rebadged Micra. There was talk of Nissan introducing it into the market. But it seems it has a solid hit with the Versa, its the best selling model in its class. I would think it would be foolish to undercut it by introducing a smaller, less expensive car into the fold.
Maybe Nissan is going to be soaking up excess capacity here in north America... hopefully they wont try and sell it along with the smart model. Like what VW and Chrysler's minivan colloboration. Look how well the Routan is selling :badidea:
 

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The picture of this car must be distorted as it looks squashed and not attractive at all. I was attracted to the Smart car for it's exterior and interior looks. The car pictures here has no attraction at all. If I want a car with an engine that pokes out in front of the passenger compartment (as all other cars do), a useless back seat and a back end that looks like a Victorian bussle I would have bought a Ford not a Smart car. (And NO don't tell me about any other brand being better than Ford I won't touch them.)
Don't hold back :eek:

I like it. You have to consider that it's just a quick concept sketch. The actual vehicle will be much more refined. Consider the smart concept sketch

 

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I would welcome any attempt to keep the smart brand alive in the U.S., even a rebadged Nissan. I've had Nissans before and have been very happy with them. My only concern would be that the new rebadged car doesn't cannibalize sales of the fortwo.
 

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More today from Automotive News:

DETROIT -- Smart USA, battling plunging demand for its sole U.S. car, says it has reached a deal with Nissan Motor Co. to sell a five-door gasoline-powered small car in the United States next year. The subcompact will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, Smart said in a statement today.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101006/ANE/310069967/1193#ixzz11aosU19t

Ooh, and here on Autoextremist
http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/
 

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Just my .02, but I'm betting this car (if it ever hits smart USA showrooms) is only a stopgap until the next generation smart arrives. The non-binding agreement says nothing about the number of cars or how long they'll be supplied to Penske. All the info we've seen so far points to the next generation smart/Renault (Nissan) arriving by 2014, including the 4 door version. If this Micra clone arrives by October 2011 that gives smart maybe three years to sell it before it's replaced by the next generation version. :)
 
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