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Penske Remains Hopeful About Smart Brand's Future in U.S.

Penske's top suggestion for Smart is to have the automaker look to Mini's business model for inspiration. What started as a lineup of Mini coupes and convertibles expanded to include the Clubman and soon the Countryman small crossover. Now that Daimler, Smart's parent company, has struck a deal with Nissan/Renault, new product for the smart lineup is a possibility. Renault's Twingo subcompact and a Smart Forfour is being prepared for a few years down the road.

"By varying the wheelbase length of the current mid-engine platform, we could develop additional models, with 2+1 or 2+2 seating," said Anders-Sundt Jensen, head of Smart, to Automotive News.
 

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Having more than just one engine on offer would be a good start. MINI always had two. Having OE wide tires available on the pulse model would be another good move.
 

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Smart is here to stay. Old Saying: Easier to sell a young car to an older driver than an older car to a young driver. Badge engineered RWD Twingo is a winning idea. We need 7 speed (or more) DSG's, MHD's, Diesels, 3 seat benches w/ colum shifters. Options Options Options. Different strokes for different folks.
 

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Penske Remains Hopeful About Smart Brand's Future in U.S.

Penske's top suggestion for Smart is to have the automaker look to Mini's business model for inspiration. What started as a lineup of Mini coupes and convertibles expanded to include the Clubman and soon the Countryman small crossover. Now that Daimler, Smart's parent company, has struck a deal with Nissan/Renault, new product for the smart lineup is a possibility. Renault's Twingo subcompact and a Smart Forfour is being prepared for a few years down the road.

"By varying the wheelbase length of the current mid-engine platform, we could develop additional models, with 2+1 or 2+2 seating," said Anders-Sundt Jensen, head of Smart, to Automotive News.
I'm glad to see that they're looking at MINI for a business model because MINI has already been down this path & has done so successfully. They had to gain acceptance for a car that did not fit existing American tastes. Their sales were almost identical to smart's in the first year, which was 2001 I think. They then doubled their sales over the next 6 years before the recession & only dropped about 10% during the recession. I think there are other aspects of the MINI business model that they could benefit from.
 
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