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At the Wangfujing shopping center in downtown Beijing a vending machine called "smart" with a full-size Smart Car in it dispenses smart cubes containing news about up-coming models.

Confucius says Smart's launch into China was quicker than you can say manufacturing plant! It took almost a decade to get the Smart car imported to the U.S. but it may have only taken a Beijing minute, of "Chinese Business Practices" to get the ball or should we say Smart car rolling into China. For the Chinese buyers, like the ones here in the US interested in buying a Smart ForTwo will be available. Some 20,000 Smart enthusiasts are still waiting.

DaimlerChrysler's supervisory board has established that the Smart will be sold in China next year.

This is another step that takes us to a pivotal crossroad for the future and direction of the American automotive industry and selling the Smart in China is one component of a more multifarious undertaking.

China until the 15th century had the highest income per capita — and was the world’s technological leader and today has established itself as the third largest automobile market and has increasingly taken the lead role in world businesses.

Yes Daimler, who by the way is still suing several Chinese automotive (government owned) manufacturers over brand copyrights regarding their cars, is launching the Smart Fortwo on the world's fastest-growing automobile market, China.

DaimlerChrysler presented the Smart to the Canadian market in 2004. But the truth is Canada was Daimler/smart, GmbH's North American experimental market.

The Smart substantially exceeded its Canadian sales targets, by almost ten times and China will crush all expectations and targets!

The U.S. launch of the Smart was not about selling a handful of Smart cars, or introducing a new automotive brand.

No indeed not, the Smart car production, its exportation and importation process is a comprehensive, global business enterprise, reaching far into the future.

It was an endeavor of significant importance that will have diverse and long-lasting implications for many of us.

BEIJING, and STUTTGART, Germany, April 19, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The smart Fortwo will also be available to Chinese customers from mid 2009. This was announced by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG (stock exchange abbreviation DAI) and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the Auto China Beijing 2008 (22 - 28 April 2008). This means that smart is now set to open up another major automobile market, following the successful launch in the USA. Daimler AG expects additional sales potential for the brand in China as the small car is practically tailor-made for the increasing number of small car customers on the Chinese market: The smart Fortwo combines modern technology, premium quality and safety, exemplary low fuel consumption and corresponding low CO2 emissions with a unique space concept that offers advantages in the dense traffic of China's numerous large cities.

At the Auto China Dr. Dieter Zetsche said: "In China, too, we are seeing growing customer interest in our high-quality and economical smart Fortwo. I am sure that many lifestyle-oriented customers in China's cities will soon come to love its unique concept. For in addition to its outstanding safety equipment and the typical smart design, the Fortwo naturally also boasts top quality and reliability." The agile two-seater is currently available in 37 countries. Since the introduction of the first model generation in 1998 more than 870,000 Smart Fortwo’s have been delivered to customers.

China is the world's fastest-growing automobile market and is now the second largest vehicle market: Seven million new driving licenses are issued each year in the People's Republic. Another Chinese city attains the size of New York every ten months. Market observers are currently registering strong growth of the micro car and small car segment in China. These are the best prerequisites for an innovative, low-consumption vehicle like the Smart Fortwo that is designed for urban lifestyles. In China, too, environmental awareness is greatly increasing. Furthermore, Chinese customers don't regard their car as a merely functional means of transport. Rather, they increasingly see their cars as a means of expressing their personality. Fashion-conscious young people in particular seek an agile, trendy vehicle for their flexible urban lifestyle in order to set themselves apart from others.

Against the background of these developments Mercedes-Benz Cars decided to launch the "original" two-seater Smart Fortwo on the Chinese market in mid 2009. The Smart Fortwo meets the same high standards which apply to larger vehicles from Mercedes-Benz cars. These include top quality and reliability, outstanding safety and economical and environmentally friendly driving combined with comfort and agility. Moreover, the "original" is loved first and foremost for its innovative design with which the brand trod a new, different path and achieved worldwide cult status for the Fortwo.

As one of the youngest car makes on the market, Smart stands for innovation, functionality and joie de vivre. Smart especially appeals to customers who are interested in new, clever and trend-setting solutions in the automotive sector. Drivers of Smart cars can be categorized more in terms of their attitude than their age, profession or gender. Smart drivers are open- minded, self-aware individuals who question the status quo. They opt for the Smart Fortwo because it is something special and perhaps also because it sets them apart from the masses. But certainly because it is quite simply fun to drive.

Further information from Daimler is available on the internet at: www.media.daimler.com

SOURCE Daimler AG



 
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