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smart USA looking to bring Nissan five-door to U.S. market


October 6, 2010

A rendering of the planned new five-door car to be distributed by smart USA

A rendering of the planned new five-door car to be distributed by smart USA

Image Gallery (2 images)

smart USA announced today that it will be collaborating with Nissan on a new five-door car. According to a Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies, smart USA would obtain the rights to procure and distribute a five-door, gasoline powered, B-segment vehicle from Nissan for sale through the smart USA retail dealership network.

“The new vehicle will expand smart USA’s product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation,” said smart USA president Jill Lajdziak.

smart USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, has been the distributor for Daimler's smart brand in the U.S. since 2006.

There's not much else in the way of detail to report on. The MOU is non-binding and only these two sketches of the car have been released.

“We are proud to be a partner with both Daimler and Nissan, two companies focused on bringing high-quality, fuel efficient products to the U.S. market,” said Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger Penske.

Non-European readers may be surprised to learn that this will not be the first five-door smart car. Starting in April 2004, Daimler partnered with Mitsubishi to produce the smart forfour, which shared many components with the Mitsubishi Colt. After two years of poor sales in Europe, the model was discontinued.

Given that the main attraction (for some) of the fortwo is its small size, it will be hard to say how a “big” car from the U.S. distributor of smart will go over. Instead of the virtual monopoly that the fortwo currently has on the North American microcar market, the new vehicle will have a lot of competitors, many of which could be considerably lower-priced.

The five-door smart is expected to be available for sale by Q4 of next year. There is no word yet on price or specs.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Looks like a mazda

Paul Anthony

smartUSa and the sideways stretched rendering of a non-existing car match each other. smartUS does not sell cars, they sell an ersatz vehicle of miserable quality and ride. No wonder, they try to secure something to sell, since the sale of smart cars is dropping rapidly and selling them was very dumb. In the meantime, perhaps they should sell Segway vehicles.

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