The Stern Report has focussed minds and despite the UK's almost complete lack of small car culture the future of motoring must have a role for the micro car. The singularly most successful vehicle in the micro car class is the Smart Car. These normally retail at around £7,000 from your local Smart franchised dealer, but they are now available for as little as £1000.
There is just one little catch; that is, to get a brand new Smart for £1,000 you need to buy a couple of limousines at around £165,000 a pair, from Mercedes-Benz authorised coachbuilders Binz. Now, that might sound more than a little incongruous but for a 5-star hotel there is a lot more to business than shuttling A-list celebrities and their entourage from airport to gig venue and back again.
There are administrative errands to be run, and considerable behind the scenes movements that require a transport solution. If those transport costs can be reduced then it is a benefit for the business. A Smart Car is generally cheaper to insure and operate than a larger vehicle. It has a certain appeal and it is easier to park. It also is a visible indicator of a business's environmental credentials, something that is becoming increasingly important as green taxes loom large.
Binz is the authorised coachbuilder for Mercedes Benz with limousines and hearses as the core business for the UK distributor, Binz UK Ltd. However, across in Germany, The relationship between Binz and Mercedes Benz runs much deeper, and amongst other vehicles, Binz also carry out coach building exercises on the Smart Car. So the link between the longest and shortest Mercedes originated vehicles in the UK market is not as odd as it first appears.Published 18 November 2006