The smart Success Story continues | Part Two

A new name: smart fortwo coupé and fortwo cabrio increase market share

From January 2004 the smart city-coupé and cabrio will have new names. In line with the name given to the four-seater smart forfour, in future the two two-seater models will be called smart fortwo coupé and fortwo cabrio.

2003 was a double anniversary for this smart series. In June the 500,000 th city-coupé was handed over to a customer at the smartville plant in Hambach, France. October marked five years since the launch of the first smart model series; five years in which a completely new product was established on the market and the leap was made from a single-product to a multi-product manufacturer.

Despite a difficult economic climate which has made itself felt throughout Europe, especially in the small car segment, but also in the market for second and third cars, the smart fortwo coupé and fortwo cabrio have been able to assert themselves on the market with annual sales of 103,000 vehicles. Both models have been able to win market shares.

In Germany the smart fortwo coupé and fortwo cabrio have improved their top position in the segment and have increased their share of the market to 18.2 per cent (as at November 2003, previous year: 17.9 per cent). In Switzerland, too, both models undisputedly come first in their segment, and they continue to take second place in Italy. The fortwo coupé and fortwo cabrio were also able to improve their ranking in Spain – from fourth place to first place, and in Great Britain, where they leapt to second place in the segment.

Product drive continues – fourth series in planning

For smart, 2003 was characterised by a product, market and efficiency drive. At the beginning of the year smart presented the completely reengineered 2nd generation city-coupé and cabrio which, among other features, come equipped with the electronic stability programme esp and new, even more powerful engines – offering a range of standard equipment that is unique in this segment.

The smart roadster and roadster-coupé followed in April. The smart forfour, the third models series of the smart brand and the company's first four-seater, received an enthusiastic response when it was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The smart forfour can be ordered from 08 January 2004 and will be available to customers at smart centres in Europe from April 2004. Right hand drive versions go on sale in autumn 2004.

"We will keep up this pace in 2004, too", says Andreas Renschler, smart President. "The smart forfour offers a combination of emotional appeal and high functionality which is unique in this segment, making it an attractive vehicle for customers looking for a small car. The smart forfour is also the basis for our fourth model series: A smart Sports Utility Vehicle, which we will offer for sale in the USA and our core European markets from 2006", Andreas Renschler adds.

continues... | Part Three
Published 29 December 2003 Melanie Carter

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