American orders for a new fuel-smart car are already swamping its German manufacturer, the AFP reports. Some 30,000 Americans have already put down $99 on Daimler's Smart Fortwo in anticipation of its January arrival—but some analysts say the tiny two-seater will end up parked in a country that favors massive, hard-drinking SUVs.
Company chair Dieter Zetsche differs, saying US buyers are more climate conscious than ever; he hopes Daimler, like Apple, will appeal as a maker of "innovative solutions." Also like Apple, Daimler doesn't make solutions on the cheap: With optional features and tax, the car could cost up to $20,000. Seventy dealerships in major US cities will be selling them come new year's. (Read more Smart Car stories.)