Tiny Smart Cars Zip Toward US

Newsweek interviews president of Smart USA
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Sep 19, 2007 2:53 PM CDT
Tiny Smart Cars Zip Toward US
A Smart fortwo car drives past PPG Plaza in Pittsburgh's Market Square during the lunch hour Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. Company representatives were surveying onlookers for their thoughts on the miniature car.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)   (Associated Press)

With the first Smart Car set to hit the US in January, Newsweek questions the company president on the intelligence of trying to sell a 1,750-pound vehicle in the land of bigger-is-better. Despite bad safety ratings from Consumer Reports and entrenched SUV love in the American psyche, he seems confident—bolstered by 30,000 pre-orders.

Though interest seems focused in urban areas, David Schembri is convinced Americans will catch onto the two-seater Europeans have loved for a decade. He cites a $12,000 price, 40 mpg, rising awareness of climate change, Smart's NASCAR-like roll cage, and additional safety features in the US version not tested by CR. And yes, fat American butts will fit. (Read more Mercedes-Benz stories.)

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