America Gets Smart in 2006

Unique smart vehicle to be developed for North American market

Published: 13-Nov-2003

Böblingen (Germany), November 2003 - smart, the line of vehicles that revolutionized the automotive industry with its innovative design elements and exuberant character, will be the official car sponsor of the New York City Marathon. This month, the smart city-coupé will introduce the smart brand to the American public during one of the world's most popular marathons as part of the brand's commitment to sponsorship of running events. While the smart city-coupé and other smart vehicles are currently not available in the United States, a uniquely developed smart car will go on sale in the U.S. in 2006. smart is an entry level premium car manufacturer and subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler.

A car with a reputation for putting a smile on people's faces, smart will take its position at the starting line at the New York City Marathon with its smart city-coupé, available in Europe since 1998. Several "Follow Me" smart vehicles, which have become a central feature of running events sponsored by smart, will also be positioned at the starting line. "Follow  Me" smart vehicles drive ahead of the field of competitors. In addition, smart timing cars will drive around the course with timing devices and will display interim times to the runners from the edge of the marathon course. Currently in its third year, smart has sponsored international running events all over the world as in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Hong Kong, Taipei, Sydney, Capetown, Rotterdam and Madrid.

"smart drivers have a lot in common with marathon runners," said Phillip Schiemer, vice president of marketing and sales at smart gmbh. "They are more active than average and have a variety of interests. They have a zest for life, a great deal of enthusiasm and do not define themselves by age or social background - but by intellectual and creative potential. The smart brand will offer products that appeal to this audience -- products that are innovative, intelligent, fun and youthful."

A revolutionary and innovative brand poised to lead the automotive world in new concepts and benchmarks for premium entry-level vehicles, smart is sponsoring a total of 65 running events in 12 countries worldwide in 2003. The company is the only car group to support running events to this degree. Involvement in city marathons complements the smart brand, its products and the company's target groups. Running is an international sport and city marathons take place all over the world in every large city - exactly where the smart brand is at home with its smart city-coupé, a car developed especially for urban use.

"People who drive a smart or run in a city marathon make faster progress through the city," said Phillipp Schiemer, vice president of marketing and sales at smart gmbh. "The city marathon is the ideal environment for the smart brand. So many shared values cannot be found in any other sport."

smart gmbh - http://www.smart.com - is a business unit of DaimlerChrysler located in Böblingen, Germany. As a premium small car manufacturer, the company is part of the Mercedes Car Group and has more than 2,000 employees. In 2002, 122,300 smart cars were sold with total sales of 1.1 billion euro. smart is currently available in almost 30 markets throughout the world.

After launching the smart city-coupé in 1998, smart is now on its way to becoming a multi-product brand. In 2004 the new four-seater smart forfour will be launched and a sporty version will be produced in the Brazilian facility, Juiz de Fora, in 2005. A unique smart vehicle, developed for the American market, will go on sale in the United States in 2006.

PR Contact USA
Joe Richardson
smart USA
201-573-4367

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