Smart, Nissan Team Up for New Subcompact

Smart five-door hatchback

Smart USA and Nissan Motors signed a agreement today that will bring a new Smart car to the U.S. starting in 2011.

The agreement will give Smart a five-door, gasoline-powered, subcompact hatchback, which means the car will be larger than the Smart ForTwo or around the size of a Toyota Yaris or Ford Fiesta five-door hatchback. The car is said to go on sale sometime in the next 12 to 14 months.

Smart, eager to show it still has a future in this country, also provided photos of the yet-unnamed subcompact. The car looks similar to the Nissan March/Micra, a subcompact sold in Europe and Asia, but Smart styling cues appear up front and in the rear, including unique headlamps, taillamps, grille and front and rear bumpers.

This wouldn’t be Smart’s first five-door hatch, either. The company had a product called the ForFour in Europe – this new Smart could be the revival of that nameplate.

Smart’s ForTwo hasn’t taken off with American consumers. The company has sold only 3,909 in the U.S. in 2010, a 60.9% drop from 2009’s already abysmal numbers. Smart sales peaked in 2008 at 24,622.

Check out the two pictures Smart released below for a closer look.

By Colin Bird | October 6, 2010 | Comments (6)

Comments 

Ziggy

The B-segment is getting a little crowded.

Amuro Ray

Nissan March/Mica is the cheapest of all Nissan worldwide (until Nissan has finally finished the $3000 Tada Nano fighter in India), even below the Versa/Tiida, and if it does sell under the Smart brand here, it better be under $8k.

DaveInLBC

Smart and Nissan aren't two words that work together lol. It's cute..

DodgeFan

Hopefully, they correct the mistakes of the original smart. But they have to produce something good because they are starting to go into the deep in of the pool.

Everett

For those of us where a ForTwo is just too small, this is a good alternative--I just won't tell my Wife Nissan is in on the mix.

Amuro Ray

Hate to be the bubble burster here...I like the Smart (the very original one with Swatch), and I like this idea, but seriously, Smart is doomed.

Other websites have already proofed that Smart is walking the same trail as Saturn...

There WAS a business value for Smart - from Swatch business pov. It was supposed to be a model that uses Swatch's manufacturing method, with DM built it for production.

Then DM just took over the entire thing -So what is the business value for Smart now? Smart is now being used as vehicles to "balance out" the high emission/energy (think CAFE in US, but this is for Europe) of the entire MB lineup. It's bleeding MB billion of dollars annually. It's R&D isn't to build sthg more fresh than the current model. No more R&D for Smart anymore in the future, but to use other manufacturers' existing model instead.

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