Smart pre-orders exceed forecasts
In July I reported that the Smart ForTwo had generated 20,000 pre-orders. That was more than just good news. Actually, it was a big surprise. Due to go on sale on the American market next January, United Auto Group has already recorded 30,000 pre-orders according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zietsche in a interview with Automotive News. All customers made a deposit of $99 to ensure that they will be the first to be served when the city car hits the showroom. Moreover, 50,000 people visited the showrooms in order to try the ForTwo model.
Zietsche also said that Smart will not be able to meet the demand as US sales combined with European sales will exceed the production capacity. This statement should be taken with a pinch of salt as Daimler CEO likely wants to generate a sales effect. Indeed, the pre-orders are not definitive sales and a lot of potential customers will change their mind, especially with a deposit of $99. The first customers will get their Smart delivered at the end of next year or the beginning of 2009.
The Smart ForTwo generated a lot of interest in large American cities in California, but also on the East Coast in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston. Surprisingly, the Smart also attracted buyers in Nebraska, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Whether the US might be a sales success or not will likely seal the fate of Smart which hasn't made a profit yet despite a launch which occurred almost ten years ago.