Daimler launching a pilot Smart car rental program in Texas

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

In light of declining sales in the US of Smart cars, Daimler AG is launching a pilot program-- dubbed car2go -- in Austin, Texas, for short-term rental of the micro car. Under the program, registered users will be able to pick up an available Smart, use it for as long they want to, and return it to designated locations in the city.

A pilot with 200 Smart ForTwo cars will be run with Austin city employees. Last year, Daimler tested the program in Ulm, Germany, with Mercedes-Benz employees and opened the program to city residents in March.

The cost is 19 cents per minute while a day costs 49 euros or $73.40. If this piques your interest but you´re nowhere near Austin, the car2go program might just be announced in your city.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the program could be expanded to other cities and that many other big metropolitan areas around the globe are interested.

Details on how the US pilot would operate have not been released yet. In Austin, a Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday.

Daimler runs the car2go program and does not involve Smart's U.S. distributor and importer, Penske Automotive Group Inc. of suburban Detroit.

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