Smart USA is planning to launch a TV advertising campaign in the United States in June as part of its strategy to further penetrate a market which it just entered in 2008. If the TV ads proceed as planned, it would be the second TV campaign for smart. The current market penetration program of Mercedes’ small car unit also involves extending the low lease rates for the 2013 ForTwo models it rolled out last week.
Leases for the 2013 ForTwo start at $99 for 36 months with a $999 down payment. The ForTwo is offered with a starting price of $13,240, including shipping. With the marketing campaign, smart aims to put off its dismal performance in 2011, when it sold just 5,208 units in the US.
This was a far cry from its feat in 2008, when smart, then distributed by Penske Automotive Group, sold 24,622 units. For 2012, smart sees an improvement as sales have risen for six straight months. In fact, the company posted a 75 percent year-on-year increase in sales for the January to April 2012 period at 3,028 units.
Tracey Matura, smart USA’s general manager, is optimistic about the unit’s progress in the US, saying that there is “still plenty of runway" for growth. Matura added that they are feeling the momentum and they want it to continue. smart has to offer only a refreshed ForTwo for the 2013 model year, but has something new to offer, a replacement for ForTwo, for 2014. smart is also planning to roll out a four-dour minicar in 2015.
Despite the lack of new models, smart is still able to attract buyers, mainly thanks to its marketing efforts, which according to Matura, is a key reason why people are recognizing and understanding the brand.
Matura also provided a brief description of the upcoming TV commercials: they will make the public think why smart is special. Although Matura did not provide details of the commercials, she said that ForTwo’s nimbleness and mileage at 38 mpg on the highway are the car’s attributes that can be promoted.
The new smart ForTwo will be launched with an exterior upgrade, a fresh new look for its interior, and more environment-friendly engines. The new generation ForTwo will be available in a range of exterior colors, including a trendy matte finish. Moreover, the tridion safety cell’s now going to be available in white, while red and blue now expand the color choices that are available for cabrio soft top.
Additionally, LED daytime driving lights as well as new alloy wheels give you more customization opportunities. The car’s high-quality interior is now determined by a new cockpit design and by the use of fresh fabrics and colors. Also, the entertainment and communication systems feature state-of-the-art technology. The new ForTwo is powered by advanced petrol engines that are refined even further with the 45 and the 52 kW versions that emit less than 100 g/km CO2.
Smart USA celebrates the arrival of ForTwo’s new generation with a limited edition welcome model that boasts high-class equipment. ForTwo will have its launch in Autumn 2010.
According to Marc Langenbrinck, Managing Director for the smart brand, they continue to work hard in order to make their smart models even better as well as more desirable in every way. Additionally, the new generation ForTwo is perfect for the present. The innovative two-seater is more attractive and more stylish. It boasts high-quality materials, more comfort, more visible attention to detail, and a more enhanced functionality.
Langenbrinck adds that smart drivers also often have an non-traditional way of thinking and therefore are always looking for great alternatives. The new generation ForTwo meets their requirements, with its range of engines and the customization opportunities it offers.