smart is celebrating global success. The smart electric drive already accounts for almost one in four sales of the smart fortwo in the USA.
And China is already smart’s second most important market, just five years after the brand’s launch there. Following a successful launch of the model initiative with the new smart fortwo and for four in Europe, 2015 will see smart laying the foundations for sustained growth in the overseas markets.
“smart fortwo and smart forfour had a strong start in the market at the end of November. In 2015 we will be upping the ante: with the global market launch, with our fully automatic dual clutch transmission and with a broadening of the engine range to cover six versions,” says smart boss Annette Winkler. “smart is the brand that pushes urban mobility and thereby sets the benchmarks. With extremely compact and agile models, the electric drive, the car2go car-sharing programme and many valuable features to make daily life easier, especially to facilitate parking. Thus, smart is far more than just a car.”
There is a great deal of interest in the new smart generation: Almost a million people visited the smart roadshow promoting the launch of the new smart fortwo and smart forfour. 995,000 visitors took up smart’s invitation to celebrate the joy of living in their cities and to experience the new smart models liveQ. Running from the end of July until November 2014, the smart roadshow’s itinerary took it to 15 major European cities.
The market launch of the new smart models took place in many European countries on 22 November. In Germany alone, over 50,000 customers visited dealers on the launch weekend and over 6000 test drives were agreed upon. “For our smart dealers and for ourselves, this was a very special day that we had all been working towards for some months,” notes Andreas von Wallfeld, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars Germany. “Apart from the exciting design, there has been a real buzz about the new driving experience and, in particular, the outstanding agility. The response gives us great grounds for optimism.”
smart is preparing the ground for further growth with the launch of the dual clutch transmission in March, which is without parallel in the segment, and with the market premieres of the new smart generation in the USA and China in 2015. Today, both countries are already very important markets for the young Stuttgart-based car brand and saw rising sales figures also in 2014. In the United States, almost one in four smart sold was an electric drive in the last year. And only five years after smart’s market launch, China already became the second-largest sales market for the smart fortwo in 2014, directly after Germany.
“In 2014, we planned lower worldwide sales due to the ramp up of our new models and reached our goals. In 2015 we will be launching the new models in our most important markets outside of Europe, and in 2016 we aim to build on this and play an instrumental role in shaping mobility and life in the world’s cities on a sustained and sustainable basis,” states Annette Winkler.