Daimler fighting to make Smart attractive again image

Back in 1998, Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, rolled the dice and decided that people in cities want small cars that can be parked in pairs on a regular parking lot.

There was a problem though – or anyways, at least one – according to the company – the rather expensive two seater smart two-door was too small. That’s because in 2014 the unit – according to Bankhaus Metzler, the automaker lost no less than 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) with the unit.

This year, the Smart brand is completely overhauled, with the only model – the ForTwo – declined in a new generation and also with the re-introduction of a bigger four-door ForFour.

“The introduction of the new models is a very special and important moment,” said Annette Winkler, who runs the brand. “Both vehicles stand for a new era at Smart.”

“This is going to be Smart’s last chance,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. “They’ve only got one shot at this and have to get it right this time.”

Both models, completely new – would be bigger than their respective older versions, although the very compact dimensions would be maintained – as the ForFour challenges already established minicars – like the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Up! and the Opel Adam.

Via Bloomberg