Daimler, Penske to Launch Small Car in U.S.

Smart USA intends to launch a five-door car on the U.S. market within the next 15 months.

Daimler and Penske Automotive Group said on Oct. 7 that they would launch a five-door model based on a Nissan platform in the United States by 2012.

"Smart USA intends to launch a five-door car on the U.S. market within the next 15 months," a joint statement said.

The new car will be sold only in the United States "and is based on vehicle architecture from Nissan," it added.

Penske boss Roger Penske was quoted as saying that "we are faced with continuing customer demand for a smart car with more seating capacity." By working with Nissan, the company will be able to quickly make a small car available in the U.S. Daimler has had trouble distributing its present line of smart city cars.

Financial details would be made available at a later date, the statement said.

Smart cars have been a weak point for Daimler while it has benefited from a recovery in demand for its larger luxury models.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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