Monday, October 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By
From page C1 | August 01, 2014 |

FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany’s Daimler AG unveiled a new version of its tiny, two-seat Smart model in hopes the car won’t just get admiring glances with its unusual design — but make a bigger contribution to profits as well.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Smart division head Annette Winkler introduced the new Smart Fortwo at Berlin’s Tempodrom event center.

The new version is the same length as its predecessor at only 2.7 meters, or 8 feet 10 inches, and keeps its two-tone color scheme. It is slightly wider with a somewhat different silhouette; the new model has a short front hood where the old model had none, the front end sloping directly down from the windshield.

The company says the new Smart — the third version, and the first since 2007 — has stronger business prospects because it shares many parts with Daimler partner Renault’s Twingo. That should mean lower costs per vehicle due to higher purchasing volumes for parts.

The car, first sold in 1998, was conceived as stylish, high-tech urban transport. So small it can be parked nose-in to the curb in crowded European cities, the Fortwo had advanced features such as a turbocharged engine, computer-controlled gearbox, stability control and a safety cell that shielded the occupants in case of an accident.

Yet those features raised costs, while the lack of back seats limited demand among some consumers. A four-seat Forfour version bore little resemblance to the chic Fortwo, missed out on reflected cachet, and was cancelled. But on Wednesday, the Fourfour was brought back, this time with a recognizable resemblance to the Fortwo.

Daimler doesn’t break out separate earnings for Smart, which is part of its Mercedes division. The company said in a statement Wednesday that “even today, we are earning money with every Smart sold” and that cooperation on the new models with partner Renault means “we are going to achieve a significantly improved business case.”

Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein last year listed the original Smart among the top 10 lossmaking cars of modern times in Europe, saying the first version cost Daimler 3.35 billion euros, or about $4.53 billion at today’s exchange rate, in losses over its model cycle. At the time, they said “we’re not convinced the current one makes money either.”

The new model “is a very, very important step,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the CAR-Center Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. “Now they have the chance to make Smart profitable… If this attempt does not work, nothing will.”

Tim Urquhart, principal analyst at IHS Automotive, said the common platform improves the car’s chances of commercial success. “They’re basically getting three vehicles for the price of one,” he said. “You’re looking at huge improvements in economies of scale, a huge improvement in purchasing components, for example. All of that would point to a much more viable proposition than it was previously.”

He added, “if this doesn’t work, the future for the brand will not be looking very good.”

Urquhart forecast that by 2016, Daimler could sell 206,000 Smart models. That compares to 98,000 Smart Fortwos sold last year, a decline of 7 percent.

The cars will go on sale in November in Europe and next year in the United States.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Girl Scouts explore sweet side of chemistry

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time again for my Cheers and Jeers

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 8 Comments

Senior Center hosts monthly travel presentation

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Total Home, Garden & Harvest Festival wraps up

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Pumpkin Patch Festival set for final weekend

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Sessions teach about child support process

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Arrivederci! Italian Festival

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Red Kettle Program returns for holidays

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Holiday Fashion Extravaganza registration deadline looms

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Elder depression and substance abuse topic of discussion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville library to host composting series

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A3

Napa man jailed for running over ex-girlfriend

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Weather for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Obama switches gears, confronting Ebola head on

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
CDC to revise Ebola protocol, Pentagon preps team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cruise ship docks with Ebola-watched health worker

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Friends, family of Ebola patient reach milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California lottery sales top $5B for first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Archaeologists seek movie set in California sands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
The 10 semifinalists for World’s Funniest Person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

On the road to find the world’s funniest person

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Coroner: 6 fire victims died of smoke inhalation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New England raking in millions from leaf peepers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police hunt for clues near where Va. remains found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Super drunk woman arrested, mistook jail for bar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Robotic device helps paralyzed groom walk aisle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Pope beatifies Paul VI at remarkable synod’s end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
S. Korea: 2 Koreas exchange gunfire along border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sweden: 3 credible sightings in submarine search

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
5 Things to Know about Pope Paul VI

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

UN says Iraq has executed 60 people this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Opinion

Pulse poll question

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Is it truly affordable health care?

By Jim Mccully | From Page: A8, 22 Comments

 
Suisun mayor offers his endorsements

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 13 Comments

Which candidates support Alzheimer’s cure?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Beware a Trojan horse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

I’m too scared to leave my abusive husband of 15 years

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Report: Nashville songwriter Paul Craft dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Reported ‘Easy Rider’ chopper sells at auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘New Girl,’ ‘Cosmos’ win Environmental Media Award

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
‘Fury’ blasts ‘Gone Girl’ from top of box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in 42-17 win over 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Tim Lincecum waits his turn, still yet to pitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Palmer leads Cardinals past Raiders 24-13

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Serena Williams hits back at Russian official

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings pick up G Ben McLemore’s option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rockets beat Warriors 90-83 in exhibition game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pacquiao makes professional basketball debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal receiver Trevor Davis released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sounders rally for 2-2 tie with LA Galaxy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers net 2 in 4 seconds; Lundqvist stops Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL roundup: Jaguars bounce Browns, gets first win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

SEC is 1st conference to put 4 in top 5 of AP poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ski champ Svindal injured while playing soccer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Royals dependent on 3-headed bullpen monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ben Martin wins 1st PGA Tour title in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Denkinger’s miss revisited as Series returns to KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Hend wins Hong Kong Open in a playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Baek wins playoff to take LPGA South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Ilonen beats Stenson in World Match Play final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Jay Haas wins Greater Hickory Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Facebook, Apple pay for egg freezing, sperm donors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Wizard of Id Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield October 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Oct 20

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7