SMART development frozen

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050317.wxwhsmart17/BNStory/specialMegawheels /
DaimlerChrysler rethinks Smart brand
Thursday, March 17, 2005 Updated at 12:16 PM EST
Reuters
FRANKFURT - DaimlerChrysler is taking a close look at how to save money on its four-seat Smart ForFour model as a way to halt losses at the Smart mini-car brand, Mercedes Car Group chief Eckhard Cordes told a magazine.
Losses at the Smart business were "simply unacceptable," Cordes said in an interview with British magazine Car, but he reiterated that they would not close down the brand because Smart has a youthful image and promising products.
"We must stop throwing good money after bad. I want to see some kind of profit and I won't wait forever," Cordes said. "We need to take money out of the ForFour, we may not do the ForMore [SUV], we may have to find a new partner, and create a revised business model and distribution network."
Cordes has frozen development of new products at Smart pending the outcome of a strategic review due next month.
Asked if the company's strategy for its super-luxury Maybach brand was also under revision, he said: "Maybach does not worry me at all. That's a small numbers issue. But like Smart, Maybach needs to be brought more into the Mercedes-Benz fold. The sooner, the better."
The Mercedes Car Group includes Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Maybach.
DaimlerChrysler has previously said it would not rule out finding a partner for Smart, and that itlikely would not build the ForMore.
Smart now sees an updated version of its two-seat mini-car due in late 2007, as a potential candidate for entering the United States.
PSA Peugeot Citroen chief executive Jean-Martin Folz told German paper Automobilwoche that the French car maker could not imagine co-operating with DaimlerChrysler on Smart cars.
.
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I wonder what prompted that seemingly unsolicited remark.
DAS
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Cordes was giving an interview so is that not by definition solicited?
Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

message
paper
co-operating
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Why would PSA Group feel addressed?
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Ah.
Peugeot has some nice cars.
If they could find a cheap way to get their product in the USA that might be a good thing.
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any answer other than "hu? wha? I don't kow" means they're thining about it. And if hey tell the press it's out of the question obviously they're in meetnigs in Germany all month.

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They're fun to drive but what economic sense (here in Canada at least) does it make to buy a smart? Might as well get a normal car that cost 50% less like a Toyota Echo hatch, and takes not much more fuel.
cp
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Well said. I REALLY REALLY wanted to buy a Smart. I keep telling myself its a Mercedes-Benz engineered car, so it will last forever. But the simple truth is, for the money, the VW Golf is twice the car. I dont think the Smart is overpriced for what it is though. You get what you pay for. I think if the doors shut and had that Mercedes THUNK, then I would be more in love with it.
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:)

Do you think that cars with so many components that are important for the functioning of the entire vehicle will last that long? One sensor gone and the car is toast. I had an audi from the 80's, excellent car, but it's amazing what trivial garbage caused that thing to fail. I talked to people with the same cars in eastern europe, they chucked out all the nonsense (many components can be bypassed if done correctly) and they're reliable as a tractor, don't know if you can do that with the current crop when it gets old, will be mighty expensive to service.
As for the Smart being Mercedes-Benz engineered, this is a "cheap" vehicle that feels like plastic, which most of it is. Cannot compare this to the full sized tanks. The Smart is as much a Mercedes as the Mercedes-Benz mountain bikes that used to be included (or sold) as accessories years ago.

I don't know, for Canada I think it is, maybe Mercedes should sell value added accessories such as a lawn mowing attachment that attaches to the underside. Though once I get a full biodiesel operation going, maybe I'll consider the Smart :)

I don't think you get that much with the Smart, except for the CDI engine, which I'd love to inspect.

I know what you mean, I have two old guys, one REALLY old, 1966, just LOOOVE that THUNK! :)
pc
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<snip>

Watch those fingers kiddies!!
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Tell me about it! (But it wasn't with a Merc, just some cheap model...but was the pain greater for it?)
DAS
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For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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The indentation would be a badge of honor :-)
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more money for DUMB development, like schrempp's retirement pot of gold.
On 18 Mar 2005 06:00:35 -0800, "greek_philosophizer"

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