Smart loss is several billion?

Page 1 of 3  
Several billion seems hard to believe as an estimate of losses for the Smart but the quote is below from a mostly VW article. The roadster looks like it might
have more appeal though.
The sales potential for the other small car, the Smart, a cute, but slow, two-seater, was overestimated. An assembly plant and supplier campus was built with the capacity for over 200,000 cars a year, but actual volume has been half that. I estimate that Daimler has lost several billion dollars on this venture.
and the link:
http://www.forbes.com/home/2003/09/30/cz_jf_0930flint.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dies gedichtet:

Is Forbes really _that_ unprofessional? The only source the journalist delivers for his claim that DC has lost billions is his own estimation. Sorry, but being a journalist myself I simply do not buy that.
IIRC the smart was launched just 4 years ago. It seems quite clear to me that the investment in developing the car, building the plant, deploying a dealers network and creating a brand awareness has not returned fully yet. But after the introduction of the smart cabriolet sales have increased sharply, and the smart roadster seems to sell well (at least they have become quite common in german traffic).
It may be hard to understand that such small cars sell well in the old Europe. But OTOH the demand after cars like Ford Taurus and F150 is so small that they are not sold here at all ;-)
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Time Flies Like An Arrow - Fruit Flies Like A Banana
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank Kemper wrote:

Although I agree with your comment about the unprofessionality of the journalist he is right with the facts: Ca. two(?) years ago the loss was around 4500 million German Marks, making more than 2000 million in Euros.
I must admit I forgot the source, but I remember the figure was staed cited by several (normally reliable) sources.
It takes many years to get out of the debt - as long as Smart does not sell ca. 200.000 vehicles a year they do produce losses: Only after that they can begin to compensate the old losses.
Juergen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ignore. It is just part of the American car lobby who would have a lot to loose if Americans started downsizing their cars, and as a result like to preach all the disadvantages of small cars. To call the Smart Roadster "slow" does it a great injustice too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

preach all the disadvantages of small cars. To call the Smart Roadster "slow" does it a great injustice too. >
The "American car lobby"? That represents the buying public over here and it's not likely to change any time soon, even if our fuel costs rise to anywhere near European norms. For nearly 60 years the world (and the US government) have been trying to get Americans into smaller vehicles. While to a degree a small segment of the population has done so, by and large Americans will not even consider smaller, more efficient vehicles. There's no "lobby" involved, people just use common sense.
The greatest loss to Americans driving "small cars" will be thousands of lives lost unnecessarily in these death traps. Real world comparisons of highway deaths per mile between American cars, trucks & SUVs vs.typical European or Asian small cars are shocking. Insurance industry statistics prove that little cars, fuel-thrifty as they are, aren't even safe in single car mishaps. Even the liberal Clinton administration's NHTSA issued a report in 2000 that admitted the downsizing of automobiles throughout the 80's and 90's had resulted in the unnecessary deaths of nearly 20,000 people. NHTSA surmised that the savings in fuel consumption over the period had far more to do with advances in engine management technology than weight savings, and that the physics related to weakening of structures simply cannot be overcome by corresponding advances in safety engineering. This was a very exhaustive study that Greens and the safety lobby over here try to suppress any time it's mentioned.
I worked for VW here in the States for many years. The Corporate "dirty little secret" was the brand's fatality rate.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smart just celebrated the 500,000 car and announced break even for 2004. The first Smart to come to the USA is a larger Smart SUV/Gelaendewagen, currently being developed by the 4x4 experts at Magna Steyr in Graz. It will be 2 feet longer than the Smart forfour fourseater and have additional crumple zone and pedestrian protection, a longer wheelbase for directional stability etc. More:
http://www.whnet.com/4x4/w456.html (english)
http://www.autobild.de/aktuell/neuheiten/artikel.php?artikel_idG82 (german)
Wolfgang
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@17.usenet.us.com wrote:

The latter URL is wrong. Correct is http://www.autobild.de/aktuell/neuheiten/artikel.php?artikel_idE50
What is said is: _...Ehrgeizige Plne bei Smart: Sptestens 2004 will die DaimlerChrysler-Tochter die Gewinnschwelle erreichen,..._ which translates into sth. like _Ambitious plans at Smart: The Daimler-Chrysler subsidiary wants to reach break-even in 2004 at the latest_.
The point with all this marketing blah-blah is those people lie when they open their mouths: Break-even here means _operating profit in 2004_ and NOT having paid back all the losses of the former years.
Juergen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Juergen:
I don't see why Andreas Renschler lies here. He said: "The division was on track to break even in 2004, as planned." It just means the losses are on track to not increase further starting in 2004.
Wolfgang
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@17.usenet.us.com wrote:

Ok, we use different expressions for the same fact: That in 2004 Smart according to Renschler - who indeed is one of the better guys at DC and maybe some day will become CEO? - shall reach break-even in terms of yearly operating profit but that means not not break-even for the whole Smart project.
Is that right?
And I know sometimes I'm a bit too clear with my words, but I am really sick of all these we-are-the-best-company-in-the-world- and-we-have-the-best-cars-in-the-world-and- of-course-we-are-the-best-board-of-members- in-the-world rubbish from DC so I could also have said _these people always tell their very personal view of thing which not necessarily is in line with reality_.
Ok, ok, I shut up... ;-)
Juergen (curious how the forfour will sell - looks promising IMHO)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dies gedichtet:

Real world comparisons of highway deaths per mile between America and Germany are shocking! Think about that. We do not have a speed limit on our roads and engineer such cars as the smart or the Lupo 3l (most economic four seater mass production car of the world)
To get serious again: The USP (unique sale preopsition IIRC) of the smart is its short overall length (given the fact that it offers room enough for two to travel nicely). This USP is useless in a country which does not lack space for making huge parking lots. People in crowded cities like Rome, Paris, London and Munich love the smart. People from Ruskin/Florida do not understand the concept.
One last line about safety: Its not the small cars which cause accidents...
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Time Flies Like An Arrow - Fruit Flies Like A Banana
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Highway fatality rates accepted as normal in Europe would be considered a bloodbath in North America. (American trail lawyers have enough to do extoring their incomes from our Corporations, we don't need circumstances which encourage them any further!)

enough for two to travel nicely). This USP is useless in a country which does not lack space for making huge parking lots. People in crowded cities like Rome, Paris, London and Munich love the smart. People from Ruskin/Florida do not understand the concept. <
....mostly because they don't need to!
I wonder how many Parisians would consider driving a Smart from Paris to Moscow? (That's a bit less than the distance from New York City to Denver, Colorado, or from Chicago to South Florida.)

Indeed, however, gun owners in the States say the same thing about their rifles & pistols. In fact, one gun advocate proposed a unique method of ensuring there will never again be an airliner hijacked in North America....issue every passenger a hand gun upon check in!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dies gedichtet:

To draw the picture correctly: "isuue every passenger a bulletproof vest and a parachute to survive actions performed by hijackers"
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Time Flies Like An Arrow - Fruit Flies Like A Banana
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Absolutely! But I wonder what would happen to the nummber of deaths from crashes, as trigger-happy, 'heroic' passengers fire guns...
I suggest that the steep decline in hijackings to Cuba a couple of decades ago was caused by better security...
DAS --
--
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank Kemper wrote:

Last year German car mag _auto motor und sport_ cited year 2000 figures:
Deaths in traffic 2000: -------------------------Germany----USA Deaths-------------------7503----41821 per 100.000 inhabitants-----9-------15 on highways/interstates/ Autobahnen-----------------38%------55%
The US has a bit mort than thrice the number of inhabitants than Germany (ca. 80 vs. ca. 260). Of course there is factors like people driving more miles a year in the US and a by far bigger country etc. pp.
Juergen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen this before and it's not a valid comparison, it's based upon fatalities per 100k population, not fatalities per miles/km driven. Further, it compares German Autobahns to the entire American highway system, if you include the rest of your roads and highways, which of course must be done to get a complete picture, the numbers change dramatically. Europe's rate of fatalities to miles driven is much higher than the USA or Canada.
hat in Betrag

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The numbers and sources please?
cp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh really? I have the complete statistics for the entire Germany from a statistician in the German government that sent them over, shall I pass them over to you?
cp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You've been saying this over and over, but I'd like to see a reference. And the argument that bigger cars are safer cars doesn't take into account the risk that large cars have to pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and small car drivers. Not everyone can afford to pilot a 2.5 ton vehicle around. And the planet can't supply enough fuel and atmosphere.
There has to be a balance between safety and other desirable attributes in a vehicle: low price, fuel economy, and driving enjoyment. I for one would be glad to see more Smart-like cars in this US. They'd reduce our fuel consumption and reduce traffic congestion. They could be a valuable addition to our transportation needs.
- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

George:
the latest rates I come up with:
USA: 1.51 fatalities per mile driven in 2002, new record low Germany: 1.67 fatalities per mile driven, years 2000/2001 extrap. to 2002
USA: 14.85 fatalities per 100,000 population (2002) Germany: 8.3 fatalities per 100,000 population (2002)
Wolfgang
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Also have to remember that traffic density in Europe is MUCH greater than the US. You have a greater chance of hitting an animal than another car on most US Iinterstates, no joke. I'd like to see americans drive 120MPH in 3 lanes of bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, only Europeans can do that safely.
cp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.