BERLIN (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler plans to start selling its micro
two-seater Smart car in the United States in 2007 amid declining
sales in the European market, a news magazine reported Sunday.
The mainstay two-seater model has been popular in Europe for its
fuel economy and a size so small that two of the vehicles can often
be squeezed into parking spaces meant for one.
Still, DaimlerChrysler's Smart unit has never turned a profit,
and the company said earlier this month that the unit's sales of all
models were down 21.5 per cent on the year.
According to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, which did not cite
its sources, DaimlerChrysler plans to introduce the Smart to the
U.S. market in 2007. The model has already been launched in Canada,
where the company has said initial feedback on sales has been good.
DaimlerChrysler spokesman in Germany, Thomas Froehlich, referred
calls to Smart spokesman Heinz Gottwick, who was unavailable.
In the U.S., Chrysler Group spokesman Jason Vines, has previously
said the company does not comment on speculation about future
DaimlerChrysler's chief executive, Dieter Zetsche, said in May
that the company would decide in June whether to introduce the Smart
car to the United States.