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Daimler to sell Smart car in U.S. in 2007

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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 products.

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.

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Daimler to sell Smart car in U.S. in 2007
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