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Daimler nears decision on US Smart launch

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Daimler nears decision on US Smart launch: paper

Sun Feb 26, 1:38 PM ET

DaimlerChrysler is leaning in favor of launching its struggling Smart minicar brand in the United States, its chief executive told a German newspaper on Sunday.

"It is now more likely that we will decide in favor of, rather than against (entering) the U.S.," Dieter Zetsche told Handelsblatt newsaper in an interview released in advance of publication on Monday.

A decision on launching the next generation of Smart two-seaters in the United States is expected in the first half of this year, Zetsche said.

Smart narrowed its operating loss in 2005 from about 600 million euros ($714 million) in 2004, Zetsche told an analyst conference call earlier this month.

While Zetsche has said he wants to give the unit time to achieve its target of breaking even next year, he has also given investment bank Goldman Sachs the task of screening parties potentially interested in buying the brand.

Separately, Zetsche told Switzerland's Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper in an interview published on Sunday that the company had received a range of enquiries about possible cooperation arrangements for the Smart brand. He described them as ranging from dumb to interesting.

"We have asked Goldman Sachs to examine and evaluate the proposals," he said.

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060226/bs_nm/...wN5bnN1YmNhdA--

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After returning home from Europe last night, I am amazed by how popular Smart cars have become there.

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i dont think smart will take off here in america

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I've seen a SMART around here with Quebec plates. For one, what a brave soul to drive from Montreal or wherever to Florida in that dinky little box. Second, there is a limit to how small we'll take our cars. I could see traditional SMARTs being used at hotels, resorts, or small communites like Sanibel Island for people to rent and run around and also for trailer park seniors for the same reason.

But in general, its too small and no matter who you are, you look like a total asshole driving one.

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I've seen a SMART around here with Quebec plates. For one, what a brave soul to drive from Montreal or wherever to Florida in that dinky little box. Second, there is a limit to how small we'll take our cars. I could see traditional SMARTs being used at hotels, resorts, or small communites like Sanibel Island for people to rent and run around and also for trailer park seniors for the same reason.

But in general, its too small and no matter who you are, you look like a total asshole driving one.

wait till that 18 wheeler takes one on............

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