I work on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C., near the White House. Sometimes, when the weather is crisp and the sun is out, I like to step outside and take in the air for a moment, watching the tourist’s walk up and down as they visit all of the Capitols attractions, they in their t-shirts and tennis shoes, I in my suit and tie. This morning was no different, except for one thing.
As the tourist trolley bus made it’s way down Penn Ave, instead of ogling the famous buildings, the tourists seemed more interested in checking out the bright yellow Smart fortwo car parked at the curb, just a few feet from me. I heard the tour guide say something about the building I work in as he stopped at the light, then I saw a middle aged husband and wife pointing at the car, and telling their kids to “Check out that cute little car!” “Wow!” exclaimed a boy of about ten, “That’s just my size!” The light turned green, they were off, and I was left standing, looking at something that I see every day in this city.
So what is an opportunistic blogger to do? Well whip out the cell phone and take a picture of it, of course! Sure, I could have found a better picture on the Internet. Perhaps the car spinning on a circular dais at an auto show perhaps, but I rather like the above picture. It’s local and it’s fresh. A little bruised, like an organic tomato you may find at the local farmers market.
We spend a lot of time here at Gas 2.0, bringing you all sorts of news about the auto world and new emerging technologies in reference to alternative fuel vehicles and everything gas related. Sometimes it can all get a little confusing. So I thought that today I would keep it simple and talk about “What’s the deal with the Smart Car? Why is it so popular?
Well it turns out that the 2.5 meter-long two-seater has the highest year-over-year sales growth of any vehicle in, wait for it, Canada!
“Even if you look at the whole product lineup of Mercedes-Benz, the Smart car is a masterpiece,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, president and chief executive of Mercedes- Benz Canada, which manages the Smart brand. No other car that size can match Smart for safety and engineering, he said in an interview, adding the company spent serious sums to develop the technology and isolated special teams dedicated to hatching the brand. Mr. Breitschwerdt said he questions whether rivals can replicate that success.
AG Daimler, who makes the car, seems to have gotten into the market at just the right time. With rising costs of gas over the last two years, and a fuel economy that is ranked as one of the best on the road, the Smart seems, well, Smart. It also doesn’t hurt that as the financial economy continues to fold, the Smart fortwo is being sold for between $12,000.00 and $15,000.00 U.S.D.
Yes, it may be inexpensive, it may get great gas mileage and it may be a safe city car, but what is that cranes all the tourists’ necks? Come on, look at it! It’s cute!
Source: Financial Post
Photo courtesy of Adam Shake