Fleet News

Mercedes-Benz denies plans to import Smart city car into Britain

MERCEDES-Benz has discounted media reports that it is planning to launch its radical Smart city car in Britain. Groups of Mercedes-Benz UK dealers who are investigating the viability of importing the two-seater economy model are acting independently, according to the German company.

'We have nothing to do with this feasibility study, but we understand some dealers are assessing the potential market for bringing in the car in left-hand-drive form,' said a spokesman. Launched last autumn, the vehicle, which is built in France by Micro Compact Car, was designed for production as a left-hand-drive model and is understood to be particularly difficult to convert to right-hand-drive.

A spokeswoman for Avis Europe plc, which has a three-year exclusive deal to introduce the car to its fleets across Europe, told Fleet NewsNet the company had no plans to make the Smart available to UK customers. Avis withdrew the model from rental in Germany, Belgium and Austria during winter weather conditions it described as 'unusually hazardous' but has now made them available again. Rentals have not been interrupted in the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, Luxembourg and Italy.

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