Fleet News

Smart set to get smarter

DAIMLERChrysler is to launch an official operation to market the MMC Smart city car in Britain in the build-up to sales of right-hand-drive versions. Re-engineering facilities are being installed at the factory in

Hambach, France, and the first full UK-specification versions of the 600cc micro car will be available from early in 2002.

Smart has been on sale in mainland Europe as a three-door, two-seater since 1998, and its maker, Micro Compact Car - part of the DaimlerChrysler group - had not planned to build in RHD.

But huge demand from potential buyers worldwide and a growing trade in 'grey' and personal imports from the continent have forced a production U-turn and led to the July 1 launch of a UK network which will handle the sale, service, parts and customer support of left-hand-drive smarts from October this year.

FNN understands that a four-seater, five-door variant will be offered from right-hand-drive launch. The network is expected to appoint Mercedes-Benz dealerships, but it could find itself fighting for business against MCC smart importers like KSB Centre, of Chiswick, London, which is currently offering six different left-hand-drive Smart models from £5,995 to £9,995.

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