Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is that smart, or what?

Well now I’m not quite sure. The car that has become synonymous with industrial design and quite frankly urban coolness – especially in the big cities where parking is at a premium – has had a bit of a sorted and unsuccessful past. I love the cars, and have always wanted to rent one (which Sixt rental agency specializes in) just to have the driving experience of a smart car. Apparently the technology originates from Sindelfingen Germany, while the design and model come from Irvine, California. With headquarters today in Germany, Switzerland and France, the Smart car has revolutionized car design, and along with the BMW Mini make compact cool. Yet the original concept from Swatch watch has struggled to turn a profit and has been dropped by both General Motors and Volkswagen. Finally, Swatch-Mercedes ART (SMART) GmbH was liquidated and its operations absorbed by Mercedes-Benz. It wasn’t known until later that the company posted 4 billion euros in losses between 2003 to 2006, despite serving more than 25 countries. Today, the Smart car seems on the surface that it can’t lose, expanding in North America and other markets not prone to small cars, yet it is still to be seen whether this compact car can turn a SUV size profit.


B Squared said...

What are they advertising?

Troy said...

Believe it or not, they are advertising the interior of train cabins. A designer named Marc Cain designed a series of train cabins in a line he calls Havanna Club. You can see examples here:
The amazing thing is I'm not sure how many people would have ever known this - but I guess when you have an advertising budget - it needs to be spent.