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Smart fortwo gets 33/41 city/highway

Ford Fiesta gets 29/40 city/highway
Smart global sales to drop below 100K for 2010

A few years ago, drivers across America went into panic mode as gasoline prices soared to nearly $4.00/gallon (or higher in some locales) in 2008. During that time, people started ditching their SUVs/pickups and bought more efficient cars.

As gas prices have started to level out below the $3.00/gallon mark, one car company has been especially hard: Smart. Smart, a division of Daimler AG, has seen U.S. sales free fall since hitting a high mark of 25,000 units for all of 2008 reports Automotive News Europe.

For the first seven months of 2010, sales are down 70 percent compared to the year before. Globally, sales are down over 20 percent and sales will dip to below 100,000 unit for all of 2010 compared to 114,000 in 2009.

There a number of possible reasons for the soft sales in the U.S. The Smart is a cramped two-seater with very little room for cargo. While this might have been acceptable to some U.S. customers when it seemed like the sky was limit with rising gas prices, many likely aren't willing to make that sacrifice today.

Another more likely scenario is that there are plenty of larger (yet still compact) vehicles available on the market for the same money or slightly more than the Smart and seat 5 people plus cargo. A standard Smart fortwo will cost you around $13,200 with A/C. Stepping up to the slightly more opulent Smart fortwo "passion" costs about $14,600.

For that price, you get 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway in return (while requiring premium unleaded gasoline). For comparison, the $15,000 Honda Fit returns 28/35 while the $13,000 Toyota Yaris returns 29/36 -- both vehicles can seat five.

Another competitor, the $14,000 Ford Fiesta, achieves 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

With competitors approaching the mileage of the Smart while offering vastly superior passenger/cargo room for roughly the same money, it shouldn't be too shocking that sales are falling.

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RE: Another reason
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2010 12:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
So your entire argument is basically anything that doesn't promote this theoretical "economic efficiency" is inherently wasteful?

That's an honest question. I'm just trying to get an idea of what you're after here. A lot of what you're saying is very high minded and eloquent, but I'm not sure it reflects the reality of the situation.

On the bank using your savings thing, if you feel that money deposited in a bank does not contribute to economic velocity, then there's no point arguing further.

No but you were basically saying that a savings account stimulates the economy MORE than if you spent that money in other areas. Which needless to say is oversimplified and most likely false. Banks ALSO use your savings interest money to loan OTHER people money for things that you have already labeled wasteful and needless. How do you feel about that?

a good example is the SUV trend in the last two decades. The vast majority of people who bought them never used them to go off-road or to tow anything.

But who said SUV's are for off road and towing? As I understand it from parents, SUV's are great for throwing a bunch of kids and equipment in and driving somewhere. What's wrong with that?

In fact, how is it somehow an economic hit if someone buys a big SUV just for themselves? See you still haven't connected the dots on that. There IS no downside to it if he can afford it.

So what's the end game here? People buying only what's economically efficient and putting the rest in a savings account? That's a recipe for complete economic collapse of this country.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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