This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Detroit Goes Small with Ford Verve, Daimler Smart Car
Automakers continued an emphasis on smaller cars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Verve concept vehicle, a four-door small car slated for production in 2010. Ford also displayed a three-door version of the Ford Verve, which was first introduced at last year's Frankfurt Auto Show. According to Ford, small cars and crossovers are the only vehicle types with projected near-term growth in the United States. See the Ford press release and Verve Web page.
If Ford is right, Daimler has the jump on it, as the company is now selling its smart fortwo in the United States. The diminutive two-door car, also on display in Detroit, achieves 33 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 41 mpg on the highway under the new fuel economy regulations developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to Daimler, more than 30,000 Americans have placed a $99 deposit on the smart fortwo, which is available through 70 carefully selected dealerships located in major U.S. cities. The smart fortwo is available in three trim levels, with the least expensive starting at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $11,590. See the smart USA Web site and Daimler's smart press kit.