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DaimlerChrysler: Smart Sales

After restructuring program smart unit sales in 2005 went flat

Unit sales of the smart brand totaled 124,300 vehicles in the year under review (2004: 152,100). As part of the restructuring program for smart that was announced in April 2005, DaimlerChrysler discontinued production of the smart roadster and development of the planned smart SUV. The workforce was reduced from 1,350 to 750 employees at smart headquarters, and there was a reduction of 125 employees at the Hambach plant. As a result of these measures, smart succeeded in reducing fixed costs by 26% in the year under review, thus achieving its goals for the year 2005.

 

2003: smart boosts global unit sales to 123,500 vehicles

smart continued to grow during fiscal 2003. After a record year in 2002, unit sales rose an additional one percent to 123,500 units (previous year 122,300). Starting in April 2003, a major contribution to this result was provided by the second production series of the smart roadster and the roadster coupe. The new models recorded sales of 20,500 units, thereby greatly exceeding the original target for the year of 8,000 to 10,000 units. In Germany, France and Switzerland, the smart roadster and roadster coupe have reached second place in their respective competitive segments only eight months after their market launch. The smart city coupe and convertible were successful as well, achieving unit sales of 103,000. In the rapidly shrinking small-car segment, both models gained market share in such large European markets as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

In 2003, demand for the smart was once again highest in Germany with 41,300 deliveries, followed by Italy (32,100), the United Kingdom (13,000) and France (9,500). smart posted particularly high sales increases in the United Kingdom (up 35 percent) and France (up eleven percent)

Micro Compact Car smart GmbH has concluded 2001 with the best results since the launch of the smart in October 1998. The almost 14 percent increase to the number of cars sold and exceeding a turnover of 1 billion euro are further milestones in reaching the planned break-even in 2004.

2001: Last year the markets with the strongest sales were again

  • Germany (46,705) and

  • Italy (30,031), followed by

  • France (8,738) and

  • Switzerland (6,131). Double-digit growth rates were achieved in

  • Holland (16.9 percent),

  • Italy (16.1 percent),

  • Austria (14.6 percent) and

  • Spain (13.8 percent).

The total sales figure of 116,162 cars for last year also includes the first right-hand drive smart City-Coupés for the Japanese and British markets. The smart k, which was presented in Tokyo in October, has also got off to a good start. On account of its dimensions this car offers customers in the local market high tax advantages in some cases.

Compared with the competitors in the minicar segment, by November 2001 this meant that MCC smart had a 8.58 percent share of the European market. This result (previous year: 8.46 percent) was achieved contrary to the general market trend. Cars from smart are now sold in 14 countries, most of which are in Europe. After Portugal and Sweden as new markets in 2001, for this year market entry is planned in Croatia, Hungary and Taiwan.

The success of the product is based on the variety of car variants, which was greatly extended last year. Customers can now put together their individual smart from a choice of almost 300 different possibilities.

One of the main pillars of the smart brand - zest for life - is also expressed in the high proportion of smart Cabrios (22 percent). Philipp Schiemer continues "For example we still hold one of the top positions in the registration figures for cabriolets in Germany." Last year almost 25 percent of smart models had common-rail direct injection. This makes the diesel-driven smart by far the best-selling three-litre car.

2002 will mainly be characterised by the facelifted cars, which will go on sale from March. According to Andreas Renschler "It is very difficult to predict numbers for the coming year as the development of the economy is difficult to foresee from where we are today. However we are planning an increase to sales figures this year too."


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