Daimler introduced the Smart Car to U.S. consumers in 2008.
Sold through Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the United States, the car entered the market at a good time (gas prices were skyrocketing) and with a great marketing strategy (exclusivity and the ability to pre-order months in advance created a back-log of orders, and generated a feeling of high-demand).
Unfortunately, drivers of the Fortwo are dissatisfied with their cars. In fact, CNW Research says that only 8.1 percent of New York City owners (a core target) claim that they would purchase a Fortwo again. Not a good figure.
Why the lack of brand loyalty? Apparently, poor ride quality, an unrefined “automatic manual” transmission and the impracticality of the two-seat car trump the advantages of good gas mileage and the ability to park in tiny spaces.
And, Michael Zak from AOL Autos points out one more incredible important emotional factor in consumer's decision to but the car:
Perhaps the most important force working against the Fortwo right now, however, is the fact that the novelty seems to have worn off. According to CNW data acquired from consumer surveys between 2006 and 2010, the majority of drivers of the Smart Fortwo actually bought the car because of its looks and uniqueness, which they deemed more important than its fuel economy, friendliness to the environment, or fun.
Apparently, eccentric looks are not making up for the widespread driver dissatisfaction. Proof once again that product and brand only work when both engines are running at full speed.
Source: AOL Autos