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Passion enters Smart's bid for city customers

DaimlerChrysler UK is confident of selling 4,000 left-hand drive Smart City coupes next year, targeting “sophisticated buyers who wish to make a lifestyle statement”.

Walter Scherg, general manager of Smart in the UK, added that a right-hand drive version was likely to go on sale from 2002.

Sales of the 600cc City coupe start in the UK on October 17, press day at next month's Birmingham motor show. Derivatives are the 44bhp Pure (priced from £5,400), the 54bhp Pulse (from £6,300) and range-topping 54bhp Passion (from £7,100).

Mr Scherg expected the Pulse and Passion to share 90% of the sales, with the Pure taking 10%. He forecast 700 sales this year from a limited Smart network which will be separate from other DCUK brands.

“We are taking a different approach, creating a white, cool atmosphere to attract younger buyers,” he said. Two sales outlets will be open from launch in London – one at Green Park Tube beneath the Piccadilly Mercedes dealership, the other at Chiswick, west London. Other outlets will be in Milton Keynes, Birmingham and (from mid-December) Manchester.

Plans for further sites are being evaluated.

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