New Smart cars start production

EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: July 18, 2014 10:46 am ET
Updated: July 18, 2014 10:51 am ET

Image By: Daimler AG Smart's two-seater ForTwo and the new ForFour four-door model.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive

Daimler AG has launched new versions of its Smart ForTwo and ForFour city cars, which, as in previous models, make extensive use of plastics in exterior and interior parts.

Production of the first four-seater ForFour model was stopped in 2006 after only two years. Development of the new Smart ForTwo and ForFour was a joint project between Daimler and Renault SA, whose Twingo city car shares the same platform as the Smart cars.

The ForFour car will be made at Renault’s plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, as part of a co-operation agreement with Renault. The ForTwo will continue production at Smart’s plant in Hambach, France, which has received around 200 million euros ($275 million) in investment in connection with the new model.

Daimler said plastic body panels have been retained in the new Smart models. “This allows the king of the car park to shrug off any knocks and bumps from other road users,” the company said in its launch release.

The dashboard has prominent indicators and air vents and, optionally, can be clad in a mesh fabric.

Daimler said: “The infotainment center in modern consumer electronics style appears to hover in front of the dashboard. The interior thus reflects the values of a young, active and networked generation.”

“The typical Smart attributes are being carried into a new era: the typical silhouette with the ultra-short overhangs, the clear lines, forms and surfaces, the tridion [safety] cell and the updated, likeable Smart face," said Gorden Wagener, head of design at Daimler. "It is never easy to design the successor to a design icon — but it is all the more exciting."

To demonstrate the crash safety of the rear-engine Smart cars, Daimler conducted crash tests in which the two models performed well in frontal collisions with Mercedes S-Class and C-Class models.

Automotive News Europe, sister publication of EPN and Plastics News, reported Smart brand chief Annette Winkler’s comments on the rationale for the new ForFour car. "The most frequent reason people don’t pick the ForTwo is because it only has two seats," Winkler told Automotive News Europe at the Geneva automotive show in March. "A number of our customers want to stay with the brand and they said they would if we had a four-seat vehicle."


Comments

New Smart cars start production

EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: July 18, 2014 10:46 am ET
Updated: July 18, 2014 10:51 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Polish injection molder Teknorubber up for sale

August 29, 2014 9:14 am ET

Polish plastic parts maker Teknorubber has been put up for sale following its insolvency filing in March 2014. The company is to be auctioned through ...    More

Image

Concours adding equipment as mold making business booms in Mexico

August 28, 2014 2:05 pm ET

Concours Mold Inc. is heading for a 50 percent increase in sales in Mexico this year after a $4 million upgrade of its plant in Huejotzingo, in the...    More

Image

Canadian mold maker Thibault adding to new operation in Mexico

August 27, 2014 3:19 pm ET

Canadian mold maker I Thibault Inc has purchased an established Mexican company, Tecnimoldes SA de CV, for a seven-figure-dollar-sum and renamed it...    More

Image

New contract for JCI workers heads off potential strike in Ontario

August 25, 2014 3:17 pm ET

About 300 unionized workers at a Johnson Controls Inc. interiors plant in Ontario ratified a new three-year contract, heading off a potential strike...    More

Image

A123 Systems re-energizes its future

August 25, 2014 10:40 am ET

Battery maker A123 Systems LLC has new leadership and a new strategy expected to help the company generate just above a net zero cash flow on revenue ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events