Simply Smart Baltimore Sun

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car Smart K

Simply Smart

The fuel-efficient Car — all the rage in Europe has a growing fan base in Maryland, but can the vehicle really catch on in the

May 02, 2004 | By Lorraine Mirabella | Mirabella,SUN STAFF

From a warehouse below an overpass in the team at J.K. Technologies is hard to bring to America an to soaring gasoline prices.

5 feet high, 8 feet and gets more than 60 to the gallon on the highway. A fill-up about $11. About 200 across the country have put names on a waiting list for the to pay $20,000 to get one.

The Smart a creation of Mercedes-Benz and Swatch, is all the in Europe, inspiring cult-like The two-seater, first sold in can be spotted nimbly zipping roadways in 30 countries. It is coming to But it is not sold anywhere in the United

That could change as as this summer, when Technologies LLC, an independent importer, expects its first of the two-seater Smart Cars to off a ship in the port of Baltimore and after a spin through shop — into eager hands.

They’re special machines, said Joyeusaz, J.K.’s chief They’re larger than you on the inside. They’re extremely They get 63 miles to the gallon, 52, city. They can fit two to a parking They’re fun. They’re peppy. They’re the perfect car.

Company President and engineer Jonathan Weisheit, a Formula V race car driver who refers to design engineers at as geniuses, sums up the role of It’s right for the world

Joyeusaz and Weisheit, along a team of J.K. researchers, spent nearly four tweaking the Smart Car to meet safety and environmental standards, conducting crash tests. The expects to get final approval a month to import the Smart the original two-seater, including the Passion hardtop and the Pulse

J.K. thinks that it can about 1,000 cars a to start, and plans to offer from a showroom in an as-yet spot in Baltimore.

SUVs are traveling vehicles, but when talking about going to and work and sitting in traffic, Weisheit, why do you need 10 to 15 miles per to get to work?

Steve Roseman, a 46-year-old bicycle distributor who drives an car up and down his hilly San Francisco agrees. He’s placed a order for a blue, hard-top

I feel like we’re a child, said Roseman. is the coolest car that’s ever created.

If I were towing a or had to haul around lumber, wouldn’t be my choice. But Smart take care of 98 percent of my and the other 2 percent of the time ask a neighbor to borrow the truck.

Simeone, a Charles Village who is a freelance radio host of World of Opera and of foreign cable television show first saw the Smart car several ago while vacationing with her at a French chateau.

car Smart K

They drove the chateau Smart Car at his insistence and fell in She has since sent letters to and surfed the Web in vain in hopes of a Smart. When she heard J.K. right in her own back she jumped at the chance to get on the list. No. 53.

I wish I were No. 1, said It’s a beautiful, little, practical, safe vehicle because it’s a Mercedes cage. And I am not a person who gets about cars. I’m a for whom a car has four wheels and it

Most of J.K.’s Smart heard about the importer by of mouth or through the Internet. Roseman and Simeone, they’re not to wait for DaimlerChrysler AG, through its Car Group, to start exporting the

The automaker doesn’t plan to the brand in the United States 2006, and then it will launch a Smart-inspired, small the Formore.

Sometime after Mercedes expects to offer a version of the Smart Fortwo to meet U.S. standards. The expects to sell about Formores per year, and a limited of the Fortwos.

It is a niche product, but we very confident there is even fanaticism in this said Scott Keogh, manager of Smart USA.

You see the Fortwo and the roadster. They be developed with America in The Fortwo has such an iconic so the vehicle will maintain the shape and basic concept.

strategy of easing into the market with a small SUV its caution. But David E. Cole, of the Center for Automotive Research, a group in Ann Arbor, Mich. the success of BMW’s Mini indicates that buyers

We’ve been surprised the popularity of the Mini, a very BMW, Cole said. were reservations about it would mesh with a market that has a predisposition for vehicles. We tend to have families, longer trips and more stuff.

car Smart K
car Smart K
car Smart K
car Smart K


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