Mercedes-Benz’s Smart arm is “an answer to a question that is more relevant now than when we started it”, according to Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche.
He revealed the new Fortwo and Forfour, co-developed alongside the next Renault Twingo, would be revealed this year, most likely at the Geneva motor show in March before going on sale a few months after.
“The development of major metropolitan areas and increasing traffic congestion makes Smart a good solution, even more so than the past,” said Zetsche. “The next-generation Smart will fulfil the needs of customers better and the addition of a four seater gives even greater potential.
“I’m happy with what I’m seeing. It took time to find the right partner and to get to where we are, but this year you’ll see if my positive feeling about Smart is warranted.”
Zetsche was open to further co-operation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan after a positive start to their tie-up over the past few years. “I seen more come out of this partnership than was expected,” he said.
One thing not planned is a Mercedes smaller than the A-class. There had been talk last year of a small SUV to sit below the A-class range, but of the 30 new Mercedes planned before the end of the decade – 13 of which will be without a direct predecessor – one of them is not a baby Mercedes to sit beneath the A-class.
“A Mercedes smaller than the A-class is not planned other than Smart,” he said. “We can meet CO2 targets without this model.”