Will Smart Americans go for Smart Cars

smart carI was thinking how nice it would be to spend under $10,000 for a car that gets 47 miles per gallon, is easy to park and cheap to register. I found the last two sentences irritating: "Some observers doubt whether American drivers are ready for such a radical revolution in size and horsepower. American consumers would probably perceive the minicar as a kind of toy."

I will decide for myself what I want as a consumer; it's not really up to an industry spokesman to tell me what I want. American consumers buy what is available. If a small, well-styled and well-built car were for sale here in the United States, you'd better believe people would buy it.

As for the toy aspect, so what? Some people have MG Midgets as toys; other people have gigantic, bus-sized campers as toys.

We're a wide-open country, and many of us have to commute 30, 40, 50 miles to work one way each day. Furthermore, most of us drive to and from work without passengers or huge amounts of cargo, so dragging along that excess capacity and horsepower does not make much sense.

I was fortunate to have a European vacation this summer. While in Berlin, I got an up-close look at several Smart Cars. They get 50 mpg, are well-built and engineered for safety, have nice features like air conditioning and power windows and can go 85 mph.

The diesel version gets 60 mpg, but it can't be sold here because of emission restrictions.


crossomotive said...

It's absolutely YES! Why not? For me, it's small. it's practical. It's cute too.