Smart deepens alliance with Renault

The upcoming Smart ForFour (the 4 door version of the Smart ForTwo) will share a rear wheel drive platform with Renault’s future Twingo vehicle.

It is part of the deepening alliance between Smart’s parent, Daimler, and Renault-Nissan. The automakers are seeking ways to cut costs by jointly developing and producing their upcoming minicar models.

Under the agreement, Renault will produce gasoline and battery-powered versions of the Smart ForFour in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, alongside the new Twingo.

Smart Managing Director Annette Winkler said Smart and Renault are scheduled to launch the new Smart ForFour and Twingo in 2014, which is a year later than initially announced.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Winkler declined to comment on sales expectations for the Smart Electric Drive. “Demand is strong but I don’t have a crystal ball for 2013,” Winkler said at an event at Smart’s factory in Hambach, France. “We will certainly see very good four-digit volume sales.”

Previously, a Smart spokesman said the ForTwo EV is expected to account for roughly 10% of the brand’s total sales this year.

Since the launch of the Smart Electric Drive last summer, Smart has begun deliveries of the ForTwo EV in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Ital, and Portugal. 30 other markets are planned, including the United States and China.

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Alan Moeller

By Alan Moeller

EV car evangelist! I read, watch, write, research and chat all things electric cars. Got a lead on a story? Shoot me a message on Facebook.

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