In September, Penske Automotive and Nissan signed a memo of understanding giving the Penske Automotive Group, which distributes the Smart in the U.S., the right to procure and distribute a five-door hatchback, being built by Nissan.? The new vehicle is expected to be available at Smart retailers sometime during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak said, ?The new vehicle will expand smart USA?s product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation.?
Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger Penske added, ?We are proud to be a partner with both Daimler and Nissan, two companies focused on bringing high-quality, fuel efficient products to the U.S. market.?
The new Smart and a Nissan version will be produced in Mexico on the automaker’s new global V platform that will also be used to replace the Micra subcompact sold outside the United States. The Micra is almost two-feet shorter than the current Versa.