STUTTGART – DaimlerChrysler has suspended development of the Smart ForMore sport wagon.
The ForMore is the vehicle Smart has said it would use to launch its brand in the US in the second half of 2006.
Supplier executives were told in late December that there will be a three-month stoppage of most development work on the vehicle. Some testing will continue.
Heinz Gottwick, Smart’s director of communications, confirmed the delay. He said Smart CEO Ulrich Walker is re-evaluating market and product strategy.
The ForMore had been scheduled to be displayed at the Detroit auto show. Smart has a stand at the show, but the ForMore will not be shown.
Smart still could launch the brand in the US using its other vehicles, Gottwick said.
Smart’s lineup consists of the ForTwo microcar, the Roadster, and the ForFour four-seater.
In October, departing Daimler-Chrysler Chief Financial Officer Manfred Gentz caused a stir when he said that all options were open regarding Smart.
D/C CEO Jürgen Schrempp, Mercedes boss Eckhard Cordes and Smart’s Walker then rushed to make assurances that the brand would not be killed or sold.