GENEVA -- Smart will design its next-generation ForTwo car to comply with U.S. regulations, says Smart CEO Ulrich Walker.
Smart is doing this to leave its options open for the United States. But the automaker won't make a decision whether to bring the ForTwo to the United States until the end of April, says Mercedes-Benz car group CEO Eckhard Cordes.
Smart is the entry-level brand within the Mercedes-Benz car group.
The successor to the current-generation Smart ForTwo is due in 2007. Smart had always intended to bring the next-generation ForTwo to the United States.
But first, Smart had wanted to launch the brand in September 2006 with the compact SUV called the ForMore.
Three months ago, Cordes froze development of the ForMore. At the Geneva auto show, Cordes said he will decide in April whether to produce the ForMore.
The ForMore is an SUV about as large as the Toyota RAV4. If Mercedes approves it, the vehicle will be produced in Brazil.
The ForTwo was shown this year at the Detroit and Chicago auto shows.
Smart also is testing brand awareness in several major markets. The Smart ForTwo already is sold in Canada.
The ForTwo has been in production since 1998. Smart has sold 630,000 units.
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