DaimlerChrysler still hasn't decided whether Smart will come to the United States despite promises that an announcement would be made at the Geneva auto show. But it seems to be leaning toward yes.
Said Ulrich Walker, head of Smart: "We are close. We will decide within the next weeks."
But Walker pointed to a comment DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche made to a German reporter last week: "It is now more likely that we will decide in favor of rather than against (entering) the U.S."
Zetsche also said DaimlerChrysler still is entertaining offers of joint cooperation and even the outright sale of Smart, but he wouldn't say which companies have expressed an interest.
U.S. distribution would be a thorny issue. Mercedes-Benz disbanded its project to name dealers in the United States after DaimlerChrysler's previous management decided against U.S. Smart sales. Mercedes now is considering whether Smart should be sold only in areas of the country where the tiny car would be popular, a spokesman said recently.