Smart USA may have more to worry about than Toyota: January sales of it’s mainstay Fourtwo model are down a whopping 84.3 percent compared to January of 2009. Only 279 Smart Fortwos were sold in the US last month, compared to 1,776 units a year ago.
Panned by reviewers for it’s lack of power, quirky handling in crosswinds and shift-logic- gone-mad transmission, the Smart enjoyed moderate U.S. sales success when gasoline prices climbed into the stratosphere. American buyers have cooled to the car, unimpressed with its fuel mileage rating of 36 mpg and diminutive size. In a country where big equals safe, Smart will need a major PR campaign to salvage what is proving to be a disastrous year.