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|smart USA Launches Cross-Country Road Show to Introduce the fortwo|
Consumers Can Test-Drive Vehicles in 50 Cities Nationwide May Through November
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 9, 2007--A small car with a big urban solution is coming to the streets of cities across the United States as eager consumers will have their first opportunity to experience the fun and functionality of the smart fortwo. smart USA Distributor LLC, a subsidiary of United Auto Group, Inc, (NYSE:UAG), is launching a national road show May 19, starting in Los Angeles, California, to introduce the revolutionary smart fortwo to U.S. consumers. The tour provides a hands-on experience, allowing consumers to test-drive the fortwo and experience its innovation, functionality and the joy of driving. The 50-city tour will visit events from festivals and universities, to sporting events and retail outlets, to other popular city destinations through November.
"The smart fortwo is all about urban independence and freeing people from the constraints of city driving, so this road show offers consumers a unique way to discover the brand and get up close and personal with this amazing car," said Dave Schembri, president of smart USA. "The best way to understand the benefits of a smart fortwo is to experience it - and this vehicle will change the way drivers look at the driving experience."
Three road show teams will visit three regions of the country simultaneously, showcasing four drivable vehicles at each stop. The tour will stop in each city for approximately four days, starting in Los Angeles in May, and ending in Miami in November. The anticipated road show schedule is noted on the next page, and updates can be found at www.smartusa.com.
Each road show stop will showcase the fortwo in a truly smart fashion, highlighting how the vehicle offers urban mobility at its best. The tour will roll into each city in a large, smart-branded semi-truck adorned with depictions of smart vehicles on the side and smart fortwo vehicles inside. The truck's trailer will transform into a mobile smart exhibit, complete with interactive displays and virtual demonstrations, including a display of the tridion cell (steel cage surrounding the driver and passenger for protection in case of a crash), the four airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and other features typically reserved for luxury vehicles. Vehicle test-drives will be conducted on either a closed course or on neighboring streets, depending on the location. During the drive, consumers will be able to experience the vehicle's dynamic capabilities and benefits including acceleration, braking, steering response, maneuverability, safety and ease of parking. A smart representative will accompany each test-drive to explain vehicle features and abilities, plus answer questions during the driving experience.
In addition to test-driving the new fortwo and interacting with smart USA team members, event attendees can register as a smart "insider" to receive regular updates to keep them in touch with the latest smart news. Away from the event, consumers may place a $99 refundable reservation for a production model on the smart USA home page (www.smartusa.com) by clicking on the reservation link and following the instructions.
The smart road show is scheduled to stop in the following cities between May and November:
Western Region Central Region Eastern Region ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Los Angeles Minneapolis Boston (May 19-June 14) (June 17-20) (June 30-July 4) San Diego Chicago Hartford, Conn. (June 16-20) (June 24-27) (July 6-11) Las Vegas Milwaukee Providence, R.I. (June 22-27) (June 28-July 4) (July 13-18) Phoenix Indianapolis Fairfield, Conn. (June 29-July 4) (July 6-11) (July 20-25) Albuquerque, N.M. Columbus, Ohio Albany, N.Y. (July 6-11) (July 13-16) (July 27-31) San Antonio, Texas Detroit New York (July 13-18) (July 18-26) (Aug. 4-15) Houston Cleveland Edison, N.J. (July 21-25) (July 28-Aug. 1) (Aug. 18-22) Denver Buffalo, N.Y. Princeton, N.J. (July 27-Aug. 1) (Aug. 3-8) (Aug. 25-29) Salt Lake City Pittsburgh Philadelphia (Aug. 3-8) (Aug. 10-15) (Sept. 1-5) Sacramento, Calif. Washington D.C. Baltimore (Aug. 10-15) (Aug. 18-22) (Sept. 8-12) San Francisco Virginia Beach, Va. Raleigh/Durham, N.C. (Aug. 18-30) (Aug. 24-29) (Sept. 14-19) Seattle Winston-Salem, N.C. Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 1-5) (Aug. 31-Sept. 5) (Sept. 22-26) Portland, Ore. Birmingham, Ala. Charleston, S.C. (Sept. 7-12) (Sept. 7-12) (Sept. 28-Oct 3) Knoxville, Tenn. Atlanta (Sept. 14-19) (Oct. 6-10) Nashville, Tenn. Jacksonville (Sept. 21-26) (Oct. 13-17) Louisville, Ky. Orlando, Fla. (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) (Oct. 19-24) St. Louis Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 5-11) (Oct. 29-31) Kansas City, Mo. Miami (Oct. 12-17) (Nov. 4-8) Tulsa, Okla. (Oct. 18-24) Dallas (Oct. 26-31)
Please visit - www.smartusa.com for schedule updates.
The smart fortwo is expected to go on sale in the United States in the first quarter of 2008 through a dealership network being developed by smart USA, the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico. Approximately 50-70 dealers are expected to be appointed across the country.
The 2008 smart fortwo will be available in three trim levels. The entry-level pure is planned to start at under $12,000(a), with standard convenience features such as a 5-speed automated manual transmission with manual or automatic mode, central remote locking system, 2-spoke leather steering wheel, and a radio-ready console. The well-equipped passion coupe, expected to start at under $14,000(a), includes all the standard features described on the pure, plus a panorama roof, alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles, power windows, electric and heated side mirrors, and an AM/FM radio with CD player, all standard. Those seeking top-down excitement can choose the passion cabriolet, planned to start at under $17,000(a), with a standard upgraded radio and sound system that includes an mp3 compatibility and in-dash 6 CD changer.
Each vehicle features the two-color concept characteristic of the smart brand. All models come standard with a black tridion safety cell that can be upgraded to metallic silver at an additional cost. The changeable body panels are available in six colors - deep black, light yellow and crystal white are standard, while blue metallic, red metallic and silver metallic are offered for an additional charge. Additional details on all trim levels and colors are available on the smart USA website.
(a)Expected prices exclude tax, license, registration, destination charge and options.
ABOUT smart and smart USA
The smart fortwo is manufactured by the Mercedes Car Group and is a member of the DaimlerChrysler family. This technologically advanced vehicle has been designed to achieve 40 plus m.p.g. under normal driving conditions. The vehicle is 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and comes equipped with many functional and safety features reserved for most luxury models. The smart dealer network will be announced during the second half of 2007. smart is currently sold in 36 countries, and over 770,000 smart fortwos have been sold since 1998.
smart USA Distributor LLC, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Auto Group, Inc.
ABOUT UNITEDAUTO GROUP
United Auto Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 311 retail automotive franchises, representing 41 different brands, and 27 collision repair centers. UnitedAuto, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 166 franchises in 19 states and Puerto Rico and 145 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom. UnitedAuto is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 1000 and has 16,000 employees.
Statements in this press release may involve forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially because of risks and uncertainties, including production delays, delays in developing a dealership network and external factors such as interest rate fluctuations, changes in consumer spending and other factors over which management has no control. These forward-looking statements should be evaluated together with additional information about UnitedAuto's business, markets, conditions and other uncertainties that could affect UnitedAuto's future performance, which are contained in UnitedAuto's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and which are incorporated into this press release by reference. This press release speaks only as of its date, and UnitedAuto disclaims any duty to update the information herein.
For additional information, visit www.smartusa.com or www.unitedautogroup.com
CONTACT: For smart USA