Company will plant trees in the Cache River State Natural Area in recognition of all smart fortwos sold
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Mar 31, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- smart USA Distributor LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc., (NYSE:PAG), announced today that it will plant a tree in recognition of each of the 24,622 smart fortwos sold in 2008, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the vehicle in the United States. In partnership with American Forests and Daimler Financial Services, smart USA will plant trees in the Cache River State Natural Area, located in southern Illinois, about 150 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. smart USA plans to continue this initiative for every vehicle sold in 2009.
By purchasing this vehicle, smart fortwo owners have already played an active role in supporting the environment. In addition to great fuel economy, the smart fortwo is up to 95% recyclable, and is certified as a SmartWay vehicle for its low air pollutant and greenhouse gas scores by the Environmental Protection Agency. The smart fortwo contributes to a smaller carbon footprint on the American landscape.
"We are very happy to enter into a partnership with Daimler Financial Services and American Forests," said Dave Schembri, President of smart USA. "smart USA, Daimler Financial Services and American Forests are committed to creating a healthier, greener environment. We wanted to select a project that not only reflected one of our brand's core attributes, but will also create a better place to live for all Americans."
The Cache River State Natural Area is open to the public. In the near future, a sign will be displayed at the entrance acknowledging smart USA's contribution toward the planting of these trees. smart owners that took delivery of their vehicle in 2008 will be notified of the program on their anniversary date and will be able to download a certificate recognizing the tree planting at www.smartusa.com/green.
American Forests, the country's oldest non-profit citizens' conservation organization, is a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration, a pioneer in the science and practice of urban forestry, and a primary communicator of the benefits of trees and forests. Since 1875, American Forests has been working to create healthy forest ecosystems for every community. smart USA will be planting the trees as part of the American Forests' Global ReLeaf campaign, which is dedicated to planting native trees in rural and urban ecosystem restoration projects across the United States and around the world. The Cache River State Natural Area project will create large blocks of historic hardwood bottomlands that support neotropical migratory birds and will provide high-quality swamp and wetland habitats for more than 100 species listed as threatened or endangered.
"We are proud to partner with smart USA and Daimler Financial Services to plant a tree for each smart fortwo sold in the United States," said Deborah Gangloff, Executive Director of American Forests. "Making a commitment to restore forest ecosystems with American Forests reinforces smart USA's dedication to high environmental standards. The tree-planting project selected to honor the owners of these vehicles will provide important benefits for wildlife and the environment at a very special site in southern Illinois, in the heartland of the country."
ABOUT the smart fortwo and smart USA
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 Penske Automotive Group, Inc. The smart fortwo is a brand of and is manufactured by Daimler AG. This technologically advanced vehicle achieves 41 mpg on the highway and is an ultra-low emissions vehicle, as certified by the State of California Air Resources Board. 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 found in most luxury models. smart is currently sold in 36 other countries, and more than one million fortwos have been sold since 1998. The 2009 smart fortwo is available in five trim levels ranging in price from $11,990* to $20,990*.
* For 2009 models.Excludes tax, title, registration, destination charge, options and other dealer fees.
smart is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.
ABOUT PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 309 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 25 collision repair centers. Penske Automotive, 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 157 franchises in 19 states and Puerto Rico and 152 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom. Penske Automotive is also the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo through its wholly-owned subsidiary smart USA Distributor LLC. smart USA supports over 70 smart retail centers in the United States. Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 200 and Russell 1000 and has more than 14,000 employees. smart and fortwo are registered trademarks of Daimler AG.
ABOUT DAIMLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DCFS USA LLC)
Daimler Financial Services (DCFS USA LLC), headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, provides brand-specific financing for Mercedes-Benz and smart automotive dealers' inventories and their retail customers. Daimler Financial Services (DCFS USA LLC) serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,600 employees. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, which operates in 40 countries with an employee base of close to 6,800. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide.
ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS
American Forests' mission is to grow a healthier world by working with communities on local efforts that restore and maintain forest ecosystems. Our work encompasses planting trees, calculating the value of urban forests, fostering environmental education, and improving public policy for trees at the national level. We have a goal of 100 million trees planted by 2020.
For additional information, visit:
SOURCE: smart USA Distributor LLC
For smart USA
For Penske Automotive Group
Senior Vice President
Copyright Business Wire 2009