Why is SMART car smart for your business? Featured

7:00pm EDT January 3, 2011

For almost 20 years, Smart has been leading the way to a future where cars use less fuel, produce fewer emissions and leave a reduced environmental footprint.

Now, Smart can take taken the concept of the clean-running motor vehicle, and raise it to a new level for your business fleet. The Smart Fortwo packages everything you and your business will want in a fleet car – a distinctive look, advanced safety features, an environmentally-conscious design and materials, low maintenance, repair and insurance costs, and an easily-modified exterior that can be outfitted with the design, logo and graphics of your business.

The Smart Fortwo is a smart choice for any business looking to stand out from the crowd in the Atlanta area. Here are some of the many reasons why you should get Smart about your company’s car fleet.

Customize your car

With the Smart Fortwo, your business can have the best of both worlds – an environmentally-responsible car that still retains the eye-catching, distinctive look that the public has come to associate with vehicles by Smart. With your business logo and graphics on a Smart car, you create advertising and marketing opportunities wherever your car, or car fleet, goes. Smart cars provide reliable, low cost transportation that will ensure your employees get to where they need to go, providing your company’s services in visually-striking vehicles that will draw the attention of both current and future customers.

Smart offers multiple options for customizing your vehicle, including easy-to-install body panels in a wide range of colors, and Smart’s National Wrap Program, which allows you to design custom decals and full vehicle wraps for your Smart Fortwo. Smart company representatives will work with you to create a fully personalized design, including your logo, contact information and other graphic elements that can give your Smart vehicles your own unique look.

The production and installation is included in the overall price of the vehicle, eliminating additional out-of-pocket costs.

A safe ride

The designers of the Smart Fortwo put as much thought into safety as they did into the car’s aesthetics and environmental footprint. With engineering help from Mercedes-Benz, Smart designed a car that the people in your business can feel safe while driving.

The Smart Fortwo is constructed around a tridion safety cell, which is a reinforced, high strength steel safety cage. Inside the safety cage, the driver and passenger are protected by front and side air bags. In addition, the car features a collapsible steering column and seat belt force limiters, helping to reduce the incidence of injury not just from an impact, but from the safety equipment itself.

The braking system features Electronic Stability Program, ABS brakes, cornering brake control, brake assist and acceleration skid control, all of which helps allow the driver to maintain control of the vehicle in all types of weather and road conditions.

The thought and engineering put into the Smart Fortwo’s safety systems has earned it some of the best safety scores in its class. The Smart Fortwo has been given the highest ratings for frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Smart Fortwo also meets or exceeded all 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards, including three out of five stars for driver-side impact and four out of five stars for driver-side frontal crashes.

A smart buy

The Smart Fortwo is designed to be an investment in your business. With zero emissions, high safety standards and unique aesthetic appeal comes low prices and low maintenance costs.

Models start at $11,990, with volume discounts available for fleet purchases. Once you get your fleet on the road, the Smart Fortwo provides optimal fuel efficiency the best fuel efficiency of any non-hybrid gas-powered vehicle in the U.S. – an EPA-estimated 33 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Fortwo is designed to be easily maintained and repaired, featuring replaceable body panels and low-cost parts, in addition to extended service intervals. All of which means that minor repairs stay minor, regular maintenance is a little less regular, and your Smart vehicles stay on the road for your business, getting the job done.

And that’s not even broaching the subject of insurance – a sticky subject with a lot of businesses in the current economy. Thanks to the ease of repairing and maintaining a Smart Fortwo, it remains one of the least expensive vehicles to insure.

On average, it costs $487 per year to maintain a Smart Fortwo. That’s over $100 less than a Honda Fit, $200 less than a Mini Cooper or Toyota Prius and over $300 less than a Toyota Yaris, according to Intellichoice.com’s 2009 ratings.

Green to the end

When you buy a Smart Fortwo fleet for your business, you know you’re purchasing a vehicle that will, over the course of its product life, make a greatly reduced impact on the environment when compared to other vehicles on the market. But it will also continue as a green machine at the end of its usable life.

To the designers at Smart, making an ecologically responsible car doesn’t stop at eliminating emissions. It means building a car out of materials that won’t sit in a landfill for centuries after the car has traveled its last mile.

The Smart Fortwo’s modular design makes its components easier and more efficient to disassemble and recycle. The components themselves are constructed from materials that were selected for their minimal environmental impact and high level of recyclability. In total, 95 percent of the Smart Fortwo’s parts are recyclable. Several of the car’s parts, including the inner fenders and underbody trays, are made from renewable raw materials and 100 percent recycled plastic.

The Smart Fortwo is the latest generation in a growing Smart legacy that dates to the early 1990s – a legacy started with a vision to create safe, environmentally-responsible transportation designed for urban residents. Over time, that market has grown to include businesses looking for a distinctive vehicle fleet.

From the initial rollout of the Smart Fortwo in 2003 to the fully-electric Smart Fortwo Electric Drive in 2010, the Smart brand keeps growing and spreading around the globe. The car now retails in 41 countries.

Smart will continue to evolve and find new ways to enhance the safety, performance and environmental responsibility of its products, and hopes that you – and your business – will come along for the ride.

This advertising feature is brought to you by smart center Buckhead. For more information, visit www.smartcenterbuckhead.com