It is no secret that Smart seems to be in trouble in the United States market. Just this month we have seen reports of the company’s 41 percent drop in sales for 2009 and the replacement of Smart USA Distributor LLC president. However, new changes to the kind of financing the company will offer maybe Smart’s way of trying to turn the sales tide.

Leasing tends to become more popular when the economy is in a downturn, so it seems to fit that after a dismal sales cycle. The terms of the lease program is 36-month term, which would run prospective buyers $169 per month. Other conditions are a $999 down payment, $595 acquisition fee and first month payment due at signing. Franz Reiner, CEO of Daimler Financial Services, said in a release, “We are committed to offering a complete menu of financing options to maximize the sales potential of Smart USA.”

What is the catch? Well, the program is only going to be available until February 28th of this year. The time restriction seems to be a way to test the waters in the market and if it doesn’t work they only have to wait 3 years for the leases to run out. Time restriction aside, the lease could make a lot of sense especially for city dwellers.

So if you are interested in a Smart and aren’t sure you want to keep it for the long haul, then you should check with your local Smart dealer for lease options.


[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]