Big Success for the Small City Car in the Middle Kingdom
Stuttgart/Shanghai. Five years after market launch, smart has firmly established itself in China as a trendsetter and pacesetter for urban mobility. After Germany, the Middle Kingdom is now the second biggest market for the innovative two-seater. This success was celebrated at the end of “smart times 2014 China” by around 50,000 fans of the brand at the “LIVE smart China 5-Year Anniversary Concert” in Shanghai Stadium. At the event, smart surprised its Chinese fans with two new special models: Painted in typical China red is the exclusive smart special edition to mark its fifth birthday, only five of which will be produced, and the traditional Chinese smart New Year edition, of which 666 will be made available next year.
The first smart fortwo headed for China in 2009, taking their place in showrooms built in twelve cities. Since then, the small city car has been driving on the urban fast lane in the Middle Kingdom – in cities both large and small. The smart brand is now represented by 143 sales outlets in 77 cities. More than 60,000 units have been sold so far. And, to-date, the smart fortwo has been voted Chinese “Car of the Year” in its segment every single year. This enormous popularity has continued this year, too, with an increase in sales of 4.2 percent through November. In just a short period of time, this sustained growth has turned China into smart’s second biggest market worldwide. Here, the smart brand is not only the pioneer in urban mobility solutions, but also a groundbreaker in the use of digital platforms for marketing and sales. For instance, in spring 2014, smart succeeded in selling all 388 units of a special edition in the space of just three minutes in cooperation with “WeChat” (China’s answer to “WhatsApp”).
The extent to which smart is now entrenched in China’s cities is evidenced by the bandwidth of customers and fans. It unites an avant-garde lifestyle across all ages, professions and income segments. “smart times 2014 China” also stands very much for an avant-garde lust for life and innovation. Four major events in Guangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai spanned a wide arc from fashion, through film and sport to music. The climax was the live concert to mark the fifth anniversary of smart in Shanghai. This extraordinary audio-visual event thrilled smart fans with performances from some of Asia’s most successful music stars. These included South Korean singer Rain, Chinese singer and fashion pioneer Chris Lee and the winner of “Voice of China 2014” Zhang Bichen. The concert was the biggest ever gathering worldwide of smart customers and fans.
smart China has been able to attract more and more customers with its continually growing product line-up. The special additions have proven particularly popular and are always in high demand. The Chinese customer is constantly in search of products that set them apart from the masses and are able to underscore their individuality. smart is thus continually setting new benchmarks in urban mobility, which are adopted enthusiastically by young, open-minded customers. This is a euphoria that will play its part in ensuring that smart remains successful in the Middle Kingdom in the years to come, too.