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November 21, 2005

GERMANY: Six European companies want to build Smart roadster

DaimlerChrysler's Smart small car business is in advanced talks with six European companies interested in reviving Smart's cancelled roadster model, the Financial Times newspaper said on Monday, according to Reuters.

DaimlerChrysler’s Smart small car business is in advanced talks with six European companies interested in reviving Smart’s cancelled roadster model, the Financial Times newspaper said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The report noted that Smart in April axed the two-seat roadster and cancelled a planned off-road model as part of its campaign to halt losses and break even by 2007. Finding a partner for the roadster could generate some income for the business, the paper reportedly said.

According to Reuters, the FT quoted spokesman Heinz Gottwick as saying the talks had reached a point where DaimlerChrysler would decide early next year on how to proceed.

He reportedly said Smart had been approached by “many, many” companies about licensing or buying the rights for the roadster.

One of the interested parties is the ProjectKimber consortium that unsuccessfuly bid for collapsed British carmaker MG Rover, the paper said, according to Reuters.

“I can confirm that we have been approached by many companies in Europe about the licensing rights, but we are not giving a number or any names,” a Smart spokeswoman reportedly said, declining to give any other details.

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