BERLIN -- Daimler's Smart division took the wraps off a four-seat model that it hopes will give the small-car brand a more solid foundation.
The Smart ForFour was unveiled here on Wednesday alongside the latest version of the ForTwo two-seater, currently the brand’s only model.
The ForFour is the first Smart four-seater since the brand axed a previous ForFour after just two years of disappointing sales.
The ForFour and ForTwo will go on sale in Europe starting on November 22 after their Paris auto show debuts Oct. 2. Daimler has no current plans to sell the ForFour in the United States because it isn't sure if there is a big enough market to warrant the cost of homologation. The ForTwo will arrive in U.S. showrooms in fall 2015.
The new ForTwo will be priced about the same as the current car while the ForFour will cost only about 600 euros more with the same engine, Daimler said.
Daimler is counting on the ForFour to boost Smart's volume and make the brand more profitable. Smart's global sales fell 10 percent to 46,816 in first half.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said Smart is an "especially important piece" of the company's future strategy because of growing global demand for smaller vehicles. "Forecasts expect the microcar market to grow to about 1 million vehicles by 2020, up 38 percent from today, and we definitely want to grab a significant piece of this growing pie," Zetsche said at the unveiling ceremony.
Daimler said it expects one-third of Smart sales to be ForFour models.