This move shows the deepening collaboration between Renault-Nissan and Daimler, the parent company of Smart. The vehicle manufacturers are tying to find a way to cut some cost by developing and possibly producing their upcoming models together.
Under the agreement of the three-year-old pact of Renault-Nissan and Daimler, the French car manufacturer will come up with battery and gasoline-operated version of the Smart ForFour in Slovenia side by side with the Renault Twingo.
The two mincars are set to hit showrooms by 2014 or a year later as originally announced by the two companies. The reason for the delay was not disclosed by Renault or Smart.
The move to a RWD platform of the Twingo is a move of the brand to make it a more upscale package. This adds to the credibility of the vehicle and be seen as a different player in its segment. The sales of Twingo dropped by as much as 31% placing at fourth in its market segment. The Fiat Panda was on top of the segment followed by the Fiat 500 and the VW Up.
On the other side of the fence, Smart stopped the production of the first version of the Smart ForFour due to poor sales. The vehicle derived its DNA from the Mitsubishi Colt. Smart sees a better partnership with the French carmaker that has a wider range of available technology and production services.