Picture: eisk77/Instagram

The spotting of the Smart Fortwo in Kochi leads us to consider that the brand may be eyeing to enter the lucrative Indian Market. The parent company already has a sizeable market in India and could be the new frontier they are trying to capture in India.

A facelift version of the first generation Smart Fortwo was spotted at Kochi, Kerala just a few days ago. The mini-sized vehicle is manufactured and sold by one of Daimler’s many divisions- Smart. The division brand has virtually no presence in the Indian car market, so it’s definitely a rare occasion for one of their models to be spotted on the roads of India. Smart’s parent body, Daimler already has a pretty tangible market hold in India with brands like Mercedes and BharatBenz, their expansion into the country could be extremely smooth, if they ever wanted to.

Currently in its third generation, the petite rear-engine and rear-wheel driven hatchback comes in two body styles- one a three-door hatchback and the other being its trademark two-door style convertible. The creamy-white model spotted in Kochi was a face-lifted Fortwo from 2002. Fortwo has been a fairly popular microcar of this Daimler division ever since it was first launched in 1998. The vehicle is highly compact and has a cabin that accommodates only two people at a time. Its optimal usage is appreciated in cities with cramped streets and less parking space, and is also useful in daily commute of people living individually.

Smart has continuously added several new innovations to its Fortwo flagship, advancing the vehicle through three generations. From its first gen model which sported a three-cylinder turbocharged 599 cc engine and 6-speed automated manual transmission powertrain, to its latest much power-packed powertrain, the vehicle has come a long way. Speaking of advancements, Fortwo’s 2002 facelift version also increased the vehicle’s performance by almost 100 cc in the 37 kW and 45 kW versions; while the turbo-diesel engine increased its displacement by a whopping 200 cc.

Daimler operates in India with the globally recognised brand Mercedes-Benz. Although, Smart does not have any current marketing plans in the country, the company should undoubtedly give it a thought; especially, taking into account the fact that India is an ideal market for compact cars. The 26 year old brand is currently operative in only 46 countries of the world and establishing India as a key marketplace would certainly allow a huge boost in their sales. The brand should also capitalize on their parent organisation’s dealerships in India, utilising them as bases for their product marketing and automotive services.

Aayushi Primta

Aayushi Primta

Hi there! I am an amateur automobile enthusiast with a love for muscle cars. When I'm not surfing the net about latest cars, you'll find me looking up recipe videos on YouTube or playing board games. Favourite Car: '67 Camaro Quote: Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror - Colin Powell