I find this interesting. Penske / smart USA has brought in an outside design house to work on both exterior and interior design for the four-seat smart being developed (evidently for customers in the US) with help from Nissan. I had thought that Penske was simply a very influential distributor, but evidently smart USA has gone one step further and is doing the Nissan deal without the participation of the mother ship back in Germany.
Does anyone know how this is going to work? Daimler has promised to update the corporate smart line by adding a new vehicle they are developing with help from Renault. Renault and Nissan are joined at the hip, but Daimler controls the smart manufacturing facility in France, and they are not in on the deal with Nissan. Will Daimler simply agree to produce a Nissan design Penske ships them? Or will smart USA start its own semi-independent design, manufacturing and sourcing deal with / from Nissan?