This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 15, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALEXIS GLICK, GUEST HOST: Right now, we're standing here with a man who believes that Americans are willing to give up their large gas-guzzling SUVs in exchange for something called the Smart Car.
Joining me right now is the CEO of Smart Car, Dave Schembri.
Thanks for joining us.
DAVE SCHEMBRI, CEO, SMART USA: It's great to be here, Alexis.
GLICK: All right.
So, this has been a bit hit in Europe. You're bringing it here to the United States. And you do believe that Americans are willing to drive a tiny little car?
SCHEMBRI: You know, America has never been more ready for a car like this.
Concerns about urban congestion, look at right here in New York. Rising gas prices, concerns about the environment — you know, in America, we love our cars, so you need to have a car that's also fun to drive. And this car meets all of those objectives.
GLICK: OK. I understand fun to drive. I look at this car and I say to myself, this is for a younger demographic. This is like college kids. What about safety, because this car is tiny compared to most of SUVs that we drive on the road?
SCHEMBRI: You know, the safety management system of this car is as amazing as the car itself. The outline and silver metallic is called the tridion safety cell. It's a reinforced steel cage that acts much like a NASCAR roll cage.
And you notice you sit high in this vehicle. It's 5.1 feet tall. And it allows all the energy to be absorbed underneath the vehicle. In the event of a front crash, you will see damage to the front and the rear, keeping the occupants safe.
GLICK: OK. Let's talk about mileage, because that's one of the key — the key things here. And you have received 20,000 orders for this car here in the United States?
SCHEMBRI: You could go online on smartusa.com, and, for $99, reserve your very own Smart Fortwo. And, yes, we have received over 20,000 reservations as of today.
And it's 40 miles per gallon for this. The average SUV is 15 miles per gallon.
SCHEMBRI: Yes, you know, this car was designed to achieve 40-plus miles per gallon. It has an 8.7-gallon tank. So the range of driving is — is pretty darn good.
GLICK: You know, I have got to tell you, I kind of look at this, and I'm thinking, you know, golf cart, you know? Am I really, really safe? It looks a little small, but very cute.
What do you say to those people who say, I'm not so sure?
SCHEMBRI: You know, in addition to the tridion safety cell, this car will be equipped with safety features usually reserved for luxury automobiles, such as it will have four air bags, two front and two side, including head and thorax protection. It will come standard with ESP, electronic stability program. That's a feature that will be federally mandated in all vehicles in the year 2010.
ABS brakes, corner brake assist — the list goes on and on. This vehicle was designed to achieve a four-star crash rating, which will put it right up there with the leaders in the industry.
GLICK: Is your main competition for this product the MINI?
SCHEMBRI: You know, this car will carve out an entirely new segment in the United States, the micro-car segment, if you will.
So, we think, right now, if you look around, there's not many competitors on the road today.
GLICK: And there's a lot of people watching you talk about this car. They might be intrigued by it.
GLICK: All right.
Dave Schembri, CEO of Smart Car, thanks very much for joining us.
SCHEMBRI: Thank you.
GLICK: And thanks for showing us what it's all about.
SCHEMBRI: Go to smartusa.com, learn all about it.
GLICK: That sounds like an advertisement, doesn't it? OK. All right.
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