Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So Smart - Hermes Goes High-Low

The House of Hermes continues to spread the love around in the high-low way. On the high side the firm debuted the Hermes designed Bugatti, and now leaning to the low they we have the Hermes Smart Car.

WWD reports

HOP IN HERMES: Hermès on Thursday unveiled the tiny Smart car it designed to celebrate the vehicle’s 10-year anniversary in the contrasting setting of the enormous Grand Palais. The Fortwo édition Toile cars, manufactured by the Como group, are available in 10 colors including gold, indigo and the luxury house’s signature orange. Each is fitted with Hermès leather-covered steering wheels and gear levers, with colors including fuchsia and lime, along with the brand’s original canvas toile H. A fleet of Smart cars along with acrobats on stilts welcomed guests while Hermès artisans were hard at work demonstrating their craft on the car’s interior. Visitors could also take a chauffeur-driven ride in one of the vehicles. The cars, starting at 38,000 euros, or $48,564 at current exchange rates, went on sale last week.

$48,564 for a Smart Car....are they high?

Obviously not...and since this is the firm that can sell $37,000 Birkin Bags... the $48k Smart car looks like a bargain next to the handbag.

I remember when the first Smart Cars hit the market in Paris a decade ago. I always thought that they would be great for small European villages with their narrow streets and lack of parking, but that they would never find a market in the US. Well, that prediction turned out wrong because I'm seeing more and more of them around Los Angeles.

If I lived in a small beach side community such as Laguna Beach or Coronado Island I would love to drive a Smart car. But with the reality of living in the city, for about same price I'll stick with the Audi...and skip the fuchsia interior.

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