Smart cars in any color you want... really

smartcar.top.jpgIf you can think of a color, Smart USA will paint it on your car. Even plaid. by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Smart USA, the company that sells the ultra-small Smart ForTwo, is now offering customers the option to choose to have their car painted any color they choose.

Seriously. Any color. They mean it.

Red, blue, green, fuchsia, burnt sienna, cyan, lavender, turquoise with a hint of gold, plaid... you name it.

Customers will still be able to choose one of Smart's six basic colors at no additional cost but, for $1,550 more, they can choose from a palette of 93 other colors as part of the brand's "smartExpressions" offer.

If none of those 93 shades quite does it for you, there's the less cleverly named "Any Color You Want" program. The name says what it means.

Bring in a sample of the shade you're after and Smart will try to match it. In this case, pricing depends on the color.

The program is made possible by the Smart Fortwo's unusual construction -- which involves easily removable body panels -- and a partnership with the automotive paint supplier PPG.

The body panels will be painted at a remote location then sent to the dealer for installation. People who already own one of the cars can also take advantage of the program.

Patterns and designs, like plaid, are possible through a process of "wrapping" the panels, or coating them with a 3M vinyl film that adheres to the panels. For now, buyers will have to select from pre-designed patterns but soon, Smart says, they'll be able to create any pattern they choose. Wrap prices start at $1,350.

The Smart ForTwo has been on sale in the United States since 2008. Despite fuel economy over 40 miles per gallon on the highway, Smart sales have plummeted in recent years. So far in 2010, sales are running more than 60% below 2009, which was one of the auto industry's worst sales years.

The two-seat ForTwo is powered by a 3-cylinder engine. It's designed to be about as long as most other cars are wide, allowing it to be parked nose-to-the-curb in a typical parallel parking space.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,122.21 50.99 0.30%
Nasdaq 4,514.32 8.47 0.19%
S&P 500 1,980.65 2.85 0.14%
Treasuries 2.49 -0.00 -0.12%
Data as of 12:14pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.78 -0.33 -2.18%
eBay Inc 56.52 3.86 7.33%
Bank of America Corp... 17.08 0.06 0.38%
Apple Inc 101.26 1.15 1.15%
Facebook Inc 79.45 0.45 0.57%
Data as of 11:59am ET

Sections

CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Testing whether the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate controversy is real, some are testing it out in Apple Stores. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

Case-Shiller's national index shows that price gains slowed in July for the seventh straight month. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.