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November 20, 2008
Japanese luxury department store brand Daimaru, French luxury brand Hermes and the European automaker Smart have announced the introduction of a new limed edition car for the Japanese market. The "Hermes Version" of the Smart Car will be available in Japan from November 14, 2008.
The Hermes brand first appeared on a small bridle and harness shop in France in 1837, and expanded into other luxury hand-crafted products after 1890. The brand now offers a range of luxury items including bags, watches, clothing and perfume, and has been enormously successful with its products in Japan. Its bags in particular are highly sought by Japanese women.
In March 2008, Hermes's and Italian Luxury automaker Bugatti unveiled a collaborative edition Veyron sports car the the Geneva Autoshow. As with the limited edition Veyron, the internal detailing of the new collaborative Smart car will also be handled entirely by Hermes specialists.
An interesting feature of the collaboration is the special order system for the vehicle's interior. The dashboard, seats, and door trim will all be designed according to Hermes specifications with a total of ten color options offered including blue, red, yellow, green and black. An "Hermes" orange color option is also currently being developed.
The car's seatbacks also come equipped with leather storage bag compartments specially designed by Hermes craftsman. The interior design is also coordinated to match the car's exterior, with attention to detail given all the down the the shift knob and hand brake.
The Hermes-Smart vehicle is priced around 48,000 USD, approximately twice the price of a similar base modeled Smart. Despite the higher price however, the collaboration has been welcomed worldwide, and is considered quite a steal by some, especially when compared the 2,400,000 USD price tag of the earlier Hermes-Bugatti collaboration.
November 17, 2008 Response