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Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Smart, Earnings/Financials

On or off the track, Roger Penske is a force to be reckoned with. His team has taken the victory lap 15 times at the Indianapolis 500 and his business ventures have made him one of America's richest and most powerful entrepreneurs.

Sure, the dapper, silver-haired septuagenarian has had his failures, but they're few and far between - so it came as a stunning surprise when word came that, just days after officials from the Penske Automotive Group expressed their commitment to stand by the struggling Smart, they were given their walking papers by Daimler AG, which produces the minicar brand.

Apparently, the person most surprised may have been Roger Penske himself, as all indications suggest he may have been blindsided by the decision to pull the Smart franchise.

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Paul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of, and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.

[Image: Todd Warshaw/Getty]Continue reading Penske blindsided by Daimler's decision to take over Smart USA?

Penske blindsided by Daimler's decision to take over Smart USA? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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