Dong Han is an ideal customer for Mercedes Benz's booming car sales in China.
A 27-year-old advertising agent with a double-income household and no children, she's upwardly mobile and highly conscious of style. But it's not Mercedes' SLK sports car or top-end S-class that strikes her fancy.
Like a fast-growing number of affluent, hip Chinese, Dong is enamoured with Daimler's other brand, Smart, the tiny but nimble, colourful two-seater that looks almost more toy than transport.
"When I test drove the Smart, I loved it right away and made up my mind. It's special," said Dong, who goes by the English name of Kathy.
"Not many people drive this kind of car, so it gets noticed. People don't know much about the car and ask me about it, and I quite like that too."
Image: Potential customers check out a Smart car in front of a poster featuring US NBA basketball superstar Kobe Bryant in a showroom in Beijing July 11, 2011.
Text: Fang Yan and Terril Yue Jones, Reuters