A new report from Automobile Magazine says that smart is living on borrow time and could disappear by 2026 at the earliest.
According to various sources, Renault will be pulling out of partnership when the current Twingo/ForFour ends production. The two models share the same architecture in an effort to save costs. Without a partner, Mercedes-Benz isn't as keen to keep smart around.
A key question is whether or not Mercedes-Benz will produce a new model with a three-pointed star to compete against the likes of the Mini Cooper and Audi A1. A decision by the board needs to happen by 2021 when it must sign off the next-generation A-class, Why? That's because the new model will use the same platform as the next-generation A-Class. Automobile says the platform will replace the current MFA2 and allow for a "fully scalable, all-new convergence layout" - thus allowing an even smaller vehicle.
But there is a possible twist. Chinese automaker Geely owns a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler, and could become a replacement partner if a business case could be made for an electrified brand.
Source: Automobile Magazine