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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Rumorpile: The Murky Future of smart

      Eu tu Mercedes-Benz?

    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



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    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    EVs can do a basic 4 door better than the coffin Smartcar. Time to let it die and rest in peace.

    Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong...and....wrong. The time to let it due a painful death is a decade plus ago when it first came here.

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    Nobody in the USA would be stupid enough to buy a new Smart car when we have so many good used cars available.  Daimler should cease selling these Smart cars in NA right now and ship them to India where they belong.

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    They need to stop holding SMART back as only a micro-car. Make it a full-line brand. Let it compete with Ford and Chevrolet and Nissan, etc. 

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    16 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Nobody in the USA would be stupid enough to buy a new Smart car when we have so many good used cars available.  Daimler should cease selling these Smart cars in NA right now and ship them to India where they belong.

    What do you have against people from India?

    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They need to stop holding SMART back as only a micro-car. Make it a full-line brand. Let it compete with Ford and Chevrolet and Nissan, etc. 

    Right...because the market is just crying out for a Smart based Silverado competitor.

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    24 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    What do you have against people from India?

    Right...because the market is just crying out for a Smart based Silverado competitor.

    What, you think this would not sell here? 😏

    image.png

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    1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    What do you have against people from India?

    Right...because the market is just crying out for a Smart based Silverado competitor.

    That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying make Smart Equinox competitor.... Same size and all. Benz should follow GM here.

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    10 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying make Smart Equinox competitor.... Same size and all. Benz should follow GM here.

    Why would they not just sell an equinox sized vehicle as a Benz? 

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Nothing against India.  It is just that Smart cars are simply the only new cars they can afford right now.

    I don't know if Smart is available in India, but I doubt if it sells well there..they have loads of home grown models and locally built imports from Suzuki Maruti, Toyota, Renault, Tata, Ford, Hyundai, Mahindra, etc..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    4 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Why would they not just sell an equinox sized vehicle as a Benz? 

    Price point. SMART can be the consumer brand for Benz just like VW is to Audi or Chevy is to Cadillac. 

     

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Price point. SMART can be the consumer brand for Benz just like VW is to Audi or Chevy is to Cadillac. 

     

    And with the name 'SMART' make it all EV and play up that angle..

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    7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Price point. SMART can be the consumer brand for Benz just like VW is to Audi or Chevy is to Cadillac. 

     

    I still disagree. Ben's sells more luxury vehicles than anyone else in the U S. Also at a high profit margin...why should they copy less successful companies?

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    54 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    I still disagree. Ben's sells more luxury vehicles than anyone else in the U S. Also at a high profit margin...why should they copy less successful companies?

    Family crossovers are still highly profitable and that is a market segment they don't play in at all.  They are literally leaving money on the table.

    50 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    And Cary forward decades of baggage of the Smart name.

    Smart has no baggage. No one outside of enthusiasts know what they are, or care.

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    8 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Family crossovers are still highly profitable and that is a market segment they don't play in at all.  They are literally leaving money on the table.

    Smart has no baggage. No one outside of enthusiasts know what they are, or care.

    You give no reason Family crossover could not be marketed as Benz. Zero.

    Smart does not have any positive cred to keep the name going.

    Also...just because a segment is profitable...mit doesn't mean every car maker should compete in every segment.

    By the above logic Subaru and Mazda should have an F150 competitor. They should not.

    The Tundra is a relatively lame vehicle...and exactly what happens when car makers try to be everything to everyone.

    Even Lincoln learned this...the Blackwood was not a successful truck.

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    Name brand dilution. By using Smart for the mainstream stuff it protects the "mystique" of the MB brand. It's why Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Audi, Lincoln, etc all exist and aren't just sold as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, VW, and Ford.

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    But why context for a lower profit section of the market when you dominate a higher profit segment?

    Selling fewer more highly profitable Benz products seem like a winner to me.

    If you could sell XT4 and XT5 all day long why would you higher with cruze?

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    1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    But why context for a lower profit section of the market when you dominate a higher profit segment?

    Selling fewer more highly profitable Benz products seem like a winner to me.

    If you could sell XT4 and XT5 all day long why would you higher with cruze?

    Because people who can't afford an XT4 or XT5 are then lost customers.  

    GM still makes a lot of profit on the Trax.  Think about it, it is a Sonic based vehicle that costs very marginally more to construct than the Sonic.   Sonic starts at $15k. The Trax is basically the same vehicle and starts at $21k and can be optioned all the way up to $29k.  There is money to be made there.

    Now, I'm not saying that Smart should be building Duramax 2500 competitors, but a family brand that has the typical lineup of crossovers and maybe 1 sedan would cover a market that MB is not participating in.  Maybe someone like Subaru would be a good lineup to pursue. 

     

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    I'm surprised M-B hasn't done more to utilize the platforms available w/ Renault/Dacia/Nissan in their partnership for models like this.  Lots of mainstream inexpensive FWD cars and CUVs from those brands.   (going beyond what they have done so far w/ SMART and Renault/Nissan)> 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Because people who can't afford an XT4 or XT5 are then lost customers.  

    GM still makes a lot of profit on the Trax.  Think about it, it is a Sonic based vehicle that costs very marginally more to construct than the Sonic.   Sonic starts at $15k. The Trax is basically the same vehicle and starts at $21k and can be optioned all the way up to $29k.  There is money to be made there.

    Now, I'm not saying that Smart should be building Duramax 2500 competitors, but a family brand that has the typical lineup of crossovers and maybe 1 sedan would cover a market that MB is not participating in.  Maybe someone like Subaru would be a good lineup to pursue. 

     

    Lost customers are a good thing not a bad thing if they take you away from your primary profitable business model.

    That is why I do side work with electrical and carpentry but not landscaping, jewelry repair or catering. Deviating is not always a good thing.

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    I say kill off the Smart brand.  They will have EV's so they don't need it from a CAFE or compliance perspective like maybe they once did.  Small cars don't sell, or at least are shrinking in sales.  And once we get to autonomous driving cars, and driverless pods or whatever we have, people won't buy city cars, they will use a robot pod car to get them around.

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      Through all these initiatives I have mentioned, we will steadily strengthen the structure of our automobile business and realize the solidification of our existing automobile businesses by 2025, and, at the same time, we will accelerate our preparation for the future.
      Direction for the electrification of our automobile products
      Striving to realize a carbon-free society, Honda set a goal to electrify two-thirds of our global automobile unit sales by 2030.
      When we talk about the introduction of electrified vehicles, there are two perspectives. One is the improvement of fuel economy, and the other is zero emissions. Regulations for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are becoming increasingly stringent in every country around the world and complying with CAFE standards is one of the most important challenges for the automobile industry. At Honda, in light of the required infrastructure and how people use automobiles, we believe that hybrid technology is, at this moment, the most effective way for us to comply with CAFE standards. Therefore, we will electrify our products mainly with hybrid technologies. By increasing sales of our hybrid models all around the world, Honda will contribute to the global environment through the improvement of fuel economy.
      To this end, we will expand the application of our 2-motor hybrid system to the entire lineup of Honda vehicles. In addition to the 2-motor hybrid system which is compatible with mid-to-large-sized vehicles, we developed a new, more compact 2-motor hybrid system suitable for small-sized vehicles. This small-sized 2-motor hybrid system will be adopted first by the all-new Fit which we are planning to exhibit as a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall.
      In addition to the expansion of the lineup of products equipped with the 2-motor hybrid system, we also will expand the application of the 2-motor hybrid system on a global basis. With that, by 2022, we are expecting to reduce the cost of the 2-motor hybrid system by 25% compared to the cost of this system in 2018.
      As for zero emission vehicles, with our battery EVs we will comply with the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program being adopted by California and other states in the U.S. and China's New Energy Vehicle (NEV) mandate. We will efficiently introduce our battery EVs to the market by selecting the most appropriate partners and resources to satisfy the different needs in each region.
      In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market.   
      In China, in order to keep up with the fast speed of electrification, we have already begun introducing battery EV models developed together with our local joint venture companies in China. While envisioning the introduction of battery EV models from the Honda brand, we will continue utilizing local resources in China and introduce more battery EV models in a timely manner to fulfill local market needs in China.
      In Europe and Japan, we will introduce the Honda e, a new battery EV model, which was recently introduced as a prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
      To summarize, Honda will popularize and improve the business feasibility of electrified vehicles by focusing on hybrid vehicles and battery EVs.
      Changes in operational structure
      In order to ensure the solid implementation of these initiatives I just introduced for our automobile business, we renewed our operational structure as of April. The aims of this structural change are to establish an organization which brings all regional operations together to strongly facilitate inter-regional coordination and collaboration and to increase the speed of our business operations by enabling prompt decisions and prompt execution.
      Today, I introduced our initiatives to strengthen our automobile business structure and the direction of our electrification. Under the new organizational structure, we will realize our goals with a keen sense of speed. 
      Closing
      As we stated in our 2030 Vision, Honda is striving to grow through the pursuit of quality so that we can fulfill our vision to "Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential."
      Honda will continue taking on new challenges while being driven by strong passion, so that we can continue to be a company that society wants to exist even in 2050 after Honda becomes more than 100 years old. 
      *1 S-E-D-B: Sales, Engineering (Manufacturing), Development (R&D), Buying (Purchasing)
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Jeep is rumored to be testing a Mercedes-Benz supplied 2.0 liter Turbo-Diesel in 14 test vehicles in the Detroit, Michigan area. However, it is unlikely that such a vehicle would be sold in the U.S. The most likely scenario is that this is testing for the European and Asian markets.
      The Compasses were converted by an independent supplier for FCA and the suspected engine of choice is the Mercedes-Benz OM654 2.0 diesel producing 192 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine was released in 2016 for the E-Class, but the engine was designed to be mounted in transverse applications as well. 
      In the U.S., the Compass is only sold with a 2.4 liter gasoline engine.  In Europe, the Compass comes with a two different 1.4-liter gasoline engines (140 hp an 170hp), two 2.0-liter diesel engines (140 hp and 170 hp), and a 1.6-liter diesel engine (120 hp). Which engine you can get largely depends on if the car is 4x4 or not. 
      GM currently sells its compact crossovers with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel, and Mazda finally unveiled their diesel CX-5. We think that this diesel Compass would be a good fit in the U.S. and should FCA be reading this, please bring it here.
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Jeep is rumored to be testing a Mercedes-Benz supplied 2.0 liter Turbo-Diesel in 14 test vehicles in the Detroit, Michigan area. However, it is unlikely that such a vehicle would be sold in the U.S. The most likely scenario is that this is testing for the European and Asian markets.
      The Compasses were converted by an independent supplier for FCA and the suspected engine of choice is the Mercedes-Benz OM654 2.0 diesel producing 192 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine was released in 2016 for the E-Class, but the engine was designed to be mounted in transverse applications as well. 
      In the U.S., the Compass is only sold with a 2.4 liter gasoline engine.  In Europe, the Compass comes with a two different 1.4-liter gasoline engines (140 hp an 170hp), two 2.0-liter diesel engines (140 hp and 170 hp), and a 1.6-liter diesel engine (120 hp). Which engine you can get largely depends on if the car is 4x4 or not. 
      GM currently sells its compact crossovers with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel, and Mazda finally unveiled their diesel CX-5. We think that this diesel Compass would be a good fit in the U.S. and should FCA be reading this, please bring it here.
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported April sales of 22,949 Mercedes- Benz models. Mercedes-Benz Vans reported April sales of 2,682 units and smart reported 85, bringing MBUSA to a grand total of 25,716 vehicles for the month. On a year-to-date basis, MBUSA recorded sales of 94,120, adding 10,158 units for Vans and 316 vehicles for smart, bringing the year-to-date sales volume to 104,594.
      "Sales in April were again impacted by model changes and availability constraints of our high-volume SUV and compact model lines," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. "We expect increased vehicle availability in the coming months."
      Mercedes-Benz sales leaders in April included the GLC, C-Class and E-Class model lines. The GLC lead totals with 5,378 vehicles followed by C-Class sales of 4,054. The E-Class rounded out the top three with 3,372.
      April sales of Mercedes-AMG high-performance models totaled 2,796 units (+3.3%) with 12,480 vehicles sold year-to-date (+20.9%).
      Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 10,311 vehicles in April, an increase of 10.9% versus last year. On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 40,676 vehicles, an increase of 4.2% from the previous year.
      Mercedes-Benz
      Passenger Vehicles
      Apr-19
      Apr-18
      Monthly %
      YTD 2019
      YTD 2018
      Yearly %
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      A-CLASS
      804
      _
      _
      1,694
      _
      _
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      B-CLASS
      1
      7
      -85.7%
      4
      129
      -96.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      CLA
      986
      1,910
      -48.4%
      6,196
      7,365
      -15.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      C-CLASS
      4,054
      5,148
      -21.3%
      19,056
      18,498
      3.0%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      E-CLASS/CLS
      3,372
      3,945
      -14.5%
      13,766
      16,380
      -16.0%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      S-CLASS
      958
      1,535
      -37.6%
      4,109
      6,100
      -32.6%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      SLC
      303
      197
      53.8%
      812
      783
      3.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      SL
      193
      202
      -4.5%
      629
      842
      -25.3%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      AMG GT
      340
      178
      91.0%
      984
      559
      76.0%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLA
      1,770
      2,011
      -12.0%
      6,491
      8,535
      -23.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLC
      5,378
      5,853
      -8.1%
      20,744
      22,113
      -6.2%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLE
      2,566
      4,110
      -37.6%
      9,101
      15,766
      -42.3%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GLS
      1,678
      1,794
      -6.5%
      7,695
      7,290
      5.6%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      G-CLASS
      546
      317
      72.2%
      2,839
      1,321
      114.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      TOTAL
      22,949
      27,207
      -15.7%
      94,120
      105,681
      -10.9%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Vans
      2,682
      2,815
      -4.7%
      10,158
      11,001
      -7.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      smart
      85
      93
      -8.6%
      316
      414
      -23.7%
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      MBUSA
      Combined Total
      Apr-19
      Apr-18
      Monthly %
      YTD 2019
      YTD 2018
      Yearly %
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      GRAND TOTAL
      25,716
      30,115
      -14.6%
      104,594
      117,096
      -10.7%
      1 Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Sprinter and Metris Vans are sold and marketed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans USA, respectively.
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