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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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    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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    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..

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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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