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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..

    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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      Land Rover will use the forthcoming flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). It will deliver electrified internal combustion engines (ICE) and full electric variants as the company evolves its product line-up in the future. In addition, Land Rover will also use pure electric biased Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) which will also support advanced electrified ICE.
      Future Jaguar models will be built exclusively on a pure electric architecture.
      Reimagine is designed to deliver simplification too. By consolidating the number of platforms and models being produced per plant, the company will be able to establish new benchmark standards in efficient scale and quality for the luxury sector. Such an approach will help rationalise sourcing and accelerate investments in local circular economy supply chains.
      From a core manufacturing perspective that means Jaguar Land Rover will retain its plant and assembly facilities in the home UK market and around the world. As well as being the manufacturer of the MLA architecture, Solihull, West Midlands will also be the home to the future advanced Jaguar pure electric platform. 
      Key partners including Trade Unions, retailers and those in the supply chain will continue to play a vital part of the extended new Jaguar Land Rover ecosystem and its journey towards reimagining the future of modern luxury.
      ReFocus to a more agile operation
      As evidenced with the latest financial results, Jaguar Land Rover has a strong foundation on which to build a sustainable and resilient business for its customers and their communities, partners, employees, shareholders and the environment.
      Driving this transformation is the recently launched Refocus programme, by consolidating existing initiatives like Charge+ with new cross-functional activities.
      Reimagine will see Jaguar Land Rover right-size, repurpose and reorganise into a more agile operation. The creation of a flatter structure is designed to empower employees to create and deliver at speed and with clear purpose.
      To accelerate this efficiency of focus, the company will substantially reduce and rationalise its non-manufacturing infrastructure in the UK. Gaydon will become the symbol of this effort – the ‘reactor’ of the business - with the Executive Team and other management functions moving into the one location to aid frictionless cooperation and agile decision-making.  
      Leapfrog to leadership with Tata Group
      In order to realise its vision of modern luxury mobility with confidence, the company will curate closer collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Tata Group companies to enhance sustainability and reduce emissions as well as sharing best practice in next-generation technology, data and software development leadership. Jaguar Land Rover has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.
      “We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity,” said Mr Bolloré. “Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed.”
      Bringing all these ingredients together, Jaguar Land Rover is on a path towards double-digit EBIT margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025. 
      Ultimately, Jaguar Land Rover aims to be one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world.
      Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc commented: “The Reimagine strategy takes Jaguar Land Rover on a significant path of acceleration in harmony with the vision and sustainability priorities of the wider Tata Group. Together, we will help Jaguar realise its potential, reinforce Land Rover’s timeless appeal and collectively become a symbol of a truly responsible business for its customers, society and the planet.”
      Mr Bolloré concluded: “As a human-centred company, we can, and will, move much faster and with clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design.”
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
      Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
      By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
      Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
      We'll keep you posted.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
  • Posts

    • mid '80s-early '90s cars: '53 Merc 2-dr sedan '59 Star Chief 4-dr sedan '65 Catalina 2-dr sedan '68 Sedan deVille 4-dr hardtop '64 Grand Prix 2-dr hardtop '59 Invicta 2-dr hardtop '67 Malibu 2-dr hardtop '67 Chevelle 2-dr hardtop '65 Corvair 2-dr hardtop '65 Corsa 2-dr hardtop '64 Ford Custom 2-dr sedan '66 Belvidere 2-dr hardtop '63 Galaxie 4-dr hardtop numerous Mustangs '67 Firebird 2-dr hardtop '69 Firebird 2-dr hardtop '67 Coupe deVille '68 deVille convertible '63 Catalina 2-dr hardtop '68 Catalina 2-dr hardtop '69 Cougar 2-dr hardtop '72 Duster 2-dr hardtop '74 Camaro coupe ...off the top of my head
    • I think both in Ohio and S Florida most of the regular 60s and 50s stuff was gone from the roads in the mid 80s (salt). There were a few 60s cars in my high school—maybe a 1/2 dozen, and only 2 from the 50s I remember—a ‘56 Ford pickup street rod and a late 50s MGA.     The ‘60s cars I remember were the twins that had a pair of restored red ‘65 Mustangs—one coupe, one convertible, a rough brown ‘68 Mustang coupe, a rough blue ‘66 Mustang coupe, an orange ‘68 Road Runner, a dark blue ‘68 Charger, a gray ‘65 Coupe de Ville and a well worn ‘68 Comet 2dr. 
    • Right; 4-drs were shunned among enthusiasts.... but of course a huge quantity of 2-drs had bench seats. I'm fine with buckets/console in vintage stuff, I just also have no problem with a bench there, too. I briefly considered buckets/console in my '59, decided not to bother. 'Our gang' ran mostly older iron in the mid '80s; mid '60's stuff, with a couple of '50s cars.
    • When I was I high school, 4drs with bench seats weren’t aspirational though.  They were thought of as parent and grandpa cars.  Kids wanted sporty 2dr bucket seat hatchbacks—those were the cars we wanted in the mid 80s.     But I had many friends that got hand-me-down sedans from their folks…I remember a pale green ‘77 LeSabre, a sweet red w/ white top ‘76 Electra Limited 2dr, a dark red ‘81 Delta 88, and a sweet triple silver ‘80 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance.  Rode in all of them, often with 6 teenagers...they were comfortable, not cramped.  Also remember a blue '75-78 Marquis 4dr and an early 80s Impala wagon.  I drove my Dad’s ‘85 Town Car to school on occasion before I got my ‘87 Mustang GT.  
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