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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Smart To Be Electric Only For North America

      Next year, the only Smarts you can buy will be electric only!

    Smart already finds itself in a small niche by selling small city cars in North America, but a new letter reveals that the brand will be entering an even smaller one.

    Automotive News obtained a letter from Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA which says the brand will cease sales of gas-powered models by the end of this year, becoming an electric-only brand.

    “Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current Smart product portfolio. Therefore, with the launch of the fourth-generation Smart ForTwo electric drive this summer, the Smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero-emissions Smart electric-drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada,” Exler said in the letter. 

    Mercedes-Benz spokesman Rob Moran tells Automotive News the plan at the moment is to stop production of the gas model for North American in April and continue sales until all of the models are gone.

    Smart has never done well in the U.S. Their best year was in 2014 with 10,453 models sold. Since then, sales have been steadily declining thanks to low gas prices and consumers going towards crossovers. In 2016, Smart only sold 6,211 models.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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    9 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I wonder if Car2Go vehicles will be an exception for them.

    No, as I reported when I posted my cover of this that Car2Go is moving to using CLA and GLA due to customer request.

     

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    4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    LOL, yeah, that'll save 'em.  :rolleyes:

    I agree, a 2 seat EV will have limited appeal and the car is too small to really have a longer range like the Bolt. This will be a compliance auto for MB to use against their low MPG products till they come out with actual EV's in their higher product line and then I suspect we will see Smart Car eventually die.

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    Makes sense actually, they pretty much are a city car anyway so electric only makes sense.  They need a Smart For 4 product with a back seat if they want to widen sales they had one before in Europe.   They need Smart for compliance reasons, they are right on the line now for CAFE and emissions and those standards are getting tougher.

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    38 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Makes sense actually, they pretty much are a city car anyway so electric only makes sense.  They need a Smart For 4 product with a back seat if they want to widen sales they had one before in Europe.   They need Smart for compliance reasons, they are right on the line now for CAFE and emissions and those standards are getting tougher.

    Agree, Compliance for now, but to survive like you said SMK, they need a 4 door 5 person EV version like the BOLT.

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    Mercedes is spending something like $10 billion in their electric car platform, they expect to have 10 electric models by 2025, so they just need some electric Smarts to be a place holder for compliance purposes now.  Daimler already warned shareholders that they are sacrifitprofit for increased R&D spend the next 3 years.

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