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)