Earlier this year, Smart announced that it would be ending sales of the gas models and switch over to selling electric only models. This announcement has many Smart dealers running for the exit.
According to Automotive News, dealers had until the end June to make a decision whether to keep selling Smarts or move to a service-only operation. Out of the 85 dealers in the U.S., 58 (about two-thirds) would move to the service-only operation. Smart spokeswoman Donna Boland said these numbers are preliminary.
Dealers that opt out of selling Smart will transition to service once they sell out of inventory. The 'vast majority' are expected to transition by the end of this year.
The remaining 27 dealers are in areas with zero-emission vehicle mandates that will give the brand "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Such areas include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
As Automotive News points out, Smart's 27 dealers will make it one of the smallest dealership networks in the U.S. The likes of Lamborghini and Lotus have larger dealer networks at 31 and 41 respectively.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)