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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Smart's Dealer Network Will Shrink By Two-Thirds

      Lamborghini and Lotus will have more dealers than Smart

    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)

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    The price they charge for a Smart is a joke and way better options out there. They should just kill it, MB will have EV's according to SMK in every product line, so why waste money on a smart. Only in Europe does these cars make sense since they save everything historical and do not have space for comfy bigger auto's.

    Buying a Smart equals questionable decision skills.

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    Making Smart EV only makes a lot of sense.  Cutting down the dealers also makes a lot of sense.  The Smart car isn't an all around car, it is full of compromises.  It only works in cities, where you have loads of congestion, don't drive on a highway, and make short trips to placed with limited parking.   I think Boston, New York City, Philly, D.C. and California are markets where Smart EV's make sense, in most of the country they do not. 

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    11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Making Smart EV only makes a lot of sense.  Cutting down the dealers also makes a lot of sense.  The Smart car isn't an all around car, it is full of compromises.  It only works in cities, where you have loads of congestion, don't drive on a highway, and make short trips to placed with limited parking.   I think Boston, New York City, Philly, D.C. and California are markets where Smart EV's make sense, in most of the country they do not. 

    A Chevy BOLT in those same cities makes more sense for the same price than a Smart EV.

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    4 hours ago, dfelt said:

    A Chevy BOLT in those same cities makes more sense for the same price than a Smart EV.

    Except the Smart is $24,000 and the Bolt is not.  And Daimler has way more $7500 credits to use than Chevy.  I'd like to see Them get the Smart car down to like $20k then even when the tax credit is gone it is a decent deal.

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    23 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the Smart is $24,000 and the Bolt is not.  And Daimler has way more $7500 credits to use than Chevy.  I'd like to see Them get the Smart car down to like $20k then even when the tax credit is gone it is a decent deal.

    BOLT still the better deal, actual price per the web site is $24,550 for a 58 mile range EV with only 110/240 charging, no fast charging or level 3 available. Charging time is 6hrs / 3hrs or 80% charge in 5hrs / 2.5hrs depending on 110 or 240.

    This has zero appeal as even the web site says range will diminish with heater or AC use. So you really might have a 40 mile range auto. 

    If living in the city, then maybe, but as a commuter car, no the BOLT is the much better pick for an EV.

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    MB totally screwed up here.

    *Sits in his CEO Armchair*

    The SMART brand should have been expanded. It has virtually no name brand recognition or baggage in the US.  It should have become MB's family car brand.  Co-develop some cars with Renault for US consumption and sell them here. Just name them Smart 1, Smart 2, Smart 3, etc.  There was a ready-made network of dealers ready to go, no need to build it up from scratch.

    I expect the SMART brand will close in the US in a few years. 

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    MB totally screwed up here.

    *Sits in his CEO Armchair*

    The SMART brand should have been expanded. It has virtually no name brand recognition or baggage in the US.  It should have become MB's family car brand.  Co-develop some cars with Renault for US consumption and sell them here. Just name them Smart 1, Smart 2, Smart 3, etc.  There was a ready-made network of dealers ready to go, no need to build it up from scratch.

    I expect the SMART brand will close in the US in a few years. 

    I like that Idea

    Smart 1 - Current 2 person car.

    Smart 2 - 4 Person Sedan

    Smart 3 - 5 person CUV

    Smart 4 - 4/5 person Crewcab mini pickup.

    :metal: 

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    30 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the Smart is $24,000 and the Bolt is not.  And Daimler has way more $7500 credits to use than Chevy.  I'd like to see Them get the Smart car down to like $20k then even when the tax credit is gone it is a decent deal.

    You get what you pay for. The Bolt can make it from Pittsburgh to Lancaster on a single charge.  SMART can't even make it to Wheeling. 

    1 minute ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    They could make Smart an all-EV family car brand...small sedan, hatchback, and CUV...a tiny 2 seater just limits the sales potential.   They definitely haven't built the brand to it's potential. 

    Well they could, but with 2/3rd of all dealers opting out of the SMART brand, it's not going to happen.

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    16 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Cutting down the dealers also makes a lot of sense.

    Cutting dealers when you have an excess is a good idea, but cutting from 85 dealers to 27 is called 'going out of business'.

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    48 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Cutting dealers when you have an excess is a good idea, but cutting from 85 dealers to 27 is called 'going out of business'.

    This makes me think this is a stop gap measure only till MB has EV's in their own product line and then Smart is retired much like Toyota did with Scion as they absorb the 2 person car into the MB badge lineup.

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    11 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    This makes me think this is a stop gap measure only till MB has EV's in their own product line and then Smart is retired much like Toyota did with Scion as they absorb the 2 person car into the MB badge lineup.

    Well, they already have an A, B, and C-class... how do you go smaller than that? No-Class?

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Well, they already have an A, B, and C-class... how do you go smaller than that? No-Class?

    Wrap around and do Z-, X-, Y- class... ;)    IIRC, I read they plan to have a different naming scheme/subbrand for EVs.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    4 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Well, they already have an A, B, and C-class... how do you go smaller than that? No-Class?

    I figure they merge Smart into the new Generation EQ EV lineup from MB.

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    13 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    EQ..that's the name I was trying to think of...

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_EQ

    What I do not get is why waste effort putting 3 models on the Smart lineup? MB should learn from the mistake Toyota made with Scion and just merge Smart into the MB brand, have the EQ lineup being as I stated above.

    EQ1 - 2 person EV car

    EQ2 - 4 person EV car

    EQ3 - 4/5 person CUV compact

    EQ4 - 5 person CUV Mid Size

    EQ 6 - 7/8 person 3 row CUV 

    EQ7 - 7/8 person 3 row full size SUV

    EQ-T - 5 person EV mid size pickup

    Since I never understood the naming convention for AMG versions, you can just add a W to the end of each one for WARP mode. :P 

    This way MB saves money on the wasted Smart branding and advertising, though I never have seen advertising for Smart cars and they keep their idiot naming convention for their new EV lineup of auto's.

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      Charging options that fit a variety of preferences for home, the workplace and on the road — including DC fast charging rates over 150 kilowatts and Level 2 charging rates up to 19 kW2. Rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive configurations. The latest version of Super Cruise3, the industry’s first truly hands-free driver assistance feature, available on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways and recently enhanced to include automated lane change. New technologies such as dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display and remote self-parking. The brand’s most seamless and adaptive technology interaction with the driver and passengers, including the latest Cadillac user experience, which is showcased in a 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED screen the spans the entire viewing area of the driver. “LYRIQ was conceived to make every journey exhilarating and leverages more than a century of innovation to drive the brand into a new era, while rewarding passengers with a more personal, connected and immersive experience,” said Jamie Brewer, Cadillac LYRIQ chief engineer. “To do this we developed an architecture specifically for EVs.  It is not only an exceptional EV, but first and foremost a Cadillac.”
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      Battery and charging monitoring conveyed by easy, at-a-glance graphics. The system identifies the vehicle’s energy needs at home and on the go, according to owner preferences, while also monitoring and forecasting energy consumption and providing charging suggestions. New dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display employs two planes: a near plane indicating speed, direction and more, and a far plane displaying transparent navigation signals and other important alerts. The latest version of Super Cruise, the hands-free driver assistance feature, including automated lane change.3 Supervised remote parking that uses ultrasonic sensors to help the LYRIQ park itself in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces — whether the driver is inside or outside of the vehicle.4 SENSE OF SOUND
      LYRIQ’s technology also addresses sound in two important ways: Blocking unwanted sounds and making the most of the sounds passengers want to hear.
      For the first time, Cadillac will introduce a new road noise cancellation technology, which takes active noise cancellation to the next level by introducing more microphones and accelerometers, which improve noise cancellation abilities. With this new system, Cadillac’s performance and audio engineers can target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, reducing the noise level in the vehicle and allowing for a quieter in-cabin experience.
      The Cadillac LYRIQ builds on the brand’s exclusive partnership with AKG. “With LYRIQ we wanted to deliver a sound experience that would transport the driver from a vehicle into a recording studio,” said Hussein Khalil, Cadillac lead audio design release engineer. “With the AKG sound system, we are able to deliver this experience along with the quality and reliability luxury customers expect.”
      At launch, LYRIQ will offer a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system that delivers exceptionally crisp and precise sound reproduction, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy their favorite music.
      NEW FACE OF CADILLAC
      Cadillac’s first electric SUV makes a bold design statement that introduces a new face, proportion and presence for the brand’s new generation of EVs. It’s a forward-looking vision unconstrained by the needs of a traditional internal combustion engine and driveline.
      “The LYRIQ represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Global Cadillac Design. “Inside and out, LYRIQ is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion.”
      Defined by taut lines and clean surfaces, LYRIQ is assertive and modern, characterized with a low, fast roofline and wide stance that emphasize agility and convey confidence. Additional details such as a flow-through roof spoiler express the careful attention paid to aerodynamics to optimize efficiency on the highway.
      A distinctive “black crystal” grille in the front is one of the LYRIQ’s most unique and expressive design elements. It is also a dynamic feature, as it is part of a dramatic lighting choreography that — along with bold vertical, slim LED signature lighting — greets the owner upon approach. At the rear, a split taillamp design incorporates slim LEDs that are also integrated into the lighting choreography.
      Inside, the LYRIQ’s new electric vehicle architecture opens up possibilities in vehicle spaciousness and design; and Cadillac designers used this as an opportunity to rethink how to use the space and where to locate various interior elements.
      The result is a more airy, minimalistic design that does more to involve the driver and passengers in the driving experience while offering exceptional functionality when it comes to storage solutions. It is also brimming with subtle yet obsessive details such as backlit speaker grilles, curved screens with hidden storage and, like the exterior, orchestrated lighting features.
  • Posts

    • Kind of wondered if it would be like that....from the photos I've seen, it looks like a kit car..very crude.
    • I've seen the Bolinger in person.  It's what happens when someone gets an EV powertrain and has a bunch of flat sheet metal, an arc welder, a JC Whitney Catalog, and a few rolls of remnant office carpeting laying around.  They had a booth at the L.A. show the same year the Rivian debuted.... and I was like, "You can't be serious.... "
    • There's a number of flaws with this, it makes assumptions that aren't part of reality.  It assumes that everyone would plug-in and charge their vehicle at the same time.  I think everyone here can agree that would not be the case.  Also, most modern chargers are, or have the capability to be, smart chargers.  They can be set up to only charge at the rate required to get to the desired level of charge by a specific time and during specific hours.  What do I mean by that? I'll give you the scenario... these numbers are made up for this illustration, but the actual numbers work the same way. You drive your Tesla home from work and it has a 60% charge left.  You've had a long day and don't intend to go out again that evening when you get home at 6pm.  Because you want to preserve your battery health as long as possible, you've already set your Tesla to only charge up to 80% capacity.  You plug your car in at 6, but because you get a lower electricity rate starting at 11pm, your charger doesn't start charging the car until 11.  You tell the car that you want to be at 80% charge by 7am tomorrow.  Once the charger kicks in, it only charges at the rate required to get you to 80% at 7am when starting charging even though the charger can go faster. This is much better for the battery as slow charging is better.   So instead of running at the max 11.5 kWh, the Tesla charger will run at say, 8kWh.  The reason the electric rate is cheap from 11pm to 6am is because that's when usage is lowest. It's the best time for EVs to charge. It takes a long time for power plants to ramp up and ramp down demand (unless they're NatGas Spiker units only used for unplanned spikes in demand).  So a lot of energy gets wasted during this low demand period. A bunch of EVs charging at night would smooth out demand for utilities significantly. Do we still need more capacity? Yes. Do we need as much as this article is claiming? No
    • Big three ahve the most experience building actual vehicles. Teslas problem isn't that they can't master 21'st century technology like self driving cars, it's that they can't master 1940's technology like doors that shut properly. 
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