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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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    smart EV's are the best version available, without any janky transmission nonsense and underwhelming fuel economy. 

    if they position themselves as a premium compact EV, they'll probably do fine.

    • Haha 3

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    19 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    BUT C&G TOLD ME EVERYONE WANTS EV COMPACTS

    Well, a lot of people put down deposits on the Tesla 3 (an EV compact).   (the Smart is more of a sub-sub compact or Kei car)

     

    • Upvote 2

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    28 minutes ago, Blake Noble said:

    Lock the door? What if you want the whole world to see what you're capable of?

    Then just make sure you not equipped with a Chicken Bone! :P

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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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    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. 

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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?

    • Haha 1

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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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