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post #31 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 05:55 PM
 
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Remember that SMART is not building the ED just for the US market. Small limited range, less expensive electric cars are more popular in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. That is clearly their target; they will throw some at the US market to see if they can carve out a niche, but if not they will continue to mint money in these other markets. They are throwing millions into their gambit, so they have reason to suspect an electric microcar can succeed despite the failure of others. Will they succeed here? To early to tell.
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post #32 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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After taking this vehicle out for a 58 mile drive, starting with 80% on the battery, and ending with 10% on the battery, in 95 to 102 degree weather with the a/c on the entire time, on the freeway, mix of 65 mph and some stop and go, not even using it in ECO mode for 30 of those miles, I'll conclude that the 58 mile EPA rating is clearly conservative. I'll leave it at that.
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post #33 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 07:03 PM
 
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[The ED] is not going head to head with Leaf or Tesla. It is carving out a niche, which is growing in market size and SMART has done OK with sales in the US and worldwide. Dozens of car companies similarly carve out small niches and succeed.


With all due respect, your premise is faulty. The ED is not carving out a niche. The minor fervor of smart "early adopters" in North America quickly ran its course. Even a complete fortwo model redesign that targeted US market preferences couldn't stimulate interest of any magnitude. So, this year smartUSA killed off its best-selling ICE variant, forcing many, if not most, smart Centers out of business. Now it has introduced an ED that accelerates slower and has worse EPA range numbers than its predecessor, not to mention its very accomplished value-driven and vastly more practical EV competitors. The 451 ED's "micro-micro-niche" (ahem) had been artificially propped up by Car2Go sales, which is unlikely to be a factor going forward.

Since smart sales have grossly dwindled *despite* massive efforts to address product acceptability, and since the best-selling variant (ICE) was axed, and since the 453 ED is no more noteworthy than the 451 ED in an ever-increasing EV competitive marketplace, how is smartUSA going to be carving out this niche that you foresee?? The smart ED is simply not relevant in numbers that can profitably and single-handedly sustain the brand in North America. This isn't rocket science.
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post #34 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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I request to lock this thread. Let's carry on the discussion in the smart Electric Drive Discussion area.
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post #35 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stevenvillatoro View Post
With all due respect, your premise is faulty. The ED is not carving out a niche. The minor fervor of smart "early adopters" in North America quickly ran its course. Even a complete fortwo model redesign that targeted US market preferences couldn't stimulate interest of any magnitude. So, this year smartUSA killed off its best-selling ICE variant, forcing many, if not most, smart Centers out of business. Now it has introduced an ED that accelerates slower and has worse EPA range numbers than its predecessor, not to mention its very accomplished value-driven and vastly more practical EV competitors. The 451 ED's "micro-micro-niche" (ahem) had been artificially propped up by Car2Go sales, which is unlikely to be a factor going forward.

Since smart sales have grossly dwindled *despite* massive efforts to address product acceptability, and since the best-selling variant (ICE) was axed, and since the 453 ED is no more noteworthy than the 451 ED in an ever-increasing EV competitive marketplace, how is smartUSA going to be carving out this niche that you foresee?? The smart ED is simply not relevant in numbers that can profitably and single-handedly sustain the brand in North America. This isn't rocket science.
As my son and I both have degrees in rocket science, I would agree with you. This strikes me more as a marketing ploy. In this thread, folks have argued SMART needs more range, or more acceleration, or more seating, etc. I am merely arguing that SMART is not trying to compete with the big boys. They have their target audience in mind. As you point out, they will lose to the competition going head to head, so instead they are going for a different target audience.

Volvo is the more striking example of this. They are a major car company that makes all manor of vehicles, but now they are shifting towards a smaller market.
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post #36 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 10:57 PM
 
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As my son and I both have degrees in rocket science, I would agree with you. This strikes me more as a marketing ploy. In this thread, folks have argued SMART needs more range, or more acceleration, or more seating, etc. I am merely arguing that SMART is not trying to compete with the big boys. They have their target audience in mind. As you point out, they will lose to the competition going head to head, so instead they are going for a different target audience.

Volvo is the more striking example of this. They are a major car company that makes all manor of vehicles, but now they are shifting towards a smaller market.
They are already going for a different target audience with the size and shape of the vehicle. But the landscape in which they are competing has changed. Even if a buyer were wanting a car with a form factor like the Smart, they don't live in isolation and will see that other electric cars offer more range and more power. It's not a 68 mile 451 ED against a 73 mile Leaf any more, it's now a 58 mile 453 ED against a 107 mile Leaf. It's a 58 mile 453 ED against a 238 mile Chevy Bolt.

The disappearance of Smart centers doesn't help. In all of Washington state, there is **one** Smart dealer. How many people wouldn't even be able to get their 453 ED home without charging it on the road? Who would buy a 453 ED in those circumstances?

Maybe Europe is their target market and the US is an afterthought. If so, it seems better to just abandon the market altogether than to put out something so obviously uncompetitive.
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post #37 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 02:14 AM
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I request to lock this thread. Let's carry on the discussion in the smart Electric Drive Discussion area.
Sounds like a plan; this forum is for dealership info. Feel free to continue in the the 453 forum.
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