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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Daimler AG is nearing the sale of a 50 percent stake in its small-car brand Smart to China's Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., the Financial Times said on Tuesday, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The sale of the stake in its Smart division will be confirmed before the Shanghai Auto Show in April, FT said.

Both Daimler and Geely declined a Reuters request for comment.

Last year, Geely built up an almost 10 percent stake in Daimler in a $9 billion bet by its chairman and became the biggest shareholder in Daimler.

On Monday, a German newspaper said Daimler will decide on the future of its money-losing Smart brand by the end of this year.

Handelsblatt said Daimler is losing patience with losses at its microcar brand, the paper said.
 

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If MB had not treated the Smart Car as a 2nd class Mercedes-Benz citizen right from the start of 2013 (and gladly charging the same amount of money as they did for working on a Mercedes-Benz) they might of stood a chance for survival... I will shed no tear for MB. Just a small tear for the Smart, I leased a total of five for my kids and myself since 2013. Rest in peace!
 

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It actually makes a lot of sense to do this. One of smart's biggest markets (if not THE biggest) is China. Geely would take smart, revitalize it in ways MB failed to, then probably go on to make a lot of bank on it.
 

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From Car Scoop:

Smart: Daimler Could Decide To Kill Its Microcar Brand This Year

Smart is looking like an increasingly dumb decision for Daimler and it appears the company could be ready to pull the plug.

Handelsblatt is reporting Smart has never been profitable and it’s about to lose its biggest fan, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who is retiring in May.* He’ll be replaced by*Ola Källenius who is said to have “no scruples about killing the brand if necessary.”
The publication goes on to say Källenius is under pressure to cut costs and Smart is a prime target due to its continued loses. A decision on Smart’s future will reportedly be made later this year.

There’s no word on which way the company is leaning, but Smart boss Katrin Adt reportedly has big plans for the brand. There’s no word on specifics, but the executive is said to want a new and expanded product lineup to boost sales.

Smart sales have plummeted in the United States and the company only sold 1,276 units last year. The dramatic drop is being blamed on the company’s decision to only sell electric vehicles, but Smart sales have been dropping continuously since 2015.

The picture is better in Europe where Smart sold 97,346 vehicles in 2018. However, Handelsblatt notes the company has never been able to achieve its original sales target of 200,000 units globally.

While Smart’s future looks bleak, that might not necessarily be the case. The publication suggests Daimler has been talking to BAIC and Geely about a potential partnership. If the company could strike a deal with another automaker, it could help to justify Smart’s continued existence.

Auto News Europe says Evercore ISI believes Smart loses between $565 – $792 (£428 – £600 / €500 – €700) million annually. The firm has also previously told investors “We can’t see how a German microcar business can generate a profit, costs are simply too high.”
 

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The numbers Daimler is putting out there just doesn't make sense. They're losing 792 million and only selling 97000 cars. That's an 8,000 dollar loss on every car sold. There's no way these cars cost that much to make.
I'm not a fan of Chinese cars but I am glad Geely is taking over. They've done well with Volvo, and it looks like Lotus has a new car coming out next year. Hopefully they can revive Smart.
 

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Those losses probably carried over from the 451 then amplified as the 453 failed to take off. They also have a thing for regularly churning out concept cars, wacky advertising, and warranty repair costs...all of which add to the losses.
 

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The numbers Daimler is putting out there just doesn't make sense. They're losing 792 million and only selling 97000 cars. That's an 8,000 dollar loss on every car sold. There's no way these cars cost that much to make.
I'm not a fan of Chinese cars but I am glad Geely is taking over. They've done well with Volvo, and it looks like Lotus has a new car coming out next year. Hopefully they can revive Smart.
That $8K loss is most likely on smart EV, models. Fiat looses the same amount, on every 500e they sell. Volvo, has a wide range of vehicles, to offer the consumer. Sedans, crossovers, SUV’s, EV’s etc.

The only way smart, can exist in the future. Expand it product line. Hello crossovers. EV’s with longer range. Practical packages.
 

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I love my Smart but they should wait a bit .....

No offense to anyone. The new partner had better reconsider or wait a while. I love my Smart even in the condition it it is in and will continue to drive it without any fear.


No shop in the area will take it in to their facility. I found it’s a matter of record and it is documented.


It is not fixable and unrepairable even if if anyone could get crashed car parts.


Geico did find a windshield in Buffalo but the electric had to be driven there. Why was that? The windshield is really fragile and we don’t like to ship them. I said, Jeff, they ship billion dollar computers all day, every day. He just will not sell the part. Jeff said, I know.


The matter that I have been boring about about for over a year finally yielded some fruit.


I read a post where someone has a defective battery. I have solid advice for you. I believe, para, you said the dealer said it would take four and a half months for the battery to get here from Germany.


They were missing the right pillar badge, no damage there at all, on my 2018. They ordered the badge around March 4th, 2018. It isn’t here yet. So, it’s up to you. I would not wait, file a lemon law form applicable to your state and file it.


At that time, it was forty five days. They were not answering emails or speaking to me anymore shortly after until a manager from mbManhattan, NYC called me a few minutes ago.


Anyway, two days ago things changed. MB Financial let me tell my whole story with all details which will match up to every other story I told them, show a flat line on the computer voice stress analyzer and confirm at no point did the voice identifier show that I never switched to another person nor deviated from the truth as humanly possible. One hour and 58 minutes later, I said hello, hello. They hung up on me.


Something bothered me. I went to sleep, tired and something nagged at me. I was fully awake at 7 am and bam. I checked my phone, it ran and continued to run past two hours. All cell phones cancel call if either party is disconnected. There it is. They were not expecting what I had for them and got really sloppy. I haven’t heard an audible beep for start of recording for at least twenty years.


I kept hearing the sound which means that more and more individuals were being added to the line.


MB, I heard the start recording tones so I know you got everything I said, including driving a rolling time bomb. I will continue to drive this vehicle because I love it. With glass shards and all.


By Anthony un-named friendly, not overtly saying but pointing where to look, I did and I am most happy to announce to Mercedes-Benz, Daimler, mbManhattan, NYC, Mecerdes-Benz Collision and all involved that I am so sorry to do this,


IT WENT FROM CIVIL TO CRIMINAL, FED AND STATE.


I told mbManhattan over one year ago, you will curse the day, you sent me the wrong car, damaged and refused to replace it.


Al Diluzio, buddy, wherever you are, I am not happy you were fired over this, nearly instantly, but lie with ......


One last thing. It always bothered me that I have slandered and defamed every business and named every person connected to this incident on every forum since February 28, 2018.


I have not received one denial, I didn’t do it, there’re not my sox, but more than that, not one cease and desist order from any law enforcement agency or lawyer. The roar of silence is deafening, sorry, I never used that before.


Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Daimler, Geely to build Smart Cars in China

The Smart microcar brand will be expanded into the subcompact segment and will build all future models in China for global markets in a joint venture owned by Daimler and Geely Holding.

The 50-50 joint venture will build a new generation of Smart models in a purpose-built electric-car factory in China with global sales due to begin in 2022, Daimler said in a news release on Thursday.

Daimler will share its expertise in manufacturing, engineering and design with Geely. As part of the vehicle-development program, the Smart product portfolio will be extended into the "fast-growing" B- (subcompact) segment, Daimler said.

Until 2020, the ForTwo will continue to be built at Smart's factory in Hambach, France, and production of the ForFour will continue at Renault's plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The two Smart cars share underpinnings with the Renault Twingo.

After 2022, the Hambach factory will build electric cars for Mercedes. Daimler said last year that it will invest 500 million euros in the Hambach factory to start producing a compact electric car for Mercedes' new EQ electric subbrand.

Daimler and Geely did not disclose financial terms of the deal. The details of the joint venture will be finalized by the end of this year, the companies said.

Zetsche said Geely will be a "strong partner" in the electric vehicle segment. "We will jointly design and develop the next generation of Smart electric cars that combine high-quality production and known safety standards for sale both in China and globally," Zetsche said in the statement.

The joint venture's board of six people will include Daimler's China chief Hubertus Troska, global sales and marketing boss Britta Seeger and production boss Markus Schaefer. Geely's members will be Shufu, Geely CEO An Conghui and Geely finance chief Daniel Donghui Li.

Smart's global sales fell 4.6 percent to 128,802 last year. The brand is a money-losing business for Daimler despite many restructurings the past. Financial analysts Evercore ISI estimates Smart loses 500 million euros to 700 million euros annually.

Last month Zetsche said Daimler would deepen its alliance with Geely after Shufu bought up a 9.69 percent stake in Daimler in 2018.

Daimler and Geely have a ride-hailing joint venture in China.

Reuters contributed to this report
 

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Agreeing with Mike T - German styling, engineering by Chiner, sold at your local Geely dealer (not M-B) - what could go wrong with that?

Quick, someone call “The Captain” and let him know of another winning business venture, or not?

See this as a Chinese/Euro focus with little to no plan for N.A.
 

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Daimler will share its expertise in manufacturing, engineering and design with Geely. As part of the vehicle-development program, the Smart product portfolio will be extended into the "fast-growing" B- (subcompact) segment, Daimler said.
I'm okay with this. With proper quality control and engineering, Chinese products can be quite stellar. Remember, basically any electronic device you can buy is built in China using strict quality control. Chinese phones also inspired the current "no bezel" trend in smartphones. Their motorcycle industry is also the largest in the world. Likewise, thousands of Americans are driving around in Chinese-built Buicks and they seem to be holding together just fine.

These aren't the days of cheap Chinese low speed vehicles and clones of western products anymore. China really wants to be taken seriously. :eek:

As for NA? I'm not sure. The B-Segment does sell better than city cars here and if priced well, a B smart can sell well. And China does want to break even further into the US vehicle market than they already are.
 

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As part of the vehicle-development program, the Smart product portfolio will be extended into the "fast-growing" B- (subcompact) segment, Daimler said.
Granted by 2022 some smart owners/enthusiasts will have "aged out" but dealer memories are long as they lick their wounds from smart Center v.1.

The $39,900 MY17 B-Class Electric Drive - offering 177-horsepower, 251-pound-foot electric motor (0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds) and a range of 87 miles was a dismal failure after only ONE YEAR!

Obviously not ready for prime time and the reboot may not be until 2025???
 

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If smart is bought out. I curious if Renault, will still supply engines, and the basic platform? The 2019 Twingo, is still currently on sale, in Europe. It just got a refresh styling. Apple Car play, and modern electronic safety features. It a much better looking vehicle, then the 453. The forfour, is a odd looking car. Renault isn’t going belly up. That car brand offers a wide range of vehicles.

Actual the Twingo out sells the forfour, in Europe 2018

Twingo..... 86,221 units
Forfour..... 34,975 units
 

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If smart is bought out. I curious if Renault, will still supply engines, and the basic platform? The 2019 Twingo, is still currently on sale, in Europe. It just got a refresh styling. Apple Car play, and modern electronic safety features. It a much better looking vehicle, then the 453. The forfour, is a odd looking car. Renault isn’t going belly up. That car brand offers a wide range of vehicles.

Actual the Twingo out sells the forfour, in Europe 2018

Twingo..... 86,221 units
Forfour..... 34,975 units
Thankfully that was already hashed out. :)

The partnership is 50/50 Daimler and Geely.
Daimler will continue to build the ICE and EV smarts until 2020, then go full EV.
2022 is the last year smartville (fortwo) and Slovenia (forfour) will build smarts.
Then smart production will be moved to Geely's facilities in China and smartville will be converted to build MB EQ models.

By 2025 Geely will launch their own smart platform in the B-Segment (bigger than a city car, but still small) and sell those worldwide.

The forfour has an unfortunate problem of cannibalizing the fortwo's sales. I also think the Twingo is the better looking sibling. The forfour should have closely resembled the fourjoy concept, but instead we got the "nosebear".
 
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Maybe not....Does anyone else remember the late '80's when Isuzu offered a small hatchback that was tuned by Lotus? It had upgraded wheels, suspension, tires, exhaust, and body panels and "Suspension by Lotus" badges on each front fender. It was essentially what the US spec Brabus was, same engine, transmission, but upgraded in other ways. It was even white with some green trim, ala Lotus Cortina. I could accept a small smart sized car that had been breathed on by Lotus engineers.
 

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Maybe not....Does anyone else remember the late '80's when Isuzu offered a small hatchback that was tuned by Lotus? It had upgraded wheels, suspension, tires, exhaust, and body panels and "Suspension by Lotus" badges on each front fender. It was essentially what the US spec Brabus was, same engine, transmission, but upgraded in other ways. It was even white with some green trim, ala Lotus Cortina. I could accept a small smart sized car that had been breathed on by Lotus engineers.
They also had the lotus-tuned Isuzu Impulse. The intercooled turbo, All wheel drive 1991 Impulse RS is still one of my dream cars.
 

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I remember the Impulse. The one I was referring to was the FWD I-Mark RS. It was a smaller 3-door hatchback. It was offered with Recaro front seats with matching material on the rear seats and the same 1.6 four that was offered in the Lotus Elan of 1990. I believe it had 125 HP. It was offered as a one year model in 1989. I almost bought one, but then bought a 1990 Baretta GTZ with the Quad Four and 5 speed when it was introduced in late 1989.
 

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More info on post #15 : https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/28/daimler-geely-smart-evs.aspx

The B Class smart is intriguing, but I'll believe it when I see it. The B segment worldwide is full of cars, and since the smart version will be electric only, it will be range challenged. By 2022 Teslas will have set 300 miles as the new EV range benchmark (remember when smart was the only car in the US getting 40 mpg and we all though that was something....) and unless Geely invents a magic battery the smart will be nowhere near the 300 miles range needed to compete. We'll see. :)
 
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