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Discussion Starter #1
hi i just bot a 2009 smart passion, with a solid top put over the see through dome....had been a police car for the past 10 yrs and had all of 12000 miles on it. no horn, but, they did leave the siren in place. i hope that smart returns the gas engine to america, as my thoughts are that it is doomed if they continue to go total electric. sales results seem to prove me right. offleaseonly.com sells lots of smarts but, the electric ones dont get much play. mbz should put diesels and gas into america >:D
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I wish they would, or at the least make a battery with (much longer) range than they currently offer.

(For now I’ll just enjoy the plusher ride in my Scion/Toyota iQ).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i dont expect smart to survive then. they should have brought the roadster to america. miata did and it owns the sports car market. many errors were made by mercedes benz. my closest smart dealer is 70 miles away. my mercedes dealer is 2 miles away. repeat that over and over and over. they should put a real battery in the electric smart, use the current 3 cyl engine as backup, ala prius, or smaller. smart electric doesnt cut it. they say 100 mi range. those i know, got rid of them as they only really do under 60 mi. it's a shame, but, mercedes was the wrong automaker to carry this load
 

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None of what you propose is feasible in the current fortwo chassis and M-B has a whole line of EQ cars headed to market to replace the smart electric. The decision to carry (or not) the smart brand was entirely up to the dealership owners, as was the decision to carry the smart EQ.... If wishes were horses, etc. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum!

The Roadster was a rushed production job. The cost of warranty repairs to smart is often noted as the cause of smart killing it. And these aren't little issues either, these are "turbo died" or "water leaks onto computer unit" bad.

The diesel died with the 451. We're also half the size of a Prius, so nowhere to store a hybrid drivetrain.

In my opinion, you're really only pointing to factors in smart's demise in the US, but there is far more to this story.

The US is very different from Europe. City cars are less practical here, there is no government incentive to driving a small car, and small cars only sell well when fuel prices are high.

In fact, cars are selling so poorly in this country right now that major manufacturers are phasing out their cars and building only trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and muscle cars. If sedans can't even sell enough to make the cut, a smart would never stand a chance.

Clearly, even smart knew the odds were stacked against the fortwo because they planned to enter the US market in 2006 with a SUV instead of the fortwo.

They could have imported the diesel here and I'm sure that would have sold well at first, provided the price was right. However, we now live in a post-Dieselgate world where automakers are now shying away from Diesel in favour of electric.

Long story short, smart would be doomed in this country no matter what unless they offered a larger vehicle. The forfour would be a great start, but it would have to have a competitive price.

As for the overall brand (as in, not just its health in the USA), these cars actually sell well and are quite popular. The smartville factory ran at capacity for a number of years.

It appears the problem is that Mercedes-Benz burns far more money than they would make back. All these suggestions like opening new factories and such are pointless if MB can't get their spending under control. If I recall correctly, MB was losing something like $8k for every smart sold up to 2008...and it's not like these cars were super cheap back then, either. Teaming up with Renault and building a car that squashed complaints of previous generations seemed to be their plan for saving smart, and it appears they somehow managed to mess that up, too.

But that's all in the past now. Geely has laid out their plans for saving smart and they are solid. They will build a car in the B-Segment (larger than a forfour) and it'll be all electric. Since China loves smart and China loves EVs, I expect them to sell hilariously well. The larger size will also accommodate better EV tech, which means they will stand a better chance in an America where EVs are more popular than ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i dont care about electric, but, my idea i realize would have happened if it was feasible. all i really care about is the gas or diesel. giving the dealerships the option was not bright. vw in 1948 was ''forced'' upon jaguar dealers, or they would get no jags. they reluctantly agreed and in 1949 they started to roll the beetle onto the shores of america. soon they were selling more vw's than jags. mercedes giving options to their dealers was not wise if they wanted to be successful, or they should have had more dealerships. also bringing the roadster to america could have given great competition to the miata the other affordable sportscar. such is life. i just dont think mercedes ever had their heart into the smart. now living in germany for many years, i soon realized mercedes were fords. only in las americas does mercedes become something special. the whole range of mercedes are impressive that we never see, including trucks. had mercedes added smart to their line, logo star and all....there would have been a difference i think. when they went full electric and 100 mi max (57)...i saw the writing on the wall. 200 maybe or more than tesla, but, not the range they came up with. i suppose you are right, the smart was not meant to be an electric. when i first saw the smart back in 1998 in dexheim, i was impressed and impressed that it was gas with great mpg and even better with diesel. when it arrived in america, gen two, i was less impressed with mpg and the japanese engine and looked fondly at our northern neighbor, canada. in my garage i have cars i love and it seems they all end up discontinued. love my 1967 mini cooper, but, not so much the new one. my 1943 kubelwagen and model A. even the fiat 500 , the oldie but goodie. all were soon discontinued. had i never gotten a smart in america, no doubt smarts would be produced forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i loved driving my smart in europe. it was my commuter as this one is in america. i drive much longer and further than it's intended purpose, if that is city only. i did same with my mini's. but, one thing we can agree on. mercedes screwed it up.
 

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The only way smart will ever be popular in NA. If it would manufacturer a small crossover. EV’s are here to stay. Their not going away. Every car company is jumping on the band wagon. Offering them. EV driving range, is increasing. Cost will come down, on them. With public demand. 10 years from now, EV's will phase out ice vehicles. There isn’t any real need for a small niche ICE vehicle here. That uses premium fuel. It’s Fuel economy isn’t that great. Beside the current smart EV limited driving range. The smart EV is superior to its ICE counter part. Performance wise. Charge time is faster, better battery technology. No maintance. No polluting.

I would have bought a forfour smart EV, if the battery range was around 150 miles. The mistake MB made, not offering something like that here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
mercedes has made lots & lots & lots of mistakes with the smart in America, less in Canada.... and i have written to them about them. funny they never respond. i have pointed out a few in prior messages. none the less, i have mine and im happy....as long as parts are available. not to worry, i have parts for my 1929 model A ford ,90 yrs after production, and for my 1967 mini cooper, 52 yrs later....as well as the fiat 500, 56 yrs and counting.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i forgot to mention the citroen 2cv....when they stop making internal combustion engines, the only thing that could bring me to a halt is the lack of gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i forgot to add that mercedes should force their dealers to sell smart cars. i have a mbz dealer 2 miles away, but, have to travel 70 for a smart car dealer. stupid stupid stupid. in 1949 the guy that imported jags, made every dealer sell vw bugs and they caught fire. mercedes has missed so many opportunities to make the smart the icon forever. there is still time if the new mercedes ceo has the cojones to do what should have been done in america back in 2008. wake up mercedes and smell the tiquila....vw built the bug in mexico too. how about alabama? anywhere but france.
 

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What's wrong with France? And I think the smart ship has sailed in North America. Even among my work colleagues, the typical vehicle ten years ago was a Camry or Corolla, and today it's an extended cab 4x4 pickup or huge SUV.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
less expensive in alabama or mexico. saying mbz loses 8k per car, time to cut costs. nothing wrong with france. just money cut time. but, you maybe right. the ship has sailed when the cut the gas engine, never brought in the diesel engine and never forced mbz dealers they had to take smarts and service them. penske wasnt the answer.
 

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I really can see smart loosing $8K on their ICE vehicles. My smart car, cost $14.5k. Were they just given them away. Thats got to apply to the EV’s. Fiat looses that much on every 500e they sell.

Why would the smart brand build their cars in Mexico? The majority of them are sold in Europe, and Asia. The join plan in China, makes more sense. Especially going the EV route.
 

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Honestly, it's completely irrelevant where smart builds their cars if they don't have everything else under control. MB's problem has always been that they spent more money developing and fixing the cars than they made back. This was the problem that also plagued the Toyota iQ, but at least Toyota killed off that experiment before it cost them too much money. I take it tiny city cars cost a ton of money to develop compared to the sales you can expect to get for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
if they are losing 8k per yr on sale of each car in usa, get close to the buyer and less expensive in mexico. and perhaps sell to the central american and south american markets. china is a great idea too, as they reportedly love the smart. im looking for a usa solution. alas, me thinks it is too late. i would have brought in the roadster and stolen some of the market from miata. woulda shoulda coulda....but, mbz missed the bus when they didnt ''make '' their usa dealers sell smarts......jag was forced to in 1949 to take the vw bug, one per dealership....they squaked, but, you see where that went.
 

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MB made the mistake not offering the forfour here. I’m not crazy about the styling, compared to the Twingo. The Chevrolet Spark, is similar in size. 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway. Starts at $13.500. Chevrolet sell 28k to 34k units a year. Their are more Chevy dealers, then MB one. Your not paying for high price MB service. The Chevy Spark offers Apple CarPlay Android auto, tilt wheel, on Star.

It doesn’t matter where the smart car, is built. There’s just no demand, for a niche 2 seat city car. The Miata, is a world class sport car. If MB built the same thing for smart. It be $60k. If I were to buy the next best Roadster on the market. It be a Fiat 124, running on the Miata platform. Abarth power plant.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
WELL where they are made was 'one' of many solutions. which is a big one with $$$labor. fixing other problems is required for sure....reliability is key. not selling at the mercedes network is another huge mistake. i use a 70 yr old example with jag and the vw bug introduced into america. but, without fixes it dies. i have to assume it is gone. i kinda knew that when they went all electric and i went to drive one and got 57 miles and the battery ran out.....43 miles short of the advertised 100. ...which was way low to be competitive. (at least without a back up ice) 20 yrs was a good run, RIP...i enjoyed the two i leased in germany in 98 thr 04. a gas one and then the diesel. great fun. i finally came back to america to retire and got the 2009 ten yrs late, with 12,000 miles on the odometer....so im happy. now ill look for a smilar low mile cabrio and only have to worry about parts. six yrs in germany i never had a smart break. hope my luck runs the same again
 
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