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Daimler will decide on the future of its money-losing Smart brand by the end of this year, German business paper Handelsblatt reported.

Daimler, which sells the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, is losing patience with losses at its microcar brand, the paper said.

Daimler's incoming CEO, Ola Kallenius, who succeeds Dieter Zetsche in May, has "no history with Smart" and "no scruples about killing the brand if necessary," the paper quoted a company insider as saying.
Smart's global sales fell 4.6 percent to 128,802 last year.

Evercore ISI said it would welcome the discontinuation of the brand, which it estimates loses 500 million euros to 700 million euros annually.

"We can't see how a German microcar business can generate a profit, costs are simply too high," Evercore said in a note to investors.
https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/daimler-decide-smart-future-year-end-report-says
 

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Wish I could offer something positive to take the sting out of this announcement but...

Daimler walked away from what was a “unique” smart brand with the Renault partnership and the 453. Daimler saved development costs and Europe got another forfour.

Now the bloom is off the rose, sales are languishing, Renault with their Twingo success is considering a divorce and Dieter Zetsche leaves in May.

In the U.S. the dealer “network” is near death and the 3 or 4 year (?) service agreements are near sunsetting.

Probably appropriate that what was intended to be an EV ends as an ED/EQ???

DEAD SMART WALKING...
 

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The Germans will have to invest billions in electrifying their fleets and incur losses to do so. There will be a few casualties from this shift and smart may just be one of them.

The ‘Tesla Effect’ hits Germany as VW, Daimler, and BMW fully commit to EVs
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-mission-elon-musk-master-plan-vw-bmw-daimler/

My favorite quote: "The VW CEO’s proposal was bold: he wanted the German auto industry to focus solely on EVs, and he warned that he would be “evaporating billions” to do so. The proposal was met with a lot of criticism, from both fellow automakers and suppliers. In response, Volkswagen threatened to leave the industry lobby group Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) because of its refusal to commit to an electric-first strategy."
 

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I saw this coming. The global sales response to the 453 has been lukewarm from the start and failed to really take off before entering into a fall.

This is what I believed triggered MB to kill off all ICE smart models in 2020. But that confused me even more. The ED program doesn't even account for a quarter of smart's diminishing sales, so unless they had a trick in their hat they were only hurting smart further.

Then they decided to restructure smart to integrate with the EQ program and the writing on the wall became visible. Once MB gets enough EQ models out there they will kill smart.

Parts support should be just fine, but the cost of those parts? Ehh..
 
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Hopefully won’t die. They need to figure out a better battery. Double the electric range on the 453 and you now have something that would catch attention. Triple the range and you’d have a contender. They engineered the 453 for better long range comfort then stabbed their own foot by giving the ED only what a 70 mile range. Genius who’s responsible for that needed firing....
 

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This is why I hustled to get my 2018 EQ. I figured no way will they last all of 2019... Unfortunately, the 453 EQ is a pretty sweet grocery getter, I only use my 2018 Merc to 'get out of Dodge'. I did enjoy 'serving time' as a Smart Brand Manager for four years. Go figure. The clever wraps kept it fun!
 

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"Forease shown last year in Paris. It features a hard fabric shell roof with a soft fabric cover with no side or rear windows and no climate control." Should be a kick in the rain and on 100 degree Mediterranean summer days, LOL. These blokes just can't get it right... ;-/
 

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If they released an ED with decent range things would be totally different..Also, i've never seen ads on tv since the 453 launch and there's pretty much nothing done to push sales
When the very first models were released here they teamed up with a local chain of coffee shops. You could rent one at one of the coffee shops at a very good rate for a day with a lot of kilometres thrown in free and all you had to do was spend money at at least one of the other coffee shops, ie drive there, have something to drink and/or eat and drive back to collect your own transport, if you had any. I've always thought that was a pretty good way to get a car out on the road and in the public's eye. When the 453 was released there was a short and thinly spread run of commercials on TV, so much so that I never even saw one from beginning to end, and then nothing. If you haven't been to a dealer you might as well not be aware of their existence... :eek::(:crying:
 

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The only way smart will ever become a prominent brand. Expand the model line up. Volvo vehicles, cater to a wide range of consumers. Sedans, crossover’s, SUV’s, EV’s etc. You can’t continue to sell only a small niche car. Especially a over priced EV, with a poor driving range.
Doesn’t matter who owns the brand.

One thing, smart about the smart brand. There isn’t any customer loyalty. Very obvious, after the launch of the 2008 smart cars here. 27K units sold. I waited for months to get my car. No one went out to buy the updated 453. They sat on the dealers lot.
 

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The only way smart will ever become a prominent brand. Expand the model line up. Volvo vehicles, cater to a wide range of consumers. Sedans, crossover’s, SUV’s, EV’s etc. You can’t continue to sell only a small niche car. Especially a over priced EV, with a poor driving range.
Doesn’t matter who owns the brand.

One thing, smart about the smart brand. There isn’t any customer loyalty. Very obvious, after the launch of the 2008 smart cars here. 27K units sold. I waited for months to get my car. No one went out to buy the updated 453. They sat on the dealers lot.
There isn’t any customer loyalty. I'm not surprised.
Maybe the reality of ownership didn't match the expectations. Maybe the U.S. just isn't the proper market.
How many bought a smart because it was "cute"? For most people cuteness wears thin with age, problems and expense.

At 60 to 90 cars a month, is it even worth the expense and risk of importing a updated model?
 

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There isn’t any customer loyalty. I'm not surprised.
Maybe the reality of ownership didn't match the expectations. Maybe the U.S. just isn't the proper market.
With all due respect, from the beginning there was little to no DEALER Loyalty for the ugly city car M-B sibling!

Without "The Captain" smart may have never seen the shores of the U.S. where low gas prices allow trucks and SUV's to rule!

smart Centers were closed and re-purposed such that the once "skinny" dealer network has now become non-existent.

2016, enter the Twingo/smart 453 - "promote" it to Millennials @ SXSW in Austin, TX, dead smart walking . . .

And Dieter showing his "EQ" kewl factor in blue jeans . . .

https://www.smart-magazine.com/smart-electric-drive/

https://www.sxsw.com/sponsors/smart/
 

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From Auto news
Car drag
Car sales, which are on track to decline for the fifth straight year, have become the biggest drag on the overall new-vehicle market.
"The market continues to abandon cars, with no end in sight. Automakers have slowed or stopped production, so inventory is down, and buyers are mostly looking at trucks and SUVs," said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. "Every time we think we’ve hit the bottom in car market share another month passes with trucks and SUVs gaining while cars lose. This is the reality that recently drove Ford and GM to announce plans to further reduce car production. Who can blame them?"

If GM would put the Volt drive-train in a small SUV. My Volt would on the market the next day. I need something easier to get in and out of.
 

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That's basically why Ford is deciding to drop most of its car platforms in the USA for crossovers and larger. They're chasing that easy money. Heck, Kia's Telluride sold 5k units in its first full month of sales. If that's not a sign that crossovers, SUVs, and trucks are hot hot hot, I don't know what is.
 
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