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MikeT

impending end of smart in North America?

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With 118 smarts being sold in all of North America in February 2018, how long can the brand be sustained?  One thing I can be sure of is that if there is a next generation fortwo after the 453, there will be no business case to develop it for USA or CDN standards.

 

In the days of the 450, with half of the US laws not applicable in Canada (example: headlights, controls etc), smart made the decision to certify the mid-life 450 on the strength of a projected sales total of maybe 1500 cars per year - note that was greatly exceeded in the first two years, with the retail price not getting out of hand.  The USA has less forgiving standards and the case there probably would have required 10,000 cars per year to make sense.

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They've pretty much all but wound down all operations in dealerships here. The corporate showrooms I've been in have barely had any smart presence, with the exception of the Downtown Toronto dealership. I think announcing that they no longer plan to add smarts to the Car2go fleet was a pretty strong signal that they're phasing out the brand in North America. It's a real shame, because the new car is SO much improved over the previous ones, but it's hard to get people to even look at them now.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 hours ago, darren said:

They've pretty much all but wound down all operations in dealerships here. The corporate showrooms I've been in have barely had any smart presence, with the exception of the Downtown Toronto dealership. I think announcing that they no longer plan to add smarts to the Car2go fleet was a pretty strong signal that they're phasing out the brand in North America. It's a real shame, because the new car is SO much improved over the previous ones, but it's hard to get people to even look at them now.

I'd consider an electric one or a diesel one with the Dual clutch but otherwise I'm not interested in a car that small with comparable gas mileage to a bigger car... So I'll stick with my 450 :) 

 

The car just doesn't make sense in the market here... 

Edited by kelaog

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It will be interesting to see how long they continue to sell the ED here.  The big costs for importing have been paid, they might as well keep selling until demand stops.  As far as a future fortwo redesign, I am not sure there will be one for the public.  As battery tech improves they can either offer a cheaper car with similar range or increase range and keep prices stable.

 

With 183k km on my 2011, I hope to still be several years away from needing a replacement car.

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Loved our 450 cdi but, it doesn't compare at all to

our 453 ED...:D

Three moving motor parts and no more dirty/smelly

fill ups at the diesel pump.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 3/2/2018 at 6:28 PM, lebikerboy said:

Loved our 450 cdi but, it doesn't compare at all to

our 453 ED...:D

Three moving motor parts and no more dirty/smelly

fill ups at the diesel pump.

It was hard to talk myself out of the ED..That's really what I wanted but the payback period was damn near infinite compared to a $4500 CDI with low KM. CDI works a bit better for long haul trips too ;)

 

The smelly diesel pump kinda sucks... I get around it by using the paper towel they have beside the pump and holding it with that. 

 

I think if they kept one vehicle in North America it would be the ED and it would be rebranded as a Mercedes product so that they can apply it to their fleet carbon credits. My $.02.

 

I think the competition in this market is going to heat up though because the big three are in big trouble....They will start selling cheap, small, ED vehicles to offset their pickup sales... 

Edited by kelaog

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My guess is that we'll be getting the new A-Class hatchback in Canada, with an Electric Drive option. 

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That's a good guess.  I don't think that the automotive market has evolved in a way that is favourable to smart over the past 14 years.

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