Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
MikeT

smart Future On The Line, Again

14 posts in this topic

Hmmm.....time to buy is now.....I will have a small fleet of diesels as parts cars....just in case there is a run on them...lol.   

I wonder, if the electric hamster is the way to go, why can't they make a smart car work?  They can't be doing something right?  OR they are finding it simply not worth the cost and return on investments.   

IMHO, they had it right using the diesel hamster...simply clean it up and make that work?  OR get back to hybrid electric with a small tiny generator for charging battery pack when required?  Christ they have added so much nose to the shape there must be room to stuff something useful under the bonnet now..?

I think they have simply over thought the whole concept and made too much car for the market..get back to a simple small useful vehicle.   I bet they would sell again if priced sensibly!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is economics.  The margin on small cars is tiny and volume has to be very high to make it worthwhile. No-one buying a car like this wants to pay much.  Everyone hates the dealers.  Not a good sign for profitability.

 

Renault has now bailed on the next generation smart platform and even with them as partners it was losing money.  So smart will most likely be gone in 2020.

 

There won't be a run on the diesels, at least not for another 20 years until they become classics after maybe only 800-1000 are left.  And then it won't be a run, probably a slow trot ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They sorta didn't even try to sell the electric vehicle, which is what it should have been from the start (oh, if only Mercedes actually listened to the original designer...). The electric cars are the perfect city car. But they gave them ridiculously slow charging, under-reported the crap out of the range (it's reportedly 60% longer than what Mercedes claims it is). And then - for all drivetrains - there is the fact that because Mercedes expect the smart brand to operate as a stand-alone, they don't have the ability to sell a bunch of giant price-inflated cars to make up for the low profit margins on the smaller cars, unlike every single other car maker out there, which breaks even on their small cars and pads their earnings with the large.

 

Maybe in the future if electric vehicle technology becomes cheap they can come back with a $13-15,000 proposition, but at $25,000+ there's just an extremely small market for them.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's news is that Geely may buy 50% of smart....what's going on there????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought or question.....how does a Smart stack up against the other small cars....thinking of the Fiat 500 brand...? Yes I know gas powered but still, they are selling it seems as I see so many while driving around...?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Fiat is having huge troubles moving the 500. It's the 4th slowest-selling car in the USA, with an average of 160 days on the lot before sale. Also not moving are Mini Cooper and Toyota Yaris iA (i.e. a rebadged mazda2), so the really small cars just aren't selling. I don't have Canadian numbers on hand but I can't imagine them being terribly different. Fiat 500 is everywhere in Vancouver but I guess it's one of those things that sell well in a few areas and then nothing anywhere else. I get really excited whenever I see a new-gen smart like mine, but I'm pretty sure there's like a total of a dozen of them.

 

Also the Geely announcement makes me cautiously optimistic. Apparently Smarts are popular in China (which makes sense, considering their urban density). Geely did a great job with Volvo, so if anyone is capable of turning smart around into a desirable/practical brand, it's them. (They can also screw it up royally but... how much worse is that compared to what we already have?)

Edited by Mallory
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in a semi rural area and see many 500's and also older smarts, maybe one  electric smart, but mostly early models. I also see some in people's backyards as that person is thinking like me.....keep a few for spares. 
Because of where I live we do not see many electrics, as the distances between towns would mean almost having to recharge just to do your shopping depending upon what it is you require. I have to drive an hour to get to what I call a city.

Pick me ups and suvs are what is the craze now....even with fuel prices going up, people are still facinated with size......lol.  So much for thinking green anything...lol.  Many many large diesel pick ups...and large engined pick ups....smarts and 500 are imho similar to motorcycles....they are almost toys....people either treat them as such or they are like me after fuel economy.  But I fear it's the toy aspect over function.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.wsj.com/articles/daimler-geely-deepen-bond-with-electric-city-car-venture-11553762562

 

The venture between Daimler and Geely will be based in China and in 2022 will begin building a new generation of electric Smart vehicles there. Until the beginning of production in China, Daimler will continue to build current Smart models at its Hambach plant in France.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Production costs in China will also be significantly lower, which should help with one of the brand’s major issues: value for money. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Styled by Mercedes - engineered by Geely?  No thanks.  That's like the old joke about French mechanics, German artists and Italian logistics....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that they will be all electric. The Chinese have a pretty good handle on manufacturing electronics, and Geely has done an excellent job with Volvo. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm not worried about Geely's build quality.  We all took the pith out of Japanese cars and electronics in much the same way, and look how disastrously wrong we all were.  It's astonishing to think that people still haven't heeded that particular history lesson and are making the same preconceptions all over again.

 

I'd be happier still if Daimler actually had nothing to do with the design - since the original 450 they styling has become less adventurous, dull, and derivative, even as the mechanical side matured fairly well.  If Geely kicked Herr Daimler in the nuts and stole the entire project I doubt very much they could mismanage the brand any worse than Daimler did under Fraulein Winkler's disastrous tenure.  Short of actually closing the brand down for good, I fail to see how anyone could do worse than Daimler have over the last decade.

Edited by Chopper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I worry about - a little - is supporting the economy of that godawful regime.  It's already so powerful that their special brand of democracy is likely to gain favour in other countries "in order to compete" with the juggernaut.  Chinese goods are all over the map on quality too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More