With dwindling sales and interest, Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz have decided to pull the plug on their urban brand smart.
It was nearly 15 years ago, in 2004, that Mercedes-Benz decided to bring their urban revolution in mobility to Canada. The smart fortwo arrived in the US some three and half years later when the second generation 2008 car was introduced. A handful of first generation fortwo cdi were imported into the US although they are rare.
While sales were good with the original diesel version, the then new car was only offered with a gasoline powered unit. A few years later, smart introduced an electric iteration which, by 2017, became the only on still available for purchase.
Sales have been on the decline for the last few years. 2018 was especially dismal in the US, going from 3.071 units in 2017 to a paltry 1,276 in 2018. Canada’s number were steady at 368 in 2017 down to 345 in 2018. In both cases, the business case sank along with sales.
The other issue was and will be, until the end of 2019 when the smart fortwo officially departs, that its range is limited to about 100 km. What’s more, the $29,050 asking price for the Coupe and $32,050 for the cabrio made them far from affordable.
I would also add that what made the car special early on, its quirky details both inside and out, were lost in large part through the updates. By the end, it was simply a small expensive car.