smart pulled out of Canada and the US last year and will not return.
Daimler and Zhejiang Holding Group are behind the smart Automobile Co., Ltd.
The electric SUV will be built on Geely’s SEA platform.
The smart fortwo made something of a mild splash when it was first introduced in Canada and the US. Interest was high in the quicky ultra-compact car however interest dwindled soon enough given North America’s insatiable thirst for SUVs. In an unfortunate twist, smart will move away from building small cars and reinvent itself as a builder of SUVs.
The smart Automobile Co., Ltd. is a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely and together will design and build smart’s new SUV. Specifically, Benz will design and support development for the new vehicle while Geely will provide the building blocks. The vehicle will be assembled on Geely’s SEA platform (Scalable Electric Architecture). In fact, prototypes have already been built.
Although the new smart vehicle will be an SUV, it will remain true to its original focus which is first and foremost about urban mobility. Daniel Lescow, Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing & After-Sales bei smart Automobile Co., Ltd, explains in a LinkedIn post: “The potential is vast, not only in Europe but also in China. SUVs are becoming the most popular of all passenger vehicles in China. But don’t worry, our new SUV won’t just be for China – we’ll be bringing it to European markets, too, where I’m certain it will be a huge success.”