Smart Reduces Lineup, Will Only Offer EVs in American Market
The company says “goodbye” to their not-so-efficient models.
Smart has developed a quirky reputation throughout the American auto industry. They're viewed almost as a gimmick instead of a car, promoting conservative transportation in a tiny package. Smart's parent company, Mercedes-Benz, played off of that perception and continued to offer the cutesy cars in America despite their somewhat clumsy characteristics. Eventually, electric versions of the ForTwo came along to provide much more efficient transit. Because of that reason, Smart has decided to cut gasoline powered cars in the U.S. according to Motortrend.
The release was a quiet one. Mercedes-Benz decided against a public statement, deciding to issue a notice to dealers nationwide on Monday. They told MotorTrend in a statement “Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current Smart product portfolio. Therefore, with the launch of the fourth-generation Smart ForTwo electric drive this summer, the smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero emissions smart electric drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada.”
This is a sensible move for the manufacturer. The idea of going all-electric is certainly appealing to the company's sales demographic, and it also helps to improve average efficiency throughout their lineup. Gasoline powered ForTwos were deceitfully gluttonous, only achieving 35 MPG combined. That may not seem like a bad number, but when you take into account the car's size compared to that of others who were outperforming the Smart's efficiency, it's not particularly impressive.
Like many other automakers, Smart sees electrification as the future of the auto industry. They've decided to keep on this path for sometime, saying "Electric is central to our long-term powertrain strategy in the U.S., and the smart fortwo electric drive will play an important role in carrying this forward." For such a small car without the need for dazzling performance, it's a safe bet for the manufacturer.