Smart to Go All-Electric in North America by 2018, Daimler Says
Smart saw a 16 percent drop in sales in 2016 from the previous year, so a shake-up could be good for the micro-car brand.
Daimler announced Monday that it will stop selling gas-powered Smart cars in the United States and Canada and turn its North American model range completely over to electric cars, Reuters reports.
A letter sent to dealers from Mercedes-Benz USA head Dietmar Exler said the automaker will stop selling internal-combustion Smart cars at the end of the 2017 model year in the fall, according to Reuters.
"Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current smart product portfolio," Exler wrote in the letter. "A dedicated focus on the electric drive in the U.S. and Canada provides a logical step to support a sustainable, zero emissions future."
As Exler hints, the switch the automaker has been forced to change up his small car sales strategies by trying something new, and we can see why. Mercedes-Benz racked in 6,211 Smart car sales in the U.S. in 2016, a 16 percent drop from 2015.
The automaker will switch to marketing electric Smart ForTwos and ForTwo convertibles in the two countries. As of now, the new plans will not affect Smart car sales strategies outside of North America.