Last Monday, Penske and Smart jointly announced that their relationship would soon come to a halt. Within a few months, Penske will hand over distribution rights, management, sales and marketing duties for Smart in the U.S. to Mercedes-Benz USA. Penske's departure has reportedly led to the end of the Smart-Nissan collaboration, but word is that the Fortwo Electric Drive (ED) model will, at least for now, be unaffected by the handoff.
Mercedes-Benz spokesman Geoff Day told Green Car Advisor that, for now, Smart's plan to lease 250 Fortwo EDs at a price of $599 a month (plus $2,500 due at signing) for 48 months wil continue. However, Day added that once the transition is complete and Penske no longer controls Smart, the team put in place by Mercedes-Benz, "may review those plans."