Smart, the Daimler-owned brand that has done nothing but struggle in the US market, probably won't be getting a larger model. A new four-seater called the ForFour is slated to go on sale in Europe later this year.

A final decision hasn't been made on US sales of the ForFour, but according to the head of Smart, Annette Winkler, there are concerns that the cost of homologating the car for the North America wouldn't be made back quickly. "There are other regulations to comply with, and to achieve what is needed here costs extra money," Winkler told Automotive News Europe.

Smart's sales were down seven percent, to below 10,000 units, last year. That doesn't mean the brand isn't important, though. According to Mercedes-Benz USA's CEO, Steve Cannon, the brand is a solid niche unit, and should prove effective at padding MB's average fuel economy in the coming years as more stringent CAFE standards come into effect, according to ANE. There's also the fact that killing Smart would mean paying off nearly 100 Mercedes dealers that sell the microcar...


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      Ludwig von Schnauzer
      • 11 Months Ago
      If they got decent MPG, had a smoother transmission and was priced lower they'd have a hot seller. I for one get one.
      Dan Sturges
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ironic. As that seems to be exactly what Smart USA needs - a LARGER CAR.
      Alex Ellsworth
      • 11 Months Ago
      Are you joking?! Maybe a few more Americans would buy the car if it were halfway usable - like if it had a backseat! If you're not pulling Smart from the US market, then not bringing over the only model that could give you a chance of becoming more competitive there really seems like shooting yourself in the foot.
      JC
      • 11 Months Ago
      I've driven a Smart, structurally its a pretty good car - feels solid and its actually more roomier than it looks Now...mechanically its a disaster...put a tiny turbo on that engine and change the transmission to a cvt or something similar aka a real transmission...then maybe, just maybe it will do better.
        Brian P
        • 11 Months Ago
        @JC
        Full redesign coming next year. No more automated manual; it's known that the new one will use either a dual-clutch automatic or a proper manual. Engine will be different, most likely similar to the Renault 0.9 TCe 3-cylinder which is already in the new Clio and is quite good.
      Rich
      • 11 Months Ago
      I walked into the MB/Smart dealer here in NJ the other day. There was not a Smart in the showroom that I could see. Perhaps there was one hiding behind a desk? The sales person was pushing the high priced bloated gas guzzling MB products. Would not even mention the word Smart. So it's no wonder the sales numbers a going down. They are actively trying to not sell the Smart. The issues with the Smart - high priced, relatively low MPG and high prices for parts and service - and then add to that the sales person that only pushes bloated MB products. Then the fate of the Smart in the US is sealed.
      David
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is beyond illogical! Why they would develop a brand-new model without homologation in mind for all their existing markets is sheer idiocy. If true, they ought to just shut down Smart USA now.
      Terry Actill
      • 11 Months Ago
      Needs the Hayabusa engine option.
      chrismcfreely
      • 11 Months Ago
      A tiny rear wheel drive 2 seater for 14 grand should be one of the funnest cheap cars out there. I can\'t believe they made it so crappy to drive. Even worse is that their idea to fix it is to add more seats???!??! Every person running that company should have been fired long ago. Make it drive great, and people would have bought it, it\'s not that hard.
      stratosrally
      • 11 Months Ago
      They are all over Austin and the city also has something called https://www.car2go.com/en/austin/ in place. I see obviously well-used ones and new ones alike. As an aside, there is a dealership in my German cousin's hometown where I saw the 4door and the Coupe versions that they used to make a few years ago. They had Brabus versions of all 3 styles on hand, very cool cars IMHO.
      juniorswa
      • 11 Months Ago
      I think it is a mistake to not bring over the Smart ForFour, but since these are the clowns making decisions for Smart USA I can't really say I'm shocked Smart isn't doing better. Hope they widen up soon. Mercedes Benz needs to sell smaller cars to achieve CAFE goals.
      chickenflauta
      • 11 Months Ago
      Given the numbers presented in this article, that means the average dealer is selling only 1 or 2 vehicles per week at an average MSRP of I'd guess not more than $20,000... How are these dealers even making enough profit to keep the lights on anyway????
      Avinash Machado
      • 11 Months Ago
      A Chevy Spark or Fiat 500 are more practical.
    • Load More Comments