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Perennially troubled Smart USA probably won't get new 4-seat model

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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...

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