"Mercedes-Benz will carry forward its electric strategy in the U.S. and Canada with the arrival of the new EQC in 2020. MBUSA and Mercedes-Benz Canada will continue to provide owners of gasoline powered and electric smart fortwo models with access to service and replacement parts via smart and authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers."
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Smart, the Daimler brand responsible for those little city cars you see all over the place in European cities, but rarely in American suburbs, has been on an interesting ride in recent years. A couple of years ago, the Smart went electric-only in the U.S. and Canada, where small car sales are waning and EV sales have yet to take off — though it continues to sell internal combustion versions in other markets. Most recently, we heard rumors of a possible demise of the brand before Daimler confirmed that Smart would live on through a joint venture with Geely, and that the next generation will be built in China. Now, as TechCrunch reports, Daimler plans to stop selling the smart brand in the U.S. and Canada after the 2019 model year.
Autoblog has reached out to Daimler for confirmation, and will update this story when we hear back.
According to TechCrunch, a spokesperson told the outlet, "After much careful consideration, smart will discontinue its battery-electric smart EQ Fortwo model in the U.S. and Canadian markets at the conclusion of MY2019. A number of factors, including a declining micro-car market in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs for a low volume model, are central to this decision."
The report states that Daimler will continue to support current Smart owners in the U.S. and Canada for both gas and electric markets through their Mercedes-Benz dealerships, which will provide service and parts.
According to sales tracking site GoodCarBadCar, sales of the Smart Fortwo in the U.S. have dropped from 6,211 units in 2016 to 1,154 units in 2018. It reports just 231 sales in the first quarter of 2019.
It's unlikely many will miss the Smart lineup here in the U.S., where the roads are dominated by pickups and crossovers. The people who want one probably already have one. We'll shed one small tear, though, for the future turning-circle enthusiasts who will never know what a 22.8-foot radius feels like. And Daimler won't be completely without all-electric vehicles on our shores, as Mercedes-Benz will launch a new family of EVs here with the EQC in 2020, followed by other electrics that people are more likely to buy.