Smart Dealer Network Shrinks
As part of its decision to only sell electric-powered vehicles in America, Smart will see its dealer body decrease to just 27 retail outlets from the current 85. Mercedes-Benz anticipates the transition will be largely complete by the end of the year and has confirmed stores that continue to sell the new Smart ForTwo Electric Drive in coupe and convertible form will be primarily concentrated in states with a Zero-Emission mandate.
Arriving later this summer as 2017 models, the new Smart ForTwo ED duo will be sold alongside existing gasoline-powered 2016 and 2017 ForTwos until those inventories have been liquidated. Hammered by relatively low gasoline prices and the rising popularity of SUVs/Crossovers in the U.S. market, Smart sales have continued to decline precipitously during the past 24 months. Year-over-year volume through July was down by 30 percent, totaling just 2,165 vehicles during that period.
More EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles…