Published: Wed, February 15, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

The smart fortwo will be an electric-only model by 2018

The smart fortwo will be an electric-only model by 2018

That is compared with worldwide sales of Smart top quality vehicles of 144,479.

Smart broke the news to its dealers in a letter in which Mercedes-Benz CEO Dietmar Exler told them the decision was precipitated by "developments within the micro-car segment (that have presented) some challenges for the current smart product portfolio".

Mercedes-Benz USA sold 6,211 Smart cars past year, compared with global sales of Smart branded vehicles of 144,479. Instead, the brand will limit USA and Canadian sales to just the battery-powered Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, or ED. Starting in 2018, dealers will only sell the electric drive variant. It will discontinue the gas-powered version in the United States after the 2017 model, although a gas-guzzling model will still be available in Europe, according to Digital Trends. The modification does not apply to other markets outside these two regions, Daimler stated. Last year, Smart sold 6,211 cars in the USA, and 1,875 in Canada, the latter of which was more than double the number sold the year before.

The move follows Smart's steadily declining sales in recent years as increased demand for crossovers and SUVs have been fueled by low gas prices.

This announcement, revealed in a letter obtained by Automotive Newslate yesterday coincides with the timing of Daimler's announcement of the new generation Smart ForTwo electric drive models launching this summer.

The new all-electric powertrain consists of a 17.6 kWh battery and a 60 kw (81 hp) three-phase motor.

Smart released its 2017 models went in early December past year, but it still has 2016 models in dealer inventories. The tiny vehicle featured a three-cylinder, 70-horsepower engine.

Due to the decline, Mercedes funneled many of its Smart cars into the auto sharing service Car2go.

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