CC Outtake/News: Smart Exits North America – With A Rooftop Luggage Box

Here’s a new variation of the CC Effect™: Yesterday I saw this Smart with two guys in it and a big rooftop carrier heading out. My big regret is that I couldn’t get a shot of it from the side, as the combination of Smart and carrier made it look taller than in length. Whether they were off on a trip or even leaving the country is pure speculation, but the news this morning is that Smart is saying aufwiedersehen to North America.

Well, maybe that’s the wrong word, as strictly speaking aufwiedersehen translates as “to your return”. That’s not very likely.

Smart has been a problem for Daimler all along, and bringing them to NA wasn’t likely to help. But fear not, Daimler has found a more suitable location and a partner too: China. Just last month German parent Daimler announced that it was creating a joint venture with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to build a new generation of Smart models in a purpose-built electric-car factory in China with global sales to begin in 2022. Bingo!

Smart sales have been in a free fall since shifting to a new all-EV strategy. All of 1276 were sold in 2018. Realistically, sales have been declining for years here. It’s just not the right car for this market.

Mercedes says it will continue to support Smarts sold here. But I suspect they will likely disappear a bit faster than average. Another orphan brand, along with Daewoo, Suzuki, and a few others.