Soon, Daimler dealerships will only be able to sell all-electric versions of the Smart car range as the company plans to stop selling gas powered vehicles in the U.S. and Canada this year.
Compounded by low gas prices and the market’s shift towards SUVs and crossovers, this decision was made in light of the Smart ForTwo’s falling sales numbers in the US and Canada. While sales have been fairly strong with around 145,000 global deliveries last year, only 6,211 of those sales were made in the US.
In a letter obtained by Automotive News, Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told dealers that “with the launch of the fourth-generation Smart ForTwo electric drive this summer, the Smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero-emissions Smart electric-drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada.”
Gas powered Smart ForTwo coupe and convertibles will still be produced for North America until April this year and dealerships will sell what’s left of their stock. Replacing them are the all-electric ForTwo, ForTwo cabrio and ForFour.
Introduced last year at the Paris Motor Show, the new battery variants will have a 17.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery powering its three-phase synchronous motor. The motor is capable of cranking out 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque with a claimed top speed of 80 mph. Depending on the model, the Smart car could have a range of around 100 miles.
Perhaps this product shift could prove fruitful for Daimler as 25% of their 2014 sales consisted of electric vehicles.