Currently reading: Mercedes: Smart's future is bright thanks to Geely deal
Geely brings larger scales and Volvo know-how to the table as EV brand becomes a joint venture
Rachel Burgess
News
2 mins read
12 May 2020

The future of Smart is far more promising than it once was, according to Mercedes R&D boss Markus Schäfer, as the EV brand establishes itself as a joint venture between Daimler and Geely.

The deal, completed in January, includes production of Smart vehicles in China. The brand will remain focused on electric, urban-centric cars.

Schäfer said that while Smart had been successful in terms of how it was received by consumers, it had failed to be commercially viable.

He said: “It was a successful product in terms of customers liking it and moving to an EV-only brand was a courageous step but ultimately we missed the opportunity to make it commercially successful.

“We need to increase volume. With current volumes, we don’t have scale and we need to be competitive in a world where larger volume – especially in this segment – is extremely important.

“Working with Geely, we have access to larger scales, Geely’s know-how and close co-operation with Volvo and our know-how of Smart and its history.”

He said the combined forces are now geared towards product design, which is based mainly at Daimler HQ, and working side by side in engineering. “This is a good basis for us to create a scalable platform and enough volume to be successful,” Schäfer said.

Smart is due to introduce new electric Fortwo and Forfour models by the middle of the year. By 2022, a compact electric SUV is expected.

Schäfer said: “We have the genes of the brand – and, with engineering and design power, we are off to a good start. In terms of product, I would say ‘stay tuned’.”

READ MORE

Geely and Mercedes complete Smart joint venture in China

New Smart Fortwo EQ and Forfour EQ priced from £16,850 

Q&A: Mercedes CEO on EV strategy, F1, Smart and more

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Smart Fortwo

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Comments
6

12 May 2020

because that's what we need more of! The fact that they've said that makes me wonder if they're about to lose the plot whilst trying to find it. Gordon Murray nailed what the fortwo should be when he did the T25, certainly as far as packaging goes, except it would be the forthree.

12 May 2020
russ13b wrote:

because that's what we need more of! The fact that they've said that makes me wonder if they're about to lose the plot whilst trying to find it. Gordon Murray nailed what the fortwo should be when he did the T25, certainly as far as packaging goes, except it would be the forthree.

So, Gordon Murray did what you say was what the Smart car should have been, well, I haven't seen one, have you?, I'm not doubting it'll be good, but, nobody decided to back him and start production, no magazine except Autocar has driven one(?), so Mercedes going with Geely (a slap in the face for Western car makers) , why?, why can't we in the West develope what we need.

12 May 2020

So Smart's future is bright, but it looks like the Smart car is dead, who care's about a brand? Looks like Smart will turn into a rival for SAIC's MG ZS.

If this plague thing lasts seems like now is perfect timing for the Citroen Ami.

 

12 May 2020

So Smart's future is bright, but it looks like the Smart car is dead, who care's about a brand? Looks like Smart will turn into a rival for SAIC's MG ZS.

If this plague thing lasts seems like now is perfect timing for the Citroen Ami.

 

12 May 2020

As a long time smart owner (I've had 8), I'm glad they are investing in the brand. I hope they manage to get range up to an acceptable level, as the current range is way off pace. Expected in the fortwo, but the forfour should have been given a bigger battery to complete with the new e-Up! triplets. 

12 May 2020

i was talking about the packaging, not the engineering model - which i also think is better. I'd imagine people didn't come running because innovation can be scary and everyone knows what they're doing with the conventional. 

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