View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
February 15, 2011

US: Smart distribution changing hands

Mercedes-Benz is to take over distributing the Smart brand from Penske Automotive Group in a move that appears to have been prompted by corporate model range average fuel economy rules.

Mercedes-Benz is to take over distributing the Smart brand from Penske Automotive Group in a move that appears to have been prompted by corporate model range average fuel economy rules.

The pair said in a statement they had “started discussions to transition the distribution rights, management, sales and marketing activities” and expect to complete the move by the end of June.

“The proposed change marks a further step in implementing the future growth strategy of the Smart brand. It also reflects last year’s reorganisation at headquarters in Germany, where its is now managed as an independent brand but is fully integrated into Mercedes-Benz Cars business unit of Daimler.”

The statement added: “The addition of the fuel efficient [petrol and] electric vehicles to the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio underscore the company’s commitment to meet even more stringent fuel economy standards in the future.”

The number of US Mercedes-Benz dealers selling Smart cars will drop to the mid-50s, down from the current 75 at dealerships owned by the Penske group, but would later be expanded, a Mercedes-Benz spokesman told Reuters.

Plans for a five-door hatchback supplied on an OEM basis by Nissan Motor have been axed and the next new Smart developed as a global car by a Daimler-Renault/Nissan joint venture.

US sales of the Smart Fortwo in 2010 were 5,927, down from 14,595 in 2009 and 24,622 in 2008, the news agency noted.

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every quarter.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Auto