GERMANY: Dealer group may dump Smart

By just-auto.com editorial team | 11 July 2005

The Lueg dealer group has closed two of its Smart sales outlets in Germany and may dump the struggling brand completely.

"We wanted to cancel the Smart contract, as we can't accept losses indefinitely," board spokesman Alexander von Gizycki said.

He said Lueg dealerships can only hang to the DaimlerChrysler subsidiary if "the manufacturer identifies a business solution that takes into account our investment in the brand."

Lueg still operates Smart dealerships in Essen and Dortmund, in northwest Germany, plus four satellite stores in the country.

Last year Lueg sold 2,410 Smarts giving it revenues of €28.4 million, both numbers were down 16% compared with 2003.

DaimlerChrysler announced its €1.2 billion turnaround plan for the unprofitable brand on April 1.

As part of the plan DC killed development of the ForMore SUV and said it will stop making the slow-selling Smart Roadster. DC also embarked on a series of cost-cutting measures at Smart such a staff reductions.

Automotive News Europe