Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Smart done with gasoline cars in Canada

Smart done with gasoline cars in Canada

Daimler announced Monday that it will stop selling gas-powered Smart cars in the United States and Canada and turn its North American model range completely over to electric cars, Reuters reports.

While the gas-powered version might be leaving the USA and Canada, Mercedes says that the electric version of the Smart auto will go on. According to a report in the Scientific American, completely electric cars counted for 1 percent of new auto sales in June of 2016. The current arrangement is to stop the production of North America in April while the sales continue until all units will be sold.

After this year, Smart drivers will still be able to service their gas-powered Fortwos at authorized dealers.

Moran did not specify whether the electrified transition would affect the 85 Smart dealerships in the U.S.

The Smart vehicle, built in France, is based on a 1998 design and has changed little in looks over the years. Last year, Smart sold just 6,211 units in the US and 1,875 units in Canada.

The halt in production of the fuel variant seems to be less due to environmental concern and more due to the current demands of the US and Canadian markets.

Despite the promising number of the initial 30,000 reservations ahead of the launch, Smart never became a big seller. They sold 24,622 cars in 2008 but only 5,927 in 2010. This indicates how poor the sales figure was for the smart auto.

The decision hasn't been made public yet, but a Smart spokesperson told Digital Trends that dealers were recently informed of the looming changes by Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dieter Exler.

Mercedes-Benz USA sold 6,211 Smart cars a year ago, down 16 percent over 2015, as US gasoline prices have remained low.

However, Mercedes says that the fourth-generation Smart electric vehicle will start this summer. From that point on, the company's US and Canadian lineup will consist only of an electric coupe and a matching convertible.

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