It appears Smart has finally gotten smart as the company has announced plans to withdraw from the United States and Canada.
In a statement, a Daimler spokesperson told TechCrunch “After much careful consideration, Smart will discontinue its battery-electric Smart EQ ForTwo model in the U.S. and Canadian markets at the conclusion of MY2019.” The spokesperson went on to say the decision was a result of multiple factors including a “declining micro-car market in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs for a low volume model.”
It’s true that demand has dropped, but Smart helped to put a nail in its own coffin when it decided to only sell electric vehicles in the United States and Canada. This caused a number of dealers to jump ship and sales, predictably, plummeted.
In the United States, ForTwo sales fell from 6,211 units in 2016 to 1,276 units last year. 2019 was looking even worse as the company only sold 231 vehicles through March. If that trend continued, Smart would have sold less than 1,000 units in the United States this year.
Those numbers are dreadful, but Smart sales in Canada are even worse. Last month, dealers only moved 11 units – a 68.6% decline from the previous year. Year-to-date sales were also awful as Smart Canada has only sold 45 vehicles since January.
Given the small sales, it’s no wonder why Smart decided to pull the plug. It’s also obvious why most buyers avoided the EQ ForTwo. The pint-sized electric vehicle has a range of just 58 miles (93 km) and that’s only 11 miles (18 km) more than the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.
Dealers will continue to sell their existing inventory and, in the future, Smart owners will be able to have their vehicles serviced at Mercedes-Benz dealerships.