Daimler to sell half its stake in Smart to Geely, Reuters reports

28 March 2019 - Autoblog

Daimler to sell half its stake in Smart to Geely, Reuters reports

Smart has a new boss, but patience is running thin for the money-loser

A new report from Germany's Handelsblatt says Daimler will decide the fate of its money-losing Smart microcar brand by year's end.

Dieter Zetsche and his signature white mustache will retire in May, taking his support for the brand with him, and designated successor Ola Källenius was steeped in Mercedes-Benz's AMG world of performance cars. Meanwhile, Kartrin Adt, a former Daimler Human Resources VP who took over as head of Smart last September, has yet to formulate a strategy to steer the brand to profitability and has reportedly focused on energizing the brand and looking for a partner in China, including with Volvo owner Geely.

"Ola has no history with the Smart," Handelsblatt quotes an unnamed insider as saying, and no scruples about burying the brand.

It's not the first time the brand's future has been cast into doubt. Last fall, rumors circulated that Renault was likely to pull the plug on its partnership that created the Smart ForTwo and Renault Twingo, which share a platform.

The publication said the brand hit an all-time global sales high of more than 150,000 in 2004, and it's been mostly downhill since then, having never turned a profit since its introduction two decades ago. According to CarSalesBase.com, sales of the ForTwo have dropped from a high of 24,622 in its first year in the U.S. in 2008 to just 1,276 last year. In Europe, Smart sold 62,361 FourTwo models last year, and 97,346 vehicles in total.

Smart's latest plan is to convert to an all-electric urban mobility brand, though that might be too costly, and hence the shopping for a partner in China. At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, Smart showed what it called the Forease+, a curious two-seater concept and update on the Forease shown last year in Paris. It features a hard fabric shell roof with a soft fabric cover with no side or rear windows and no climate control.

News By Tags

A1A2ACAPAcidentealfa romeoAlfa Romeo GiuliaAlgarveAljustrelAmaranteappleaston martinauctionaudiAudi A3Audi A6Audi e-tronAudi q8Audi Rs4Audi Rs6BarreiroBejabentleybikebikesBMWBMW 2 SeriesBMW 4 SeriesBMW 8 seriesBMW M3BMW M4BMW m5BMW X3BMW x7bmw z4bombeirosBragaBrasilBrazilBrexitBugattibuying guideCabrioCaminhaCampeonato Nacional de Velocidadecar rentCarlos GhosnCarro elétricocarros usadosCascaisCastelo BrancochinaChryslercitroenclassicclassic carclassicsCoimbraconvertiblecoronavirusCrash Testcrash testsCristiano RonaldoCupraCupra Formentorcustom cardaciaDacia DusterDacia Sanderodieseldiesel scandaldieselgatedrag raceDucatielectricEMELemissionsEspanhaEspinhoEstacionamentoestradasEUEuropaeuropeevFafeFaroFCAFerrariFiatFiat 500Fiat 500eFiat 500XFiat PandafordFord FiestaFord Focusformula 1FranceFrankfurt Motor ShowGenesisGeneva Motor ShowGermanyGNRGondomarGoogleGovernoGuimarãeshondaHonda CivichybridHyundaiHyundai TucsonitaliaItalyJaguarjeepJeep CompassJeep GladiatorJeep WranglerkiaLA Auto ShowLamborghiniLancialand roverLand Rover DefenderLand Rover DiscoveryLeirialexusLisboaLisbonLotusLouléMaçãoMadeiraMaiaMarco de CanavesesMatosinhosmatrículasmazdaMazda CX-5Mazda MiataMcLarenMercado automóvelmercedesMercedes S-ClassmetrominiMini CooperMini CountrymanMini John Cooper WorksMitsubishiMitsubishi OutlanderMorganMOTOCROSS E ENDUROmotorcyclemotorsportNew York Auto ShownissanNissan LeafNissan QashqaiOlhãoopelOpel CorsaOpel MokkaOvarPalmelaparcómetrosParedesPenafielPeugeotPeugeot 208Peugeot 508Peugeot 508 SWpickuppolicePonte de LimaPorschePorsche 911Porsche CayennePorsche MacanPorsche TaycanportagensPortoPortugalProdução automóvelPSAPSPradaresRalicrossRamRange RoverrecallrenaultRenault CapturRenault DusterRenault MeganeRenault Zoerent a carrestorationsafetysafety ratingsSafety testsSamsungSanta Maria da FeiraSantaremseatSeat CupraSeat LeonSeat TarracoSergio MarchionneSetubalSintraskodasmartSmart ForTwospainspy shotssubarusupercarssuvsuzukitaxitechnologyteslaTesla Model 3Tokyo Motor ShowtoyotaToyota Hiluxtoyota supraToyota YaristrucktuninguberukUnited StatesUSAValençaValongovendasVendas de carrosViana do CasteloVieira do MinhoVila Nova de FamalicãoVila Nova de GaiaVila RealVila VerdeViseuvolkswagenVolkswagen GolfvolvoVolvo XC40vwVW CaddyVW golfVW PoloVW T-RocYamaha