Smart will lose more than two-thirds of its U.S. retail outlets once Daimler’s smallest brand switches to selling all-electric vehicles only in the States.
According to Autonews, this means that Smart will be left with just 27 dealerships, which is less than what Lamborghini, Ferrrari and Lotus have. From a total of 85 outlets, 58 of them are said to move to a service-only type of operation, stated spokeswoman Donna Boland.
As for the 27 remaining dealerships, they’re largely concentrated in states with zero-emission mandates, allowing for “the highest market penetration potential,” added Boland.
Currently, cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Portland are targeted by Daimler executives as favorites to support the brand moving forward without petrol power. Even Penske, which launched Smart in the U.S. back in 2008 decided to drop sales at five of its six U.S. locations, although they will continue to sell the EV version of the ForTwo in San Diego.
The updated Smart ForTwo Electric Drive coupe and convertible are scheduled to go on sale before the end of the summer as 2017MY cars in the U.S.
Despite this eco-friendly and finance-based switch, gasoline-powered 2016 and 2017 Smart ForTwos still remain in stock at dealerships, with lease deals currently starting from $89 per month for 2016 models and $109 for 2017 models.