Mercedes-Benz is coming off of its best sales year for its luxury vehicles. However, regarding its small Smart cars, it is a different story. The Smart cars have been a big headache for the German automaker.
During most of the last 13 years that the Smart has been on the automotive scene, the car has lost Mercedes money. The Wall Street Journal reported that regardless of the slight increased in the car’s sales last year, global buying of the Smart has been down 26 percent from its 2008 level.
In an effort to turn things around, Smart featured a mini pickup truck at the Detroit North American Auto Show. In addition, Mercedes’ Smart division featured an electric bike and an electric version of the Smart Fortwo that will be on sale later this year.
You know the old saying – If you want it done right, do it yourself! Thus, Mercedes has taken over Smart marketing and sales of the car (Since 2008 Mercedes had outsourced the car’s distribution through the Penske Automotive Group).
To be successful, analysis say that Mercedes needs new small cars and the ability to build such cars at much lower costs. To this end, in 2010 Mercedes joined with Renault and Nissan to gain small car knowhow and share common platforms.
With fuel efficient and well equipped cars such as the 2012 Toyota Prius C and Scion iQ, Mercedes is really on the move in a big way with the Smart!