Smart to Shut Down 21 Dealerships, Transition to Mercedes
The little brand that could — and more recently couldn’t — has been curtailed by its parents. Today, Mercedes-Benz announced it will reabsorb the Smart brand in the U.S. from Penske Automotive Group, the company that launched it in the U.S. in 2006.
The Smart dealerships will close at Penske’s expense. These are only stand-alone Smart dealers or franchises that do not also have a Mercedes store attached.
Smart will be integrated into Mercedes’ U.S. business in a move the company says isn’t because of a loss of sales momentum. Instead, the company says it needs the small Smart ForTwo and its 36 mpg combined EPA rating to tackle future CAFE ratings and to save costs overall.
We expect ForTwo to continue in its current form, and current owners will be able to have it serviced at the 58 remaining dealers. There’s no word if other Mercedes dealers will be able to service them.
Mercedes to take over Smart distribution from Penske (Automotive News)