Daimler to decide future of Smart by the year’s end
Daimler is reportedly losing patience with the struggling Smart brand and will decide on its future by the end of 2019.
According to sources close to the matter, Daimer’s new CEO, Ola Kallenius, has "no scruples about killing the brand if necessary.” Kallenius will take over from Dieter Zetsche in May.
Since it launched in 1998, Smart has racked up “billions of euros” in losses. According to analyse from researchers Evercore ISI, it loses between 500 million euros and 700 million euros annually, despite engineering the ForTwo and ForFour alongside Renault’s Twingo. However, Renault is reportedly considering pulling out of the partnership.
In an effort to stem the blood loss, Daimler had previously committed to turning the brand into an electric-only urban-mobility company. However, the move might end up being too costly.