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Archive for the ‘Smart’ Category

Daimler to Go “Carbon Neutral” Under “Ambition2039″ Sustainability Plan

Company credited with inventing the I.C. engine is helping to put it to rest, says environmental group.

by on May.13, 2019

Mercedes revealed the U.S. version of its first long-range EV, the EQC Edition 1886, in NY last month.

The automaker that effectively brought the internal combustion engine to life appears ready to drive a nail into its coffin.

Daimler AG, the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands says it expects plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, accounting for fully 50% of its sales by 2030, with a goal to go completely “carbon neutral” by 2039.

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“One of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint,” Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s next CEO, said during a conference in its headquarters city of Stuttgart on Monday morning.


Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

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The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.


As Sales Spiral Down, Daimler Kills Smart — in the U.S.

Kitschy partnership with Smart never lived up to expectations.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Smart car has offered battery-power options for the fortwo in the United States.

After years of trying, Daimler AG is ready to give up trying to sell Smart cars in the United States.

The German automaker said it plans to suspend sales of all-electric Smart EQ fortwo cars in the United States and Canada this fall at the end of 2019 model year. Officials from Mercedes-Benz USA have confirmed after reports of the brand’s demise in the U.S.

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The Smart EQ is currently the only Smart model on sale in the U.S. but through the first quarter Smart sales have fallen to less than 300 units, leaving the brand in dire straits. (more…)

Genesis Goes Urban With Mint Battery-Car

Is this the “ideal city car” for the Big Apple?

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Genesis Mint concept could hint at a high-end city car using the brand's upcoming battery platform.

Genesis is plugging into this year’s New York International Auto Show – quite literally, with the Mint, a battery-electric city car concept making its debut at a media preview.

Targeting the likes of the now all-electric Smart fortwo, the two-seat Genesis Mint could be “the ideal city car (for) New York, suggested Manfred Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand.

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Whether the luxury brand has specific plans to bring the Mint to market is uncertain, but company officials have confirmed they are working up a flexible battery-electric “architecture” that will be used for an assortment of future all-electric vehicles, with the first likely due to market in about two to three years.


Geely Gets Smart with Daimler

Automakers form 50-50 venture to produce electric smarts.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Daimler and Geely executives celebrate the signing of their new deal.

Just as Daimler AG’s Smart division appeared to be on the outs with the support of Ola Kallenius, the incoming chairman and CEO, the company’s largest shareholder, Geely, swooped in and saved the oft-near death quirky brand.

In recent weeks, its been reported – including by – when current Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche retires shortly, the primary supporter of the Smart brand would no longer be around to protect the underwhelming product line and soon-to-be-top-dog Kallenius, who isn’t a fan, was ready to kill the vehicle.

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However, the company’s top shareholder, Chinese automaker Geely Motors, which bought a nearly 10% stake last year, jumped in at the last minute to save Smart by forming a new 50-50 joint venture between the two companies to produce the tiny EV in China. (more…)

Smart Looks to be on the Chopping Block at Daimler AG — Again

Plans to make it a battery-electric may not save it due to lack of profits.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Incoming Daimler AG Chief Ola Källenius doesn't have any emotional tie to the Smart brand.

After being reportedly on the chopping block several times during its existence, it appears Daimler AG’s Smart brand is once again considered to be endangered and could be cut by the end of this year because it’s a money loser.

According to a report from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, soon-to-retire Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche is a big supporter of the microcar line-up and basically the primary reason for its continued existence.

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His successor, Ola Källenius, doesn’t feel the same level of commitment to the small car. Further, the brand’s new leader, Kartrin Adt, hasn’t been able to put together a plan that will make the brand profitable.  (more…)

Daimler Getting Smart With Forease+ at Geneva Show

The new model is a more practical, down-to-earth version of the forease.

by on Mar.04, 2019

Smart is introducing the next iteration of its forease concept: the forease+. The hardtop can be seen at the Geneva Motor Show this year.

Daimler continues to tinker with its smart car brand, now an all-electric portfolio, and at the Geneva Motor Show it will show off its forease+, which is the next edition of its small electric, this time with a hardtop roof.

The smart forease+ is more than a showcar, Daimler claims, adding “it is the embodiment of the smart brand itself: individual, dynamic, sustainable.” The smart forease+ traces its origins all the way back to the forease, a small open air city car that debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show.

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Like its predecessor sibling, it features quirky headlights, an almost comically designed exterior and interior all brought to life within an iconically small footprint. However, as a city car, an idea which is quickly gaining steam, a standout model could succeed. (more…)

Future of Alliance with Nissan/Renault the Big Question as Zetsche Prepares to End Role as Daimler CEO

Zetche and Nissan/Renault’s Ghosn insist there is more to come during Paris new conference.

by on Oct.03, 2018

Zetsche and Ghosn first met when the German exec was working at Freightliner and the Brazilian-born Ghosn worked for Michelin.

Since launching the first in a broad series of joint ventures nine years ago, Daimler AG and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance have generated what they claim to be billions of dollars in “synergies” that have allowed them to expand their product lines and grow into new markets.

But in recent months, the future of that partnership has come under question. The last major new project was announced three years ago. And now, with Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche planning to relinquish the CEO title next year, that has raised new questions about whether his successor, Ola Kallenius, would keep the alliance going.

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“Without the chemistry between us, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Zetsche, during a joint news conference with Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn. But considering the results the partnership has generated, “I don’t see from my perspective why the momentum in this relationship should change.”


Shake-Up at Daimler Takes Zetsche Closer to Retirement

Ola Kaellenius set to become first non-German ever to run the 132-year-old company.

by on Sep.26, 2018

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche - shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with Arnold Schwarzenegger after debuting the new G-Class SUV.

Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler AG, will be moving up, and a step closer to retirement next year when he assumes the job of chairman of the German manufacturer’s Supervisory Board.

Easily recognizable with his brush mustache, Zetsche will turn 66 as he hands day-to-day control over to Ola Kaellenius, currently the director of vehicle development for the Mercedes-Benz brand. A 49-year-old Swede, Kaellenius will become the first non-German to head the company since it was founded 132 years ago.

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“In Ola Kaellenius, we are appointing a recognized, internationally experienced and successful Daimler executive,” said current Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff in a statement, adding that “With Dieter Zetsche’s intended appointment as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, we are ensuring continuity for the sustained success of Daimler AG.”