Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz business will discontinue sales of its full-electric Smart brand in the U.S. and Canada.
The luxury automaker blamed a "declining micro-car market" in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs. U.S. Smart sales in 2018 plunged 58 percent from a year earlier to 1,276 cars. Smart went fully electric starting with the 2018 model year.
Last month, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said it was creating a joint venture with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to build a new generation of Smart models in a purpose-built electric-car factory in China with global sales to begin in 2022.
Mercedes will continue to provide owners of gasoline-powered and electric Smart ForTwo models with access to service and replacement parts via Smart and authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers.
Even as Mercedes halts U.S. Smart sales, it is preparing to launch a series of its own Mercedes-branded electric models. The EQC compact crossover is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in 2020 and will be the first of a fleet of 10 full-electric EQ-branded vehicles.