ATLANTA -- Mercedes-Benz 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.
Canadian sales of Smart vehicles fell 6.3 per cent to just 345 units in 2018. U.S. Smart sales in 2018 plunged 58 per cent from a year earlier to 1,276 cars. Smart went full electric starting with the 2018 model year.
Last month German parent 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 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.