Mercedes-Benz USA LLC and Penske Automotive Group announced in mid February they started discussions to transition the distribution rights, management, sales and marketing activities of smart USA from Penske Automotive Group to Mercedes-Benz USA. The transition is expected to occur by the end of the second quarter of 2011.
The proposed change marks a further step in implementing the future growth strategy of the smart brand. It also reflects last year’s reorganization at smart headquarters in Germany, where smart is now managed as an independent brand, but is fully integrated into Mercedes-Benz Cars business unit of Daimler AG.
During the past three years Penske delivered more than 45,000 smart cars.
The addition of the mini smart for two and smart for two electric vehicles to the Mercedes-Benz USA’s product portfolio underscores the luxury brand’s commitment to meet even more stringent fuel economy standards in the future. The smart fortwo achieves EPA estimated 41 mpg in highway driving.
Manufactured by Daimler AG, smart is currently sold in more than 40 countries, and more than 1.2 million smart fortwo’s have been sold worldwide since 1998.