Hot on the heels of Mercedes Benz Australia confirming that it was keen to make the Smart business model work in Australia, representatives have been forced to admit that the new version won’t be available in Australia for the foreseeable.
The German manufacturer’s Australian arm has been forced to accept that the business case, largely based on pricing, simply can’t work for the local market where competition is fierce in the compact car segment. See more on that story here.
“We wouldn’t have been able to get the new Smart until 2016 in any case,” explained Mercedes-Benz senior manager for public relations David McCarthy. “That said, we were definitely keen to make the case work for Australia.”
Buyers can still buy the current Smart though, which remains on sale in Australian showrooms for the time being in runout.
“The Smart brand will continue in Australia with the current model (MR 451) which is sold through authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers,” McCarthy said. “Those dealers will continue to provide service and support to the Smart range.”
McCarthy hasn’t given up completely yet though.
“The next chapter for the Smart brand in Australia is yet to be finalised,” he said. “At this stage the new smart (MR 453) will not be launched though.”
Mercedes-Benz Australia told CarAdvice that the company will continue to monitor potential smart brand opportunities in the market.