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Smart will build an electric rival to the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo
China’s Geely partners up with Daimler to turn Smart into a fully electric brand
It’s officially official: Smart is now an electric-only carmaker. Well, it will be an electric-only carmaker.
That’s because China’s Geely Group (which owns Volvo, Lotus) signed a 50-50 joint venture with Daimler (the very top of the Mercedes/Smart/Maybach/AMG tree) to build little electric cars from 2022.
And build these little electric cars in a completely new electric car factory in China.
Though you probably knew that Smart was going fully electric. Makes perfect sense if you ask us. The new deal goes something like this. Until 2022, Smart will continue to build the EQ fortwo and EQ forfour. After that, Mercedes-Benz’s design team will style the new generation of electric cars, while Geely will build them through its global engineering centres.
And as part of Geely and Daimler’s development programme, Smart will also build an electric car that’ll sit in the class above – the ‘B-segment’. In human terms, this means cars like the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio. The latter two of course, are among Europe’s best-selling cars, full stop.
“We fully respect the value of Smart,” explains Geely boss Li Shufu. “As equal partners, we are dedicated to promoting the Smart brand globally. We will leverage our experience and global competencies in brand management, R&D, manufacturing, supply chain management and other areas.”
Dieter Zetsche, boss of Daimler, added: “We will jointly design and develop the next generation of Smart electric cars that combine high-quality production and known safety standards for sale both in China and globally.”
So, there you go.
Pictured: the Smart Forease+ concept