Quindi il futuro delle Smart ForFour ma soprattuto della ForTwo è a rischio, considerando che non c'è più un partner nel progetto e che il marchio Smart non ha mai generato utili.
Al posto di Smart potrebbe arrivare una compatta di segmento B a marchio Mercedes-Benz per fronteggiare Audi A1 e MINI. Ovviamente sempre in partnership con Renault-Nissan.
Fonte: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/volk ... ets-smart/
While the smart brand lives on borrowed time, a sub-A-class small-star Mercedes is taking shape
Smart is in the process of going 100 percent electric, but this doesn’t mean that the marque has a future. Quite the contrary: according to various sources, Renault is going to pull out once the ForFour/Twingo reaches the end of its cycle, Mercedes is not interested in keeping the Smart car brand going all by itself, and whether Geely may want to jump in and lift the business case to a more profitable new level remains to be seen. Right now, the internal plan is that smart will be wound up by 2026 at the earliest. The question remains whether Mercedes will pull out of the segment completely, or if the new CEO Ola Kallenius might be actively looking for options to keep the three-pointed star in the race against Mini and the Audi A1/Q1/City. The board needs to come to a conclusion by 2021 when it must sign off the next A-class generation due in 2025. If we read the smoke signals right, the current MFA2 architecture will be replaced by a fully scalable, all-new convergence layout which covers a much broader product spectrum that could also include a proper baby Benz.
At this point, strategists and product planners are evaluating at least four different options:
Version 2.0 of a fully electrified Smart brand funded with a strong partner like Geely, a concept inspired by the cooperation between Mini and Great Wall. Probability rating: 3/5. Why? Because it is difficult and expensive to ensure that the outcome, which would likely be produced in China, is a proper fit for the global market.
Add a decontented entry-level two- or three-door model to the current A-class portfolio. Probability rating: 1/5. Why? Too late, too expensive, too compromised. The no-frills A-Class coupé was stillborn for exactly these reasons.
Engineer the MFA3 component set so that it includes a proper baby Benz priced at least 15 percent below the least-expensive A-Class. Probability rating: 2/5. Why? MFA3 is unlikely to be sufficiently advanced, flexible enough, or affordable for the conversion to a predominantly electric future.
Go ahead with the innovative convergence matrix codenamed MX1, which could be stretched from whatever shape the small Mercedes will assume for the C-Class/GLC replacement. Probability rating: 5/5. Why? Because MX1 covers BEV, PHEV, and ICE with a bias on electric drive. In addition, it introduces a new level of modularity as well as extended economies of scale, with or without a partner.
Cooperation remains indeed an option—even though the tie-ups with Mitsubishi and Renault delivered mixed results. Last year, Mercedes and BMW discussed the pros and cons of teaming up with regard to MX1 and the bigger MX2 version, but to no avail. BMW ended the talks, thereby relegating the team from Stuttgart back to square one. Although the baby Benz has since dropped a notch or two on the agenda, electrification is a more urgent topic than ever, and so are new vehicle types tailor-made for metro mobility, commuter services, and innovative user models. The reinvented Mercedes née Smart is far from an approved program, but what is tentatively known as U-class (the U stands for urban & universal) has undergone various feasibility studies in combination with different design proposals. Under discussion are the following fully electric variations:
U-class City, a three-door hatch with five-door option, short and tall with extra-long (relative) wheelbase.
U-class Shuttle, an on-demand last-mile shared transportation device combined with up-market services such as exclusive use, autonomous driving where applicable, special delivery, and drop-off.
U-class Cargo, a compact panel van operating in a pool, shared by service providers with city access.
In frivolous moments, product planning even considered off-beat stuff like an emotional metro cruiser, a U-class Open Air, and a back-to-basics two-seater positioned between the unloved two-door A-class and the short-lived Smart coupé. In terms of content, the emphasis is split between the standardized e-componentry and bespoke abilities like the interface with Big Data, personalized services, and safety & convenience features. If the business case still looks good in 2021, the U-class may turn out to be one of the smartest cars Mercedes ever conceived.