While there are a bunch of projects in the works that will showcase the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, it looks like the smart brand won’t have anything to do with the Japanese automobile manufacturer. According to a report by Automotive News, the smart/Nissan collaboration is off—meaning the two companies will scrap the planned four-door smart model based on a platform from Nissan.
This news, coupled with the recent negotiations of Penske Automotive Group relinquishing distribution and marketing of the smart line in the United States to Mercedes-Benz USA, has some people thinking that we could be seeing the last of smart in America. Roger Penske, head of PAG, was quick to dismiss that conclusion. He said that PAG just didn’t have the kind of marketing muscle that was needed to effectively drive the smart brand in the US.
That task now falls to MB USA, which has far less dealerships all over the country (58). Plus, there will be 21 smart showrooms that will not keep their franchises because those aren’t sold together with Mercedes-Benz models.
Right after this report came out, it seems there has also been some noise about another collaboration being scrapped. This time, it’s the Nissan/Renault project dubbed the Quattro.