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Smart decision to come in May

by Nick Aziz

Will Mercedes sell the Smart brand in the United States? That's the question that has eluded answer for the past several months. Despite several significant announcements -- such as the discontinuation of the Forfour, the sale of the Smart Roadster design, and confirmation that the brand will be kept -- Chrysler has had a hard time making up its mind about its U.S. strategy. Today, AFX reported that a decision about whether Mercedes will begin selling cars in the United States will be made in May. If the company goes ahead with U.S. sales, it would likely follow the same model currently used in Canada -- selling Smart cars at Mercedes dealerships. While some importers are bringing Smart cars to the States, a deployment by Chrysler would be much more widespread. In addition to a basic assessment of demand, the debate likely centers around dilution of the Mercedes brand. Should Mercedes suck it up and sell the compact two-seats? We think so.