Smart, Germany’s micro-car answer to Mini, is being raised from the dead again. To be fair Smart isn’t dead, it’s like a cat reaching the summit of its quota of 9 lives. The brand is now 50-50 owned between Geely Motors and Mercedes. Together they are planing a Sino Teutonic re-rebirth. The plan is to turn Smart into an all-electric car brand. Not in 2030, when all European car manufactures will be mandated to sell only electric cars, but in 2022. Smart will turn into a kind of test bench for both Geely and Mercedes who will implement knowledge and engineering development gains into their respective future all-electric car brands e.g. Mercedes and Volvo.
The first model to launch will be a Mini Countryman rivaling SUV which is currently codenamed HX11. According to industry insiders and well-placed sources, the HX11 will be designed by Mercedes and engineered and manufactured by Geely.
The HX11 will be powered by a 70kWh battery and a rear-mounted electric motor producing 268bhp offering a maximum range of 275 miles. Pricing is not yet known. Due to the 2020 pandemic, Smart sold around 27,000 vehicles in Europe during 2020.
Typically, annual sales figures in the region fluctuate between 55,000 and 100,000. But sales are almost non-existent in America where Smart sold just 680 cars for the entirety of 2019. But the 2020 pandemic registered zero (yes number 0) cars sold for the entire year.