Smart is ready to move on from its established image in the car industry and be more than just a minicar-maker who builds funny-looking vehicles.
Starting with its next new model, Smart will make an upmarket shift, while at the same time attempting not to interfere with Mercedes A-Class and GLA sales. According to sales VP Daniel Lescow, Smart is ready to unveil its first SUV.
The exec spoke with Automobilwoche, stating that this vehicle will be built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture, which will also underpin several cars under the Geely brand, reports Autonews Europe.
This platform will also be used for at least one more Smart model, which will also likely be an SUV, stated Lescow.
“Vehicle length alone is no longer a decisive factor for us… we have redefined the requirements for Smart,” he said. “We want to radiate even more premium and not appear quite so playful.”
Upcoming cars will also display new standards in connectivity, featuring over-the-air updates and partially automated driving systems. Unfortunately, Smart will not be returning to the United States any time soon, and will instead focus on developing a digital sales model in Europe and China with its existing partners.
“The potential is vast, not only in Europe but also in China. SUVs are becoming the most popular of all passenger vehicles in China. But don’t worry, our new SUV won’t just be for China – we’ll be bringing it to European markets,” wrote Lescow in a Linkedin post.
“We are convinced that our new SUV will quickly establish itself as a leader in the segment and spearhead a transformation in the meaning and the look of an urban, electric lifestyle.”