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30 04 2019 02

ATLANTA -- Mercedes-Benz will discontinue sales of its full-electric Smart brand in the U.S. and Canada.

The luxury automaker blamed a "declining micro-car market" in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs.

U.S. Smart sales plunged 58 percent to 1,276 cars in 2018 compared with a year earlier. Smart went full electric starting with the 2018 model year.

Last month Mercedes and Smart parent Daimler said it was creating a joint venture with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to build a new generation of Smart models in a purpose-built electric-car factory in China with global sales to begin in 2022.

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