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16 08 2017 01

More than two-thirds of U.S. Smart retail outlets have opted to stop selling Daimler's microcar brand after it switches this year to offering only electric vehicles here. The shakeout will leave Smart with just 27 dealerships, fewer than even Lamborghini and Lotus.

Mercedes-Benz USA, which distributes Smart in the U.S., asked dealers to decide by the end of June whether to continue selling the ForTwo two-seat vehicle, the brand's sole nameplate. Of Smart's 85 outlets, 27 said they would remain, while 58 said they would move to a service-only operation, said company spokeswoman Donna Boland. Those numbers are preliminary, she said.

The 27 remaining Smart dealerships are largely concentrated in states with zero-emission vehicle mandates and that give Smart "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Daimler executives had said they expected the remaining dealerships to be in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Portland, Ore.

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