Dealers used to selling large luxury vehicles are starting to appreciate that small can also prove to be beautiful, according to Mercedes-Benz UK managing director Dermot Kelly.
“When we introduced the Smart brand, it was clear some of our retailers regarded city cars as an inconvenience to their operations. But things have changed of late as they recognise that buyers of big cars are also buying smaller models because they’re so convenient to use in city centre and are much easier to park.
“The brand has matured and developed and is providing service and parts business and true profit in the showrooms.
“We sold more than 7,500 examples last year and have started taking orders for the diesel, which has the lowest CO2 emissions in the market at 88g/km. And because residual values are so high, discounts are relatively low.
“We started by having one Smart franchise in each of our 35 market areas, but the network has since grown to 56 outlets as more of our satellite hubs are taking up sales and service.”
Kelly said the Smart was now doing ‘very well’ for dealers as a result of increased demand for upmarket versions with high-end technology.