PARIS -- Smart hopes to match its global sales record by 2025, which is when its product lineup will have expanded to three models from its new joint venture from one now.
"If we reach the 130,000 mark in 2025 we’ll be super happy," Smart Europe CEO Dirk Adelmann said at the Automotive News Europe Congress here Wednesday.
The brand's record was set in 2008 when it sold 134,700 cars.
The record came when Smart was a 100 percent subsidiary of Daimler.
In 2020, Smart became a 50 percent joint venture controlled by Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand and Chinese automaker Geely Holding. The aim of the JV was to make full-electric cars that would be sold in China and Europe.
Today, the JV's models are designed by Mercedes, while Geely engineers and assembles them in China. The first car produced by the partners is the Smart #1 (pronounced hashtag 1), which is often found in the same dealerships as the electric-only Smart ForTwo minicar, which is sold by Mercedes.
Sales of the #1 small electric crossover started in Germany in January and in France this month. Germany and France are where the brand has its largest customer bases, Adelmann said. Spain will get the car next as Smart aims to have the #1 available in 11 European markets by year-end.
The brand's next model, the #3 compact crossover, was unveiled in Shanghai in April and will make its European debut at the IAA in Munich in early September, Adelmann said. He added that a concept for the third of the three models from the JV will come soon, but won't be revealed this year.
When asked whether there would be a direct replacement for the ForTwo, Adelmann said the two-seat model would continue to be produced by Ineos Automotive at Smart's former factory in Hambach, France, until mid-2024.
What comes after hasn't been officially announced but Adelmann said, "You might have noticed that we have saved the #2 name for something special."
The #1 shares its Sustainable Experience Architecture underpinnings with the Volvo EX30 and Zeekr 001 and 009. To differentiate itself from Volvo and Zeekr Adelmann said Smart will position itself as a "light premium" brand that would be "at eye level" or a little below Volvo while Zeekr will be below both.