Smart ForTwo production ends at Hambach

The page is officially turned. After over 25 years, the Hambach, France, plant has churned out its last Smart ForTwo. It’s the end for the small 2.5-m car that was seen as a revolution in urban transport.

The Hambach plant, often nicknamed ‘Smartville,’ has produced up to 140,000 cars yearly. However, the plant, which benefited from billions of euros from Europe, will now only produce the Ineos Grenadier. Production of newer Smart models, #1 and #3, will continue in China.

‘Smartville’ Hambach produced up to 140,000 Smart models during good years /Mercedes

‘Smartville’ since 1998

Mercedes announced it for the end of March 2024, and the company is on time. Last month, the last Smart EQ ForTwo rolled out of the production line in Hambach, France. It’s the end of an exciting yet painful chapter in Mercedes’s history since starting production in 1998.

Seen as a revolution for urban mobility, the 2.5-meter two-seater was initially planned to be electric. An evolution that came much later. Smart has since sold more than two million ForTwos across three generations. Despite that, management in Stuttgart repeatedly made it clear that Smart never made a profit.

The Hambach plant will now only be producing the Ineos Grenadier off-roader /Ineos

Two brothers

In 2019, it was decided that Smart would be brought up to date with the help of Chinese manufacturer Geely. ICE would be phased out, and other models would be produced in China. Since then, we’ve seen the birth of the #1 and #3. Two (way) larger brothers are fully electric and produced exclusively in China.

Despite then Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche announced that there would be a next-generation, electric smart car, the days of the small two-seater are numbered.

The current Smart EQ ForTwo doesn’t comply with new EU regulations /Mercedes

With the compliment of Europe

It has to be noted that production numbers and financial issues weren’t the only nails in the Smart ForTwo’s coffin. Thanks to new cybersecurity regulations that small city cars don’t comply with, Europe has also contributed.


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