Smart Sales Collapse in September

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Smart, the tiny car brand of Mercedes-Benz, had another sharp sales drop in September. Across the United States, Smart sold only 605 cars, off 19.3% from the same month last year.

September’s performance was slightly better than the first three quarters, during which sales fell 25.6% to 4,044. Smart is one of the least expensive cars on the road, with a base price under $15,000.

Smart has gotten some harsh reviews. From Consumer Reports:

Tooling around in a Smart car is like owning a puppy: Everyone wants to see it, touch it, and ask lots of questions. But not everyone wants to deal with the headaches. With its elevated seating position, amazing maneuverability, and comparatively microscopic dimensions, the 2016 Smart ForTwo should make for an excellent city car. But the harsh ride and jet-blast noise levels will probably drive you crazy. And its 36 mpg overall isn’t great compared with cars that boast more room and comfort.

Smart ranks third from the bottom in the 2016 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study and at the very bottom of the 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

Smart has a road ahead so hard that it is difficult to imagine how it can navigate it.