Published on January 20th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Proton Edar’s SMART Electric Car Will Not Be Cheap To Buy
Looks like this new SMART will be another electric car we can’t afford.
We have seen a number of electric cars being launched in Malaysia in the past year and all at high prices due to our low currency exchange rate. With middle class Malaysians still having to deal with a slow economy, no rise in salaries and thinning bonuses, the dream of owning an electric car is still a ‘dream’.
The reality is that some other Malaysians have made more money in the past year and these are the current premium electric car buyers. They are also ignoring good basic electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona and Renault Zoe and looking only at premium brands.
Now comes news that Geely (who revived Proton in Malaysia) will be bringing to Malaysia and also Thailand the soon to be launched SMART electric Crossover.
Yes, the SMART automotive brand is back and they have a full electric crossover for the global market. Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler and Geely, the parent company of Volvo (also Lotus Cars and Polestar) have jointly invested 2.7 billion yuan (USD388 million) into reviving the SMART with the total amount enough to transform SMART into a leading player in premium-and intelligent electrified vehicles.
Both Mercedes-Benz and Geely have enough experience in electric vehicles and it looks like this new SMART electric Crossover will carry enough shared electrification technology to make it a best seller in the mid-segment market.
This SMART EV (codenamed SMART Concept 1) was first shown at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA Mobility in Munich). At the opening of the show, both Mercedes-Benz and Geely announced that its fully electric city-car brand, SMART will be built in China for the global market.
The companies secured the regulatory approvals to formally establish SMART as a global joint venture based in Hangzhou Bay, Ningbo, and will have sales organizations in China and also Germany.
Development of the SMART full electric vehicle is to be shared between the two companies, with the design of the vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Design and battery engineering by Geely and what it terms “the Geely global engineering network.”
The compact electric SUV will also be the first model launched with cooperation from Geely, which now owns 50 percent of the SMART brand.
Meanwhile, just yesterday on the 19th of January 2022, PROTON signed a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) with EV brand SMART Automobile Company (smart) to work together to introduce the latter’s range of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) into the rapidly growing ASEAN automotive market.
The agreement will see both parties collaborating via Proton Edar, who will be appointed as the importer, distributor, and dealer for smart in Malaysia and Thailand, and smart Automobile (Nanning) Sales Co. Ltd. (a fully owned subsidiary of smart Automobile), who will fulfil the role of a gateway for smart to the region.
The signing ceremony took place virtually with Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Edar, and Ulf Nestler, Vice President of Finance for SMART, acting as signatories for their respective companies.
Also present to witness the event were Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON, Tong Xiangbei, Chief Executive Officer of smart and Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
So, what will the selling price be? Well, early estimates coming from Europe suggest a selling price from around the £35,000 mark which is about RM199,500 before delivery costs.
This means, we will still not be able to have a brand NEW electric car in our garage.