Mercedes-Benz’s Smart city car is the champion European money-loser, and
electric cars are likely to be the next big one, according to a report from Bernstein Research
The little two-seat Smart has lost a total of about $4.6 billion over the lifetime of the project, that’s the
equivalent of $6,100 per car, Bernstein said in a report, published at the same time as a survey from Foster
City, California based CarInsurance.com pointed to
the Smart as the most embarrassing car to be seen in.
“Our guess for the [future] most likely failures? We’d argue electric cars – from Renault to VW to BMW
– look likely to qualify. Electric vehicle evangelists seem to be enjoying a Tesla-powered rush of blood to
the head, after the American company’s sales success,” Bernstein said.
Renault of France has committed to spending $5 billion to produce a range of electric cars, and once
said global sales of battery-only vehicles would reach 10 per cent of global sales by 2020.
“But we’re not convinced that these European electric products can make money – in fact for the ones with big volume
hopes like Renault, they have the potential to lose a huge amount,” Bernstein
market teeters between recovery and relapse 17
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