Wolfgang Ufer, smart CEO Deutschland. Foto: smart Deutschland

eMove360° Interview: smart CEO Germany Wolfgang Ufer

From niche product to new premium electromobility. For the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language, Sabine Metzger spoke to smart CEO Germany Wolfgang Ufer about the special features, equipment features and fleet suitability of the smart #3 and the brand’s plans for the future.

What distinguishes the new smart #3 from the smart #1?

Wolfgang Ufer: While we basically designed the smart #1 as a versatile, stylish family car, with the smart #3 we are placing particular emphasis on even greater driving dynamics, a sportier design and even more range. The smart #1 is the practical SUV, the smart #3 the sporty SUV coupé. The smart #3 accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers in 3.7 seconds and has a purely electric range of 455 kilometers according to WLTP. This makes it a real benchmark in its segment.

The smart #3 is particularly appealing to people who value a sporty, elegant design in an SUV coupé. Even our entry-level model, the smart #3 Pro, comes with outstanding equipment features as standard: with features such as the halo panoramic roof, which creates an open, spacious atmosphere. In addition to its long range, the smart #3 also offers plenty of space for all occupants – the vehicle is 4.40 meters long. The trunk volume also speaks for itself: the 5-seater has a trunk capacity of up to 1,160 liters.

What equipment variants are available?

Ufer: We currently offer five equipment variants for the smart #3. Our smart #3 Pro has a smaller battery and is therefore aimed primarily at urban drivers as an entry-level line. The smart #3 Pro+ is even more comfortable and has a greater range than the #3 Pro. Our customers get the greatest range and full equipment with the smart #3 Premium. The full equipment also offers Matrix LED headlights, a head-up display and a Beats sound system. The #3 BRABUS is a very good choice for those who value top sporting performance in everyday life or at work.

As usual with our collaborations with BRABUS, you get a sporty look with larger wheels. There are also aluminum pedals and all-wheel drive. The Beats sound system is also standard. Our limited 25th Anniversary Edition is also currently available. The smart #3 25th Anniversary Edition stands out with its exclusive look. We have combined design features of the premium version with elements of the Brabus version and the Galaxy panoramic roof also brightens up the interior.

What is the target group for the new smart #3?

Ufer: The new smart #1 and smart #3 models are aimed at young and young-at-heart tech enthusiasts, design lovers and, due to the space available, also at families. The smart #3 is the sportier model for all those who like to drive with performance. This makes the smart #3 an ideal companion for everyday use but also for longer journeys. We have not only designed the smart #3 for urban areas, but with its range and driving characteristics it also appeals to customers outside urban centers who value sustainability and advanced technology and are looking for a lot of driving fun.

What equipment features were particularly important?

Ufer: For us at smart, customer satisfaction is paramount, which is why we attach great importance to the fact that our vehicles offer a comprehensive range of equipment right from the entry-level line. Each model comes almost fully equipped, which simplifies the decision-making process and at the same time shortens production and delivery times. The focus is on high-quality workmanship and an elegant interior that also reflects the smart DNA. We work with a simple line concept so that companies can choose the respective lines and the vehicle owner then only has to decide on the colors and details. This makes the configuration process much more streamlined.

An important feature for us is the load capacity of smart. All models and lines – with the exception of the Pro Line – are equipped with a 22kW AC charger. This continues to be the benchmark in the industry and was important to us from the outset during development. With our wallbox, it is possible to fully charge your smart #1 and smart #3 within three hours – and cost-effectively at home.

In which price categories does the vehicle fall?

Ufer: The smart #3 Pro has a base price of 38,490 euros. For this price, you get a really well-equipped vehicle with a range that is absolutely sufficient for customers who mainly travel in urban areas. The Pro+ model is available for a small surcharge for those who need a longer range more often. The #3 Premium costs 46,490 euros. Our most exclusive model is the BRABUS version with a price tag of 50,990 euros. Thanks to the Line concept, all vehicles already include the assistance systems, the panoramic roof and other features that are already included in the price. This gives both the smart #1 and the smart #3 in all lines an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

Is the vehicle also interesting for fleet customers?

Ufer: For fleet customers, the switch to fully electric smart vehicles is worthwhile. An e-fleet generally reduces the use of wearing parts, maintenance costs and operating costs. Compared to combustion engines, there are still tax cost advantages that make an e-fleet attractive. From the driver’s point of view, the long range and fast charging of the battery speak in favor of our new generation of vehicles. We also make vehicle configuration as easy as possible with our Line concept: thanks to the comprehensive standard equipment, it only takes a few clicks to complete the configuration. In addition, all models are priced well below 60,000 euros, which is why company car drivers benefit from the 0.25 percent tax. We also offer many safety features, such as a 360-degree camera. And this is already available from the Entry Line upwards.

Our fleet offering is aimed not only at service companies and medium-sized companies but also at large companies. Our fully electric vehicles are powerful and have a long range. Our partnership with Digital Charging Solutions guarantees all customers access to charging points across Europe, and the fast charging time also speaks for itself. In addition, every smart purchased or leased comes with an integrated service package. This includes a maintenance and wear package that covers all inspections and maintenance for three years or up to 45,000 km. There is also an optional warranty extension of three years with no mileage limit as well as roadside assistance for up to eight years or 160,000 km with regular maintenance by a smart partner.

Is a #4 or, according to smart-invoice, #5 already being planned and what further plans does smart have for the future?

Ufer: With the restructuring of the brand, smart wants to grow and appeal to more people through larger products and respond to their needs. As a result, smart is developing from a niche product into a new premium electromobility. We are also transforming into a multi-product brand and will be releasing many more exciting products in the coming years. Things remain exciting about our reorganization – you should definitely stay tuned. We look forward to announcing all information and new developments here in due course.

Thank you for the interview.

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14.03.2024   |  

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