On this day in auto history - November 4th

Wed 4th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 2005 that production was finally ended on the problem hit Smart Roadster following dwindling sales across Europe.

First introduced as a concept car at the Paris Motor show in 2000, the Roadster was an extension of Smart’s successful city coupe (later named FourTwo), a radical microcar which had enjoyed a successful launch the previous year.

Production delays meant that Roadster version wasn’t introduced until 2003 but it still proved a big hit with European customers initially, easily surpassing break-even sales projections of 10,000 units in its first year. 

The Smart Roadster was a critical success too, with influential motoring television show and magazine Top Gear awarding the vehicle its ‘Fun Car of The Year’, however, widespread leaking problems soon became apparent amid a flurry of warranty claims and negative publicity.

With warranty work said to be costing over £2,000 on average, it soon became apparent the Smart Roadster was deemed for economic failure and parent company Daimler decided to withdraw the vehicle from the market having sold 43,000 models in all.