U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 16 mins

Daimler to focus Smart brand on electric cars in U.S., Canada: report

Mercedes introduces the 2017 Smart electric car at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) will stop selling cars under the Smart brand with combustion engines to focus on electric cars, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing a letter that Mercedes-Benz USA sent to dealerships.

Dietmar Exler, head of Mercedes-Benz USA, said in his letter that the sale of Smart cars with combustion engines would stop in September, the paper reported in its Tuesday edition.

It added that the carmaker would sell battery-powered versions of its Fortwo and Fortwo convertible models.

Daimler was not immediately available for comment.

Mercedes-Benz USA sold 6,211 Smart cars last year, compared with global sales of Smart branded vehicles of 144,479. Daimler's group deliveries, including its premium Mercedes brand, stood at 2.1 million in 2016.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Tom Heneghan)