We've started this discussion forum to create a space for smartUSAinsiders to share with us at smart your thoughts, comments, questions and ideas.

We can’t promise you that everything will be answered all the time but what we can promise is that everything will be seen and we will address as much as we can.

We are looking forward to your thoughts, comments, questions and ideas - open your mind...

 

 

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I agree with jwight, please be careful with the "we" are disgusted or "will go negative" comments.  I feel like when you use "we" that you are trying to talk for me and you can not do that. 

 

jwight said:

Careful with the "we" are disgusted comments.  You're certainly not speaking for me as well as lots of other smart owners.

Stephen C Hokonson said:

Minneapolis Media smart article

The above reference video/article was super.  The option for a follow-up by the same owner/reporter is possible. Furthermore, there are other local media contacts that may be interested in the incredible lack of smart service/dealers in Minnesota for all the Minnesota owners who now travel to Madison, Wisconsin for sales and service.  The promise of a "seamless transition" and dealerships that are "weeks away" from procurement are documented MB promises since February 2011.  We don't want to "go negative" on a car we love, but just being "used" to meet CAFE standards may make a eye catching MB headline, but as owners we are disgusted.



Jill Hobbs said:

I agree with jwight, please be careful with the "we" are disgusted or "will go negative" comments.  I feel like when you use "we" that you are trying to talk for me and you can not do that. 

 

jwight said:

Careful with the "we" are disgusted comments.  You're certainly not speaking for me as well as lots of other smart owners.

Stephen C Hokonson said:

Minneapolis Media smart article

The above reference video/article was super.  The option for a follow-up by the same owner/reporter is possible. Furthermore, there are other local media contacts that may be interested in the incredible lack of smart service/dealers in Minnesota for all the Minnesota owners who now travel to Madison, Wisconsin for sales and service.  The promise of a "seamless transition" and dealerships that are "weeks away" from procurement are documented MB promises since February 2011.  We don't want to "go negative" on a car we love, but just being "used" to meet CAFE standards may make a eye catching MB headline, but as owners we are disgusted.

 

"Sometimes others must speak for those who are weak", or drink too much koolaid. :O)  a2jack.

Tracey, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have a 2009 Passion Coupe. I totally agree with jwight's comments re: longer warranty, and with Mike T re: looking to the Canadian model for offering special editions. It would be brilliant to have a diesel version available in the U.S.

Also hoping that the crazed panorama roofs of Passion and Brabus coupe owners will be replaced with an improved version. It's not easy to show off our car to new potential smart customers when it has an obvious flaw. I don't want to spend a thousand bucks to replace my current roof with a new panel that will be crazing again within a short time.

Like others on this site, and Smart Car of America's website, I love my car and look forward to upcoming advertising, additional dealers, and want the brand to succeed.

Now that Penske is out and Mercedes Benz has taken control of smart usa, will smart dealers assist or offer pre-'08 smart owners service and repair?

Thanks

I have a black Brabus coupe (traded in a 2008 Passion coupe) with yellow panels from my original smart and my wife has a 2009 Passion cabriolet. You could say we're smart fans. We're excited that there may be an upgrade path when we're ready to replace out current cars. What would prompt us to stay "smart"? A less intrusive transmission, a turbo-diesel, and a better climate-control system.

Until then we'll continue to enjoy  our quirky/cute little cars.

Regards,

Dan

 

We need help in Minnesota. Right now I am seeing a hotfix for my transmission and I cannot find it anywhere.

The dealer who picked up the ball after Feldmann just had to send it back to you.

Minneapolis is a great market for your product. I live in Duluth and while MSP is 2.5 hours away I understand the commute I have to make but its better than 7 hours to Madison. There have been several dealers where local owners have approached to pick up the smart brand. We need your help!

How can we have a car rally without stopping by the local dealer to gather?

I've had, and thoroughly enjoyed, my cabrio for over three years.  I've been fortunate, in that I never needed to return to a dealer for service under the appallingly brief warranty period.  If I had needed to do so, I would have had a round trip of 600 miles to the nearest dealer.  That is, in fact, what I did for the two scheduled maintenance dates, including a night at a rather pricy nearby hotel in Buckhead.  Add the expense of the trip, the hotel, and the Mercedes Benz priced scheduled maintenance, and it's small wonder that the increasingly cool reception I received there left a bad taste in my mouth.

 

Hurray for the plans to advertize, this is LONG overdue and can't begin soon enough.

 

The warranty must be improved to something near industry norms.

 

I see the prospect of MB dealers providing service has been vetoed.   That is most unfortunate!!!  I think it is safe to say that most prospective buyers would find a deal breaker when confronted with a 500 or 600 mile journey to have warranty work done.  I knew what I was getting into and wanted the smart enough to accept the inconvenience and expense involved.  Few people would do the same.

 

You've got a very enthusiastic group of owners here in the USA.  They've been your best PR and sales force since 2008.  And, many of us feel the deal we got could be a lot sweeter than it is with a bit of customer support.

I would strongly suggest at least allowing customers to order the parts they need from local MB dealers, even if you don't want them working on the cars (how much training for most smart work is REALLY required? -- no brain surgery here!). having to travel 3-4 hours to an 'authorized' dealer is... how do I put this... not brilliant, and not customer service-oriented. People need to know they can get parts and service locally. If the local MB dealers could handle at least the very basic stuff, the the smart-trained dealers could handle both the regular and the complicated work -- just an idea. It's one of the biggest beefs about the car. Eliminating beefs is a good thing and will mean more product sold.
Tracey, thank you for the update on info! Some of us smarties have felt like we were possibly being left out of the loop.. I only recently (about 2 months ago) bought a smart fortwo passion, an 09, and I love Gizmo to pieces. however, I do fear having to replace the clutch eventually and I realized I already have a crazed roof. I spoke to my local Mercedes/smart dealership about the roof, and they said it's 'not a known problem'. How can it not be known when nearly every single smart owner has/is experiencing it?

MY SUGGESTIONS are as follows:
1) Fix the 'crazing' roof problem, with a recall that will offer to replace the roof. Those of us out of warranty cannot afford to replace something we need so badly, but is faulty =( There is a reason some people call the dealers, 'stealers'!

2) Offer a better alternative to the clutch instead of just replacing with the same new, weak clutch.

3) MAKE MERCEDES AND SMART DEALERS AWARE OF THE PROBLEMS WE'RE REPORTING, AFTER REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE WITH THESE CARS. We don't want to complain, but when something goes wrong and we can't get any help or even acknowledgement from our own dealers about it.. it turns to into disappointment and resentment, in some cases.

4) Offer more brochures with info on the cars, made readily available at dealerships for people to take and pass out. It's easy enough to tell potential future owners who are interested to check out smartusainsider.com or smartcarofamerica.com, but it's much easier and probably more helpful to just be able to look at a brochure. At the moment, smart owners everywhere are ambassadors for the brand, spreading the passion and enthusiasm for the car by word of mouth. While it's worked, it's not working enough since sales are still waning.

5) PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING have the Mercedes dealerships able to order smart parts, so that those of us willing and wanting to do our own service, CAN. it saves us money, since the scheduled service recommendations are SO expensive for an 'economical' car.

6) Possibly offer more special editions, options, and packages.. as someone else in this thread posted. The Brabus is great and all, but it was only offered a year and plenty of smart owners would love to own a turbo diesel, gas turbo, a pulse, or the high style edition smarts. More options means smart can reach out and please a variety of potential owners - why do you think Honda offers so many different versions of the Civic and Accord, along with so many accessories and packages and options? Because regardless of the fact that we all love the car, we want to make our smarts stand out from the crowd. Most of us have to turn to aftermarket companies that may be more expensive, and I'm sure that some of those owners would proudly and gladly sport different accessories and options on our smarts that are smart-genuine, rather than go outside the brand.

With all of this being said, I am completely confident that I made a great choice on buying a smart. I love my car, but every car has it's ups and downs. I just wish it were easier, more time efficient, and I could be confident that the problem would actually be taken care of.

A list of concerns were previously collected:

http://www.smartusainsider.com/forum/topics/questionssmartusa-on-the

and

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f188/questions-smartusa-tea...

 

This is the summary of the most listed concerns:

- WIS access/online manuals

- access to parts at select MB dealerships or all MB dealerships

- access to qualified service techs only at select MB dealerships or eventually all MB dealerships

- which dealerships are closing (list)

- warranty service management, (new and extended warranties)

- Maintentance Contracts (for those that have them)

- VIN related services (including common model isses related to the roof crazing, blower, clutch...)

 

Addtional concerns:

- marketing changes

- owner support for gaining/retaining the loyalty and passion to the brand 

- educating the MB USA staff on the smart

- smart gear availability

- Insider forum and what will happen to the history on the site

I have to say that Tracey's comment:

"On a related note, I’ve seen several questions as to whether smart service, parts and/or accessories – or the fortwo itself -- would be available at every Mercedes-Benz dealership. The answer to that is no: all sales and service will be at authorized smart dealerships where we will have trained personnel who can support smart to the level of your expectations."

Bothered me at first glance.

 

On the surface that sounds very disappointing. But. if there are 75 smartCenters attached to MB dealers and 25 more (attached to MB dealers) by end of year. That is great, I would hope to see more in the coming years as well. I realize that there are only 348 MB dealers in the US, and they all are owned by local companies. Those dealers must choose to 'carry' the smart as it is not in the 'Official' MB car line. I think as things move along over time more will 'take the plunge'. I hope so.

Overall, 100 out of 348 isn't too bad. Of course that does not soothe owners that have long distances between a 'home' smartCenter and where they live. Seems like there ought to be some MB owners out there with the same problem as us.  It's just gonna take time, Sigh...

 

Compared to a typical American auto manufacturer and the dealers they have, MBusa is still has a small 'footprint'. Penske himself has 172 dealers in the US plus another 151 worldwide.

 

As Pops and Carlito say...Let's be careful out there.

 

MJB

348 348 

 

yes, it is disappointing.  The 'problem' is that it wouldn't take much more than a little vision to accommodate the owners and make owning the smart a lot more pleasant.  General service on the car could be performed by anyone (especially including the owner!) why not let local MB dealers at least do that.  The amount of training is minuscule.  Traveling 3-4 hours (if not further) is frankly too much to ask of an owner and nothing but the real die-hard fanatic would submit himself to that.  If the car were super reliable, then that wouldn't be as big of an issue.

 

This, coupled with the fact that MB doesn't even make a manual that you can buy for the car really puts a unnecessary burden on smart owners.  The WHOLE point is to make ownership more pleasant.  Even though I do have a dealer near me, a lot of folks don't and with many dealer not servicing cars on Saturday... it could mean burning vacation time just to get your car worked on!  

 

Still, I work on my car myself because I trust me and I enjoy doing it.  A manual and the ability to order parts for the MB dealer would be a HUGE help.  It's the first car I have ever owned that I couldn't buy a manual for! I was actually shocked to find that out -- it never even occurred to me that a company would do that to it's customers!!

 

MB does have some sort of lame subscription service available, but it more geared toward larger shops and not the owner -- too bad... and it's a bit expensive to boot.  What we owners need for MB is a little vision and a plan to make owning and keeping our smarts on the road easier and more economical.

spicejax said:

 

On the surface that sounds very disappointing. 

 

Overall, 100 out of 348 isn't too bad. Of course that does not soothe owners that have long distances between a 'home' smartCenter and where they live. Seems like there ought to be some MB owners out there with the same problem as us.  It's just gonna take time, Sigh...

 

Compared to a typical American auto manufacturer and the dealers they have, MBusa is still has a small 'footprint'. Penske himself has 172 dealers in the US plus another 151 worldwide.

 

As Pops and Carlito say...Let's be careful out there.

 

MJB

348 348 

 

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