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Could you please import the current (soon to be "old") Mercedes A-class as a smart re-badged "forfive"? Then we could be a completely smart household :) and Mercedes would not hurt their brand image in the US by having another smaller, more fuel efficient car in the line-up. Price point should be starting somewhere around the $25k mark.
Great idea and I'm also a big fan of that car.  But, the A-class has been redesigned (photos are all over the web) and has lost its smart-like shape to become a lower, more streamlined 5 door hatchback.   Mercedes has been quoted as saying the new A-class will come to the USA sometime in this decade, for what that's worth.  Yeah, they could fob the old car off on U.S. buyers (or try to) but I think M-B won't go down the Crossfire path again.

toes said:
Could you please import the current (soon to be "old") Mercedes A-class as a smart re-badged "forfive"? Then we could be a completely smart household :) and Mercedes would not hurt their brand image in the US by having another smaller, more fuel efficient car in the line-up. Price point should be starting somewhere around the $25k mark.

I kinda like the idea of the old A-Class as a smart forfive..it did always have a shape of a smart.  But I think the larger concern or me (which worries me about the four-seater smart that is supposedly coming) is that it can't just be a four seater with a smart badge on the front, hello old forfour.  it has to be SMART.  And I'm not sure ANYBODY knows exactly what that means, inside or outside MB.   Does smart = size? Efficiency?  Recyclable components?  All of the above?  I dont know, but I look at that upcoming BMW i3 and I think to myself, damn...that's what smart should be doing.

 

i3 if you haven't seen it: http://www.bmw-i.com/en_ww/bmw-i3/

 

I'm with you on that one -- I've wanted one for years, and the new one all over the web, if it is the new one, just looks like a BMW wannabe with little utility.  Has all the cleverness gone out of MB?

toes said:
Could you please import the current (soon to be "old") Mercedes A-class as a smart re-badged "forfive"? Then we could be a completely smart household :) and Mercedes would not hurt their brand image in the US by having another smaller, more fuel efficient car in the line-up. Price point should be starting somewhere around the $25k mark.

Win gave me permission to copy his post from today to this forum in order to get wider circulation and hopefully let corporate know of his experience with their customer service---

 

 
WinStuart's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Golden Valley
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I live in Golden Valley, MN and had my 30,000 miles service done at Lupient Brooklyn Center in late June. The rumor there is that the Smart dealership was up for grabs and Feldman Mercedes was balking at taking over Smart sales and maintenace. 

HOWEVER, this afternoon, while filling up at Costco for gas, my car wouldn't start. The space on the display where the transmission selection displays was three solid horizontal bars. I called the Smart emergency line and went through a useless series of recoreded questions. I finally respeated no, no, no to everything and a real person (Scott) came on the line. He works at a contracted call center and knows nothing that isn't written down in the SOP. He said he was contacting the Smart center in Bloomington and I cautioned it was closed. He then said he would contact the Smart center in Golden Valley and I said don't bother, it doesnt exist. I mentioned that Lupient in Brooklyn Center was servicing Smart cars. He put me on hold for 23 minutes. 
Having nothing better to do and remembering that there were previous electronic transmission selector problems, I tried to start in Drive, then in Neutral, then in Reverse, and then in Park. The three bars changed to "P" and the car started. 
When Scott came back on the line, he said he had made arrangement to have my car transported to the nearest Smart center 3-5-0 miles away to Milwaukee. I aksed if that was covered in my road side coverage. He said no, that it had explired in May, 2011 (my 3 year anniversary of Smart ownership). A little late to find that out!
I told him my solution (he really wasn't interested) and said I did not need further assistance.
WOW. This is terrible. I feel really abandoned by Smart USA and the folks in Birmingham, Michigan. If I get a flat, what do I do? I think I have to buy a rim and tire for each size and keep them in my garage. Has anyone kept in touch with the techs who worked at the original Smart center in Bloomington. I'd be glad to hire them. Your thoughts?

 

Did you really get it to start using your sequence in your post?


Stephen C Hokonson said:

Win gave me permission to copy his post from today to this forum in order to get wider circulation and hopefully let corporate know of his experience with their customer service---

 

 
WinStuart's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Golden Valley
Drive: Cabrio
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I live in Golden Valley, MN and had my 30,000 miles service done at Lupient Brooklyn Center in late June. The rumor there is that the Smart dealership was up for grabs and Feldman Mercedes was balking at taking over Smart sales and maintenace. 

HOWEVER, this afternoon, while filling up at Costco for gas, my car wouldn't start. The space on the display where the transmission selection displays was three solid horizontal bars. I called the Smart emergency line and went through a useless series of recoreded questions. I finally respeated no, no, no to everything and a real person (Scott) came on the line. He works at a contracted call center and knows nothing that isn't written down in the SOP. He said he was contacting the Smart center in Bloomington and I cautioned it was closed. He then said he would contact the Smart center in Golden Valley and I said don't bother, it doesnt exist. I mentioned that Lupient in Brooklyn Center was servicing Smart cars. He put me on hold for 23 minutes. 
Having nothing better to do and remembering that there were previous electronic transmission selector problems, I tried to start in Drive, then in Neutral, then in Reverse, and then in Park. The three bars changed to "P" and the car started. 
When Scott came back on the line, he said he had made arrangement to have my car transported to the nearest Smart center 3-5-0 miles away to Milwaukee. I aksed if that was covered in my road side coverage. He said no, that it had explired in May, 2011 (my 3 year anniversary of Smart ownership). A little late to find that out!
I told him my solution (he really wasn't interested) and said I did not need further assistance.
WOW. This is terrible. I feel really abandoned by Smart USA and the folks in Birmingham, Michigan. If I get a flat, what do I do? I think I have to buy a rim and tire for each size and keep them in my garage. Has anyone kept in touch with the techs who worked at the original Smart center in Bloomington. I'd be glad to hire them. Your thoughts?

 



jwight said:
Great idea and I'm also a big fan of that car.  But, the A-class has been redesigned (photos are all over the web) and has lost its smart-like shape to become a lower, more streamlined 5 door hatchback.   Mercedes has been quoted as saying the new A-class will come to the USA sometime in this decade, for what that's worth.  Yeah, they could fob the old car off on U.S. buyers (or try to) but I think M-B won't go down the Crossfire path again.

toes said:
Could you please import the current (soon to be "old") Mercedes A-class as a smart re-badged "forfive"? Then we could be a completely smart household :) and Mercedes would not hurt their brand image in the US by having another smaller, more fuel efficient car in the line-up. Price point should be starting somewhere around the $25k mark.

jwight, thank you for explaining that for everyone. I am aware that the "current" A-class is soon to be replaced in Europe, which is one of the reasons why I think it would make a great smart. The new A-class is just another dime-a-dozen luxury segment hatchback. I would never buy one, even if it came to the US. There are many other Mercedes Models currently unavailable in the US that I would be more interested in first (such as the C-class station wagon with a CDI engine and 4Matic) ... The A-class shares similarities with the smart fortwo that date back to both of the original models introduced in the late 1990s in Europe: the raised seating position with the sandwich floor, the fact that the smart was held up and re-worked with ESP, wider rear stance and wheels, after the A-class failed the "Moose-Test", the short overhangs and efficient / spacious interior in a (relatively) compact vehicle, and just plain the design appearance would make it a perfect member of the smart brand. Development cost have been amortized, but the vehicle design has life left in it (my of course superficial opinion). I have little hope that this would actually happen, but the forum was created to solicit input, and this is on top of my list of requests right now (after the dealership issue here in Colorado has been resolved - our new dealership is doing great so far). I feel rather ambivalent about any kind of Nissan or Renault partnership to create other smart models. If I want to own a Japanese compact, Nissan sells a few, Toyota/Scion now has the iQ in the US ... The smart brand needs a shot in the arm with the competition finally coming to the ball. BMW continues to show it with the Mini brand. Daimler Benz has work to do.
I'm sure M-B is all over the i3 - the running battle keeps both companies on their toes.  I'm with you - whatever the next gen smart is, fortwo, forfour, forfive, etc. it has to include the smart DNA and be built in the Hambach factory. 

Todd said:

I kinda like the idea of the old A-Class as a smart forfive..it did always have a shape of a smart.  But I think the larger concern or me (which worries me about the four-seater smart that is supposedly coming) is that it can't just be a four seater with a smart badge on the front, hello old forfour.  it has to be SMART.  And I'm not sure ANYBODY knows exactly what that means, inside or outside MB.   Does smart = size? Efficiency?  Recyclable components?  All of the above?  I dont know, but I look at that upcoming BMW i3 and I think to myself, damn...that's what smart should be doing.

 

i3 if you haven't seen it: http://www.bmw-i.com/en_ww/bmw-i3/

 

Tracy, thank you for listening.


At the recent Mid West Rally in Wisconsin Dells, a question was why there wasn't more advertising. I quickly responded, “Why should they? They have us!”


Amy and I became owners of our first smart last May and we love it. And it's true; we are constantly stopped and asked about our smart. We recently got our hands on a bunch of brochures and push cards and we keep them in our smart.


We are full-time RVers and travel with our smart in our toy hauler's garage. Currently the smart is the lightest car that fits in RV toy haulers. We always get the looks at campgrounds when people see us backing our smart out the garage. We have some of our pictures on this site.


We would love travel to car shows and events to show case our smart. I hope you will consider in your advertising a budget to sponsor us to these shows and events. It would be so much fun for us and I know we can help promote these cars. Amy may have this past week already. A man came to my wife a few days ago outside our RV and was so excited when she handed him a brochure and recommend him to Madison, WI. I have assembled a promotion book too for potential buyers to browse.


Thanks again.


Dave



DAVID W GRAY said:

Tracy, thank you for listening.


At the recent Mid West Rally in Wisconsin Dells, a question was why there wasn't more advertising. I quickly responded, “Why should they? They have us!”


Amy and I became owners of our first smart last May and we love it. And it's true; we are constantly stopped and asked about our smart. We recently got our hands on a bunch of brochures and push cards and we keep them in our smart.


We are full-time RVers and travel with our smart in our toy hauler's garage. Currently the smart is the lightest car that fits in RV toy haulers. We always get the looks at campgrounds when people see us backing our smart out the garage. We have some of our pictures on this site.


We would love travel to car shows and events to show case our smart. I hope you will consider in your advertising a budget to sponsor us to these shows and events. It would be so much fun for us and I know we can help promote these cars. Amy may have this past week already. A man came to my wife a few days ago outside our RV and was so excited when she handed him a brochure and recommend him to Madison, WI. I have assembled a promotion book too for potential buyers to browse.


Thanks again.


Dave


Dave, ads are needed, because there are a lot of misconceptions about the car out there and we are not PR professionals. We can contribute to the brand through our efforts, but a stronger support by Daimler-Benz will help sell more cars. Increased numbers of smarts will make for better support, more dealerships, further investments in the brand, and so on. Even the most successful of brands advertise (e.g. Apple). I just learned that the primary demographic of smart buyers in the US is/has been older, so there is a huge untapped field of customers in the first car buyers demographic, if ads can get their/their parents' attention and dispel myths about safety, etc.
We are into what's going on with our own cars, ie whats going on with our own situation. MB needs to provide support and service, and overcome misconceptions.

A program for owners to refer new buyers/owners would be a huge 'trackable' incentive program. Each owner would get a referral number. A info card on smart with room to place the owners name and referral number. A incentive discount on purchasing a smart for the buyer and a referral fee to the owner when the buyer buys the car.  This would give owners and buyers incentive to act and make the 'word of mouth' a real marketing tool and could be tracked by the owners ref. number. Right now there is no way to tell if someone buys a car through a owners effort or if that 'prospect' acted.

MJB

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