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Here's an idea. I belong a RV brand owners club and we have national rallies every year. During the odd numbered years the rally is always at the same location. During the even numbered years, the rally is different parts of the country so to accommodate those who can't travel as far.
I love this idea!  Still it comes down to how to get in contact with the owners?  SMART Insider is a great tool, but not all SMART owners are members.  Our dealership has contact information for a lot of owners, but not all.  There has got to be another way to get contact information for owners.  Obviously owners of 450's are pretty much off of the radar, but the 451's have got be in someone's database.  I've run into this problem in Denver for our upcoming party.  I know that I am reaching only a small portion of the owners, but other than just driving around and hoping to run into others, I don't have another outlet.  Is this something that DVI would be able to assist with?
Smart Car of America is another good source of contact but it also has the limitation that not all smart owners are members.  Local dealers are still our best source for contacting owners.  They should have a data base that they could mail information to.  Maybe even have email addresses for some of their owners.  I know that I first heard about the KC Nationals at an smart anniversary party at our dealer then did research online to learn more.

Russell Glissmann said:
I love this idea!  Still it comes down to how to get in contact with the owners?  SMART Insider is a great tool, but not all SMART owners are members.  Our dealership has contact information for a lot of owners, but not all.  There has got to be another way to get contact information for owners.  Obviously owners of 450's are pretty much off of the radar, but the 451's have got be in someone's database.  I've run into this problem in Denver for our upcoming party.  I know that I am reaching only a small portion of the owners, but other than just driving around and hoping to run into others, I don't have another outlet.  Is this something that DVI would be able to assist with?
Basically these would be regional events, no problem with that.  Anyone can set up an event and make it happen.  If the idea is to schedule several regional events at the same time, that presents problems in terms of support from DVI and the few smart parts vendors - they can't all be in different places at the same time. 

Putt Putt said:

Why not have regionalized national events?  Great to have one in the center of the country , but it would be a lot of driving for some folks.   It could consist of five events a year:  the South west, North West, Plains , South East and North East.  This may make for more of a turn out .

If we were approached with the idea of a "Clean-up", I might have tried to resuscitate the club we tired to start out of the englewood dealership.   There are ALOT of smart owners in this NYC metro area (where are they?) that may have wanted to do something like that.  Talk is cheap.......

Let's hold a National Orphan Rally in Minneapolis!

Shoot a commercial: Unbought, Unservice, Undealer  :)

 

Jim Gausman said:

Let's hold a National Orphan Rally in Minneapolis!
smart usa doesn't support any events, when they have events they don't include owners.  I think, after a burst of activity, and some progress on the dealers, they are back to real quiet

The MB Smart USA has only been in existence a few months.  They did send a couple people to the Wisconsin Dells event, even had some freebies if my memory serves me right.    I think we need to pursue the idea of getting them to help sponsor either a few regional type national events like Putt Putt suggested or another Nationals Event.  Maybe alternate years between regionals and full National.   Even if we do get DVI involved we still need dealers to be involved in the large events as well.  Sponsors are important to success.

Regionalized events would hopefully reach those smart owners who don't want to drive half way across the country to attend an event and probably draw some folks who love the really long 2 to 3 day drives.  I think I fall in the category.

Jill, 

I think they went to Dell's out of curiosity. There's close to 50,000 out there who bought before MB got involved. Now MB has been back since Feb. If they want owners support, now is the time to encourage it. Your suggestions about events are good, but they don't seem interested

 

Smartville in France is a fantastic facility utilizing a great business model and ecological considerations at every turn.  Smart has so many innovative safety and automotive convenience features, plus the greatest "look" imaginable.  I just don't understand why MB corporate and local dealers don't embrace smart as an integral member of the Mercedes family?!!
Since we don't know what's going on behind the scenes I think it would be prudent (not to mention fair) to cut the new DVI folks some slack and see how things shake out.  It's premature IMHO to starting throwing rocks at them for perceived slights.  They were at the Dells in June, did participate, talked with owners and provided those neat swag bags.  They were all prepared to go to the Spring Nationals in Daytona next March but the event fell through - lack of owner support.  It's a two way street - if we expect DVI to reach out to the owners the owners have to step up as well.  This is a work in progress and we can either be part improving things or not - our choice.
Thank you!

jwight said:
Since we don't know what's going on behind the scenes I think it would be prudent (not to mention fair) to cut the new DVI folks some slack and see how things shake out.  It's premature IMHO to starting throwing rocks at them for perceived slights.  They were at the Dells in June, did participate, talked with owners and provided those neat swag bags.  They were all prepared to go to the Spring Nationals in Daytona next March but the event fell through - lack of owner support.  It's a two way street - if we expect DVI to reach out to the owners the owners have to step up as well.  This is a work in progress and we can either be part improving things or not - our choice.

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