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Dave Levin said:

To be fair, each MB franchise has to decide whether it is right for them to sell/service smarts. That may be 2 different decisions in that they could choose to ONLY service the car with less investment than would be required to sell the car.  Current sales volume makes it tough for some MB dealers to make the investment, and then only sell 40-50 cars/year (think 5000 smarts/yr shared by 100 smart centers).  If the volume could be increased 5x to 25,000/yr, then the dealers may want to sign up.  This is the true chicken and egg scenario...

The recent commercials on cable channels have helped increase awareness.  There is a lot of activity on the digital media front (i.e., Facebook).  Right now there are not enough sales to convince the current MN M-B dealers.  Let's hope the newer models (2013), longer warranty will help that situation.

Corky said:

I don't blame the dealers I blame MB/Smart. You sell someone a new car knowing their warranty is shortly going to be worthless is unconscionable. MB/Smart knew they weren't going have a dealer or service center yet continued to sell the damn things. That's wrong.....plain wrong, & I will do whatever I can to prevent them from selling as many as I can. Not an issue here but the internet cuts a wide swath.

Adds on facebook and Sundance are not the same as what main line auto makers have.  I have been watching football on NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN and not seeing one comercial.  When people ask me about my car and they get all exited until they asked were the nearest dealer is, when I tell them 90 miles away it is a deal breaker.  Don't complain about sales when it is your own policy stopping them.

Hey jwright,

Good eye and great catch. The EPA recently selected an alternative evaluation method to determine fuel economy for the fortwo. The new window stickers you saw reflect those recent changes.  While city and highway changed, the combined rating remains the same.  Thanks for the question.


jwight said:

Why the change in EPA ratings for 2012?  Saw a couple of cars at the Cincinnati holiday bash with new window stickers, EPA estimates are 34 city, 38 highway, still 36 combined.

Does this alternative procedure apply only to the smart?  If not, the car is getting a bad rap on fuel economy (although those figures are pretty much what my car gets in the real world.)

smart USA insider Admin said:

Hey jwright,

Good eye and great catch. The EPA recently selected an alternative evaluation method to determine fuel economy for the fortwo. The new window stickers you saw reflect those recent changes.  While city and highway changed, the combined rating remains the same.  Thanks for the question.


jwight said:

Why the change in EPA ratings for 2012?  Saw a couple of cars at the Cincinnati holiday bash with new window stickers, EPA estimates are 34 city, 38 highway, still 36 combined.

In the summer I get 45 MPG consistently.  Now in winter, that drops about 10 MPG, but that is due to the winter blend of gas that always trashes my MPG.

Kenny,

I agree 100%. We get a lot of looks and questions now about our Smart. Trouble is, most do not know who makes the car, that it is a Mercedes product, or Daimler product. I see no reason why MB, Daimler, or whoever shouldn't start to run more and BETTER commercials on network TV. I too have only seen the one "Unbig, uncar" commercial on the air. I see no reason why the new Smarts (and maybe they do), have a MB emblem on the car instead of a "Smart" emblem to signify who makes the car. I see no reason why owners in Minnesota still have no dealers. You have to advertise and support the car to sell them, and keep current owners. And why no news on more dealers in quite awhile? Is this all the Smart dealers we'll see in the US?

Kenny Andersen said:

Got to agree with Alan on this one.  IF the smart is going to be successful, and I think it could, MB has to get SERIOUS about it.  Flinging ANYONE (non-MB dealer) that was at least in-place was not-smart.  MB could have made a short-term contracts until an MB dealer picked up the brand etc.  The car needs MORE exposure.  Every time I drive mine I get tons of people asking me what it is!  It's been in the country nearly 4 years and people STILL don't know what one is?  How is that possible?  It's a great car for the city, and most people live in or very near a city -- it's a natural, but folks have to have confidence in it.  Sell it as an MB product (the average Joe REALLY doesn't know that), and get behind the car.  It will sell!

Russell,

Didn't realize there is a "winter blend". Guess that could explain almost our 10 mpg drop in mileage as well....

Russell Glissmann said:

In the summer I get 45 MPG consistently.  Now in winter, that drops about 10 MPG, but that is due to the winter blend of gas that always trashes my MPG.

It used to be that during the winter months the gas companies added MTBE to increase the O2 content.  This was to help reduce Ozone problems.  That got banned a few years ago, so I think all they do now is jack up the ethanol content, for the same purpose.  Even during summer there is ethanol, all in the name of decreasing Ozone and helping poor farmers sell their corn.

I can't imagine the smart is being singled out for punishment.  It may be that the smart was more affected by the new equation, but there were probably others as well.  It's not impossible, but really difficult to write a rule for a single car...

jwight said:

Does this alternative procedure apply only to the smart?  If not, the car is getting a bad rap on fuel economy (although those figures are pretty much what my car gets in the real world.)

smart USA insider Admin said:

Hey jwright,

Good eye and great catch. The EPA recently selected an alternative evaluation method to determine fuel economy for the fortwo. The new window stickers you saw reflect those recent changes.  While city and highway changed, the combined rating remains the same.  Thanks for the question.


jwight said:

Why the change in EPA ratings for 2012?  Saw a couple of cars at the Cincinnati holiday bash with new window stickers, EPA estimates are 34 city, 38 highway, still 36 combined.

Just that I haven't noticed any reduced EPA numbers for smart's supposed competitors (Fiat 500, Fiesta, Mazda 2, etc.)

Kenny Andersen said:

I can't imagine the smart is being singled out for punishment.  It may be that the smart was more affected by the new equation, but there were probably others as well.  It's not impossible, but really difficult to write a rule for a single car...

jwight said:

Does this alternative procedure apply only to the smart?  If not, the car is getting a bad rap on fuel economy (although those figures are pretty much what my car gets in the real world.)

smart USA insider Admin said:

Hey jwright,

Good eye and great catch. The EPA recently selected an alternative evaluation method to determine fuel economy for the fortwo. The new window stickers you saw reflect those recent changes.  While city and highway changed, the combined rating remains the same.  Thanks for the question.


jwight said:

Why the change in EPA ratings for 2012?  Saw a couple of cars at the Cincinnati holiday bash with new window stickers, EPA estimates are 34 city, 38 highway, still 36 combined.

Weren't the Fiesta and 500 both new this year?  They may have already used the new equation when calculating the current window stickers.  I'm not sure on the M-2...

You might have missed the Fiesta SFE Auto:

29

City

33

Combined

40

Highway

and the Hyundai Accent Auto:

30

City

33

Combined

40

Highway

Putt Putt said:

Fiat          27 city   34 highway     comb.  30  with auto trans

               30 city   38 highway     comb.  33 with manual trans

Fiesta      29 city   39 highway      comb. 33  with auto trans

               29 city   38 highway     comb.  33  with manual trans    

Mazda 2  28 city   34 highway      comb.  30 with auto trans

               29 city   35 highway     comb.  32 with manual trans

Right from the fuel economy guide for 2012 from the EPA


jwight said:

Just that I haven't noticed any reduced EPA numbers for smart's supposed competitors (Fiat 500, Fiesta, Mazda 2, etc.)

Kenny Andersen said:

I can't imagine the smart is being singled out for punishment.  It may be that the smart was more affected by the new equation, but there were probably others as well.  It's not impossible, but really difficult to write a rule for a single car...

jwight said:

Does this alternative procedure apply only to the smart?  If not, the car is getting a bad rap on fuel economy (although those figures are pretty much what my car gets in the real world.)

smart USA insider Admin said:

Hey jwright,

Good eye and great catch. The EPA recently selected an alternative evaluation method to determine fuel economy for the fortwo. The new window stickers you saw reflect those recent changes.  While city and highway changed, the combined rating remains the same.  Thanks for the question.


jwight said:

Why the change in EPA ratings for 2012?  Saw a couple of cars at the Cincinnati holiday bash with new window stickers, EPA estimates are 34 city, 38 highway, still 36 combined.

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