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Corky,

It's not that we aren't sympathetic to your plight, but you may be able to catch more flies with honey as the saying goes.  Consider getting all the the smarts in the area to do a meet and greet at some of the local MB dealers (think 30-40 cars swarming in on them unannounced!).  Bring donuts and your enthusiasm for the car to the local sales staff.  Take them for a ride (my guess is most of them have never even ridden in a smart car!).  Also, in the mean time, see if you can find a local mechanic willing to do the usual scheduled maintenance and have all the local smarties support him for taking them on.  It sucks for sure, but try and make the most of it.  We know, from your previous posts how you feel...



jwight said:

Could you just label this repetitive rant as #1 or something similar - would save space and spare us the too frequent exposure.  You need to be posting on the MN M-B dealers Facbook pages, holding rallys in front of their dealerships and beating them up in the local papers if you want to put the spotlight on them - they are the problem, not M-B USA

Corky said:

If you don't like the rants don't read them. How do you figure the local dealers are the problem? I didn't buy a car from them, I bought it from a dealer  that "M-B USA"  took the franchise from. These dealers owe us nothing......M-B USA does.

.  Although, running around making a point of telling everyone who asks not to buy a smart isn't likely to encourage any one of those dealers to carry the smart line.  Just a thought...

Corky said:

Maybe I'll heap praises on the Smart, encourage people to buy one so a local dealer jumps on the opportunity to take on the brand. LOL......I'm to old to fall for that one. As far the frequent rants, it might help someone to avoid making a costly mistake.


Corky A Freeman said:

A bone????? How in the hell does a company expect to sell anything when they take a huge dump on a large swath  of their customers? And don't think MN is a fluke......expect more. The cars are a very limited, niche item & there are areas where the demographics aren't favorable to the type of car that Smart is. Think the one in Madison, or Omaha is immune from deciding these things aren't worth the hassle of trying to sell a niche item? Then what?

Some people have gone so far as to compare the smart dealers closing with other brands like GM, Chrysler, Ford etc. Difference is closing some of them doesn't equate to a big deal as there are enough remaining to amount to a minor inconvenience.......not so with the smart.

Hopefully mine stays together for the duration as I don't care to find out how really "great" Smart takes care of its customers.

The facts are:  MB has a minimum requirement for service that only allows qualified dealers to handle the smart line. There are 3 dealers in the MPLS area, only one qualifys for the smart line. That dealer was the original dealer for smart in Minneapolis. They have chosen to NOT handle the smart line. They originally sold the line to another independent dealer (under the Penske ownership) When MB took over, they pulled the dealership as they were not a MB dealer. Anyone who had purchased a car in the last few months were then forced to drive to Madison WI for service work. (200+ miles) 

This is NOT a dealership issue. It is a MB issue. All they would have to do is work out an agreement with the dealer they pulled the line from  and everything would be fine. For whatever reason they have, they do not want to do this. Showing up at a MB dealership in mass will not prove anything. The only dealer qualified has had smarts and they didn't make enough profit on them to justify keeping them. A pure dollars and cents decision. 

MB needs to step up and work something out. 

I like the Swarming idea! Maybe have a cruise to the Redwing meet and start it at the Bloomington location! we can swarm from the entire midwest area!

probably because they didn't think of it!  Yeah, Gordon Murry is a pretty cleaver guy.  I'd buy the T-25 in a heartbeat!  Plus I REALLY like the fact that it's even smaller!

Putt Putt said:

A while back there was a conceptual drawing of a three seat smart much like the seating arrangement of the t25 only a bit larger, but obviously went on deaf ears or blind eyes. 

A feature I'd like to add on to my 2008 smart passion would be a tilting steering wheel. My 2 cents!

If smart were actually smart they would jump on this, make a deal with Gordon Murray, and start producing T.25s!  

Of course, being a Minnesotan, I cannot believe that smart is actually smart or they would have already found a solution to how to support the smart owners here.

Kenny Andersen said:

probably because they didn't think of it!  Yeah, Gordon Murry is a pretty cleaver guy.  I'd buy the T-25 in a heartbeat!  Plus I REALLY like the fact that it's even smaller!

Putt Putt said:

A while back there was a conceptual drawing of a three seat smart much like the seating arrangement of the t25 only a bit larger, but obviously went on deaf ears or blind eyes. 

If smart were smart...  let me count the ways!

Just heard the first radio spot for SMART!  Quick, but at least finally a commercial where it will actually get some attention!

When people ask me about my smart, I tell them how much I love it and about the great gas mileage that I get.  I tell them how much fun it is to drive.  I tell them how well I fit (I am 6'4'' tall). 

Then I tell them my feelings about MB:  I think that MB sucks!  I make sure to tell them that MBs are gas pigs and that they pay substantial penalties to the EPA because their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) does not meet the minimum EPA standards.  I tell them that because MB wants to include the smarts' fuel economy to help their CAFE that is the reason that they pulled the only smart dealership from the Twin Cities.

I also tell them that because mechanical data is not commonly available, that mechanics are very reluctant to want to turn a wrench on my vehicle and there are many things that can only be performed by a dealer (i.e. anything to do with the electronics).  When I tell them that the nearest smart dealer is in Madison they all seem to agree with me that MB sucks for how they handled the situation in the Twin Cities.


Jim VW said:

The facts are:  MB has a minimum requirement for service that only allows qualified dealers to handle the smart line. There are 3 dealers in the MPLS area, only one qualifys for the smart line. That dealer was the original dealer for smart in Minneapolis. They have chosen to NOT handle the smart line. They originally sold the line to another independent dealer (under the Penske ownership) When MB took over, they pulled the dealership as they were not a MB dealer. Anyone who had purchased a car in the last few months were then forced to drive to Madison WI for service work. (200+ miles) 

This is NOT a dealership issue. It is a MB issue. All they would have to do is work out an agreement with the dealer they pulled the line from  and everything would be fine. For whatever reason they have, they do not want to do this. Showing up at a MB dealership in mass will not prove anything. The only dealer qualified has had smarts and they didn't make enough profit on them to justify keeping them. A pure dollars and cents decision. 

MB needs to step up and work something out. 

I will continue to inform people about the excellent and intelligent design of the smart fortwo. 

I will continue to inform people that the transmission is virtually maintenance free; the power steering system is essentially maintenance free; the engine is chain driven which means the timing belt doesn't need replacement every 60 to 120k miles (like many other vehicles); the plastic body panels resist dings and dents far better than other vehicles on the road; the oil change interval is a legitimate 10,000 miles without trying hard; the brake pads last long, the tires don't require rotation and still last as long or longer than most other cars; the gas mileage is excellent; thanks to the self-shifting manual transmission the responsiveness of the vehicle is dramatically improved over the typical automatic or cvt transmission counterparts; the interior has high quality plastic for entry level pricing (sub-$13,500); the quickness and accuracy of the handling is brilliant at all speeds from a crawl up to high speed; the car comes with more safety features than even many luxury cars at high prices while not having to pay high prices; the rear wheel drive design with the engine mounted between the rear wheels is ingenious and contributes to improved handling, and traction under certain conditions; and more features to anybody willing to stand around long enough to listen to it.

I will also make sure they know that MB stands behind smart and offers a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty on the car.  I will also explain to them the benefits of the tridion safety cell and its strength along with the body panel concept that contributes to lower insurance costs to go along with lower fuel costs than most other cars.

I'll also make sure they are aware of how ESP benefits them.  How the smart ABS system incorporates Electronic Brakeforce Distribution to help keep them from collisions.  I'll let them know that the Acceleration Skid Control is a nice feature to have.  How Hill-Start Assist is convenient while on an incline, especially when parallel parking.  And more features than that.

And I'll make sure they know that smart is offering them excellent pricing on them.  Not high prices for more features.  Excellent, competitive, quite frankly low prices for such a well designed car.

That's what I will do when people ask me about the smart. 

Kamaal, and Putt Putt, I wish you all smart owners the best of luck.  I hope that you see that I am very impressed with my little car too.  I sing its praises all the time.  

I am sorry that I felt the need to share my frustrations with the mother company. I just wish that MB would let Minnesota know if there are any plans to ever restore service here.

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