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The MB dealers are not all selling or servicing smarts.  In Tucson, Az the dealer will service but not sell.    If yours sells it is in the minority in the USA.

There was never any intent for all M-B dealers to sell/service the smart.  Penske had about 75 smart centers, M-B USA hinted they would have around 100 but no solid number has been released so far. 

Alan F. Webber Sr. said:

The MB dealers are not all selling or servicing smarts.  In Tucson, Az the dealer will service but not sell.    If yours sells it is in the minority in the USA.

Okay, here’s my smart (or brain fart) Christmas commercial.

Scene 1: From a distant you see eight smarts driven by elves towing Santa in his luxury MB. As the Santa is towed in front of you the announcer says “It may take eight to tow Santa but it only takes one to have fun.

Scenes 2-9:  Show the eight smarts being used in 8 different fun locations or activities. i.e., beach, curvy mountain road, smart driving out of a RV toy hauler (my favorite), traveling easily through traffic, parking easily, etc.

Scene 10: The eight smarts parked in front of a special place, then showing all the elves having a great time of fellowship.

jwight;  Penske didn't have proper coverage so that makes it ok for MB?

I service my own, but a 1/2 dozen people on smart car of America have stated they were getting rid of their smarts for lack of local dealers.  Still others claimed to love thier smarts but would never buy another for the same lack of dealers.  Sure seems that MB is missing the boat to me.

Frankly the whole business model was odd to begin with (not unlike the FIAT 500 model they got going on now!). They should have sold them through the MB dealers to begin with (along with the old A class (the new one is an aberration)), and saved everyone the expense of putting in new dealerships, but rather than build brand, in typical bean-counter fashion, they went for quick franchising profits over long-term stability and growth.  Meh, I'm not in charge -- I 'guess' they know what they are doing... ?

What's proper?  smart will be lucky to sell 5K cars in the US this year; divide that by the 300+ total M-B dealers and you get ~15 cars per dealership/year.  That's what we're asking if every dealership had to carry the smart. 

Alan F. Webber Sr. said:

jwight;  Penske didn't have proper coverage so that makes it ok for MB?

Hey, dwight, don't think you have a dog in this fight.  Stick to your long list of Ohio civic groups.  

We in Minnesota are in need of service and a dealer in our state.  Like MB, I wish you would sometimes just stonewall it.  MB does what it wants without you as their perpetual loyal advocate.


jwight said:

What's proper?  smart will be lucky to sell 5K cars in the US this year; divide that by the 300+ total M-B dealers and you get ~15 cars per dealership/year.  That's what we're asking if every dealership had to carry the smart. 

Alan F. Webber Sr. said:

jwight;  Penske didn't have proper coverage so that makes it ok for MB?

We're back to the old chicken and the egg.  Are the few sales because people don't like the smart or lack of dealers.  If you don't have a dealer how can you buy, duh.  If you keep lack of service the people who bought will abandon ship, get some dealers while it is not to late to turn it around.

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!

Sorry, think you have me confused with someone else.  Never owned a Civic! :D

The issue is sales and service nationwide (although MN is certainly a high priority.)   No connection to M-B at all, other than a pretty much satisfied smart owner.  Prepare to keep reading....

Stephen C Hokonson said:

Hey, dwight, don't think you have a dog in this fight.  Stick to your long list of Ohio civic groups.  

We in Minnesota are in need of service and a dealer in our state.  Like MB, I wish you would sometimes just stonewall it.  MB does what it wants without you as their perpetual loyal advocate.


jwight said:

What's proper?  smart will be lucky to sell 5K cars in the US this year; divide that by the 300+ total M-B dealers and you get ~15 cars per dealership/year.  That's what we're asking if every dealership had to carry the smart. 

Alan F. Webber Sr. said:

jwight;  Penske didn't have proper coverage so that makes it ok for MB?

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.

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