There is only one dealer in Denver, and although it's only a Smart dealer, it's owned by a conglomerate, that is to say it's owned by a company with multiple dealerships...
Monthly sales numbers here: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f65/latest-monthly-total-us...
Should have the Jan 2010 numbers in the next few days.
Keith got his smart said:I'm not really surprised that sales are down. After the initial "rush" from folks who had been wating a long time for the smart to come to the US I think a slowdown in sales was inevitable. Add in the economic downturn in general and there was bound to be a significant hit. Are there any figures on how far sales have fallen off?
My concern in all of this would be service support. My smart dealer in the Cleveland area shares the service facility with a Mercedes dealer. Is this the case everywhere? Even if my smart dealer goes under there will hopefully still be trained service techs to do smart maintenance.
It's going to take a lot more than rising fuel costs to bring Smarts into public awareness... My insurance company customer service rep didn't know what a Smart Car was and she works for Allstate, for heaven's sake. People still come up to me at gas stations and grocery store parking lots and ask me what it is, and I live in LOS ANGELES.
For two years I bugged Dave Schembri (we're friends) to let me narrate the ad campaign. I'm a voiceover artist and I told him I would do it for scale for the first year of the campaign, just to get the word out and help launch it. They should be running commercials during baseball games on TV, the Superbowl and during American Idol. Not everyone in this country likes, wants, or needs an SUV. But if they don't KNOW about the Smart Car, they're not going to show up at the dealerships.
One guy at a gas station was under the impression that they cost somewhere around $40,000 to buy. I was stunned. There is so much mis-information floating around out there and the only people that can set the consumer public straight is SMART.
My experience has been the same as Columbus' regarding the expensive extended warranty.
Also, I am amazed that, as I've been driving through the midwest and now southward toward the Gulf, how many people don't know anything about the Smart car, have never even seen a picture of it, and certainly never heard of it. Scary, after being in the U.S. since 2008. Some people simply stop cold in their tracks in the middle of the street, as if they've just seen a Martian.
I'm also concerned about the future of smartUSA. My two year warranty expired in April 2010 . I purchased an extended warranty but so far it hasn't covered any of the repairs or maintenance I've had.
I purchased the extended warranty just prior to the expiration of my original 2-year warranty. I was contacted by the dealer from whom I'd purchased the car (Houston North) and -- as I remember it -- was told I could not buy the extended warranty after my original warranty expired in September 2010. I purchased it through them (even though I thought it was overpriced and normally never purchase extended warranties). I can't remember whether or not I could have purchased it from anyone else.
I've been wandering the country and so must deal with a different Smart Center every time I need one and must have them talk to each other if there's something to deal with relating to the last service. That has worked okay as long as the original warranty was involved. Generally speaking, most of the Smart Centers have been very pleasant and come across as caring to please me.
The extended warranty thing that comes immediately to mind is when my moon roof came loose and was dangerous to drive (this was not the fault of original manufacture...long story). I needed to rent a car while the roof was replaced. Since car rentals are covered, I called the warranty company and they said this instance was not covered because it was not considered dangerous [to drive a car with the roof in danger of flying off]! I now believe the reasons for car rentals are carefully specified and anything else isn't covered. I expect the same will be the case with everything else.
We received an email on May 12th that Denver's only dealership was closing on May 14th. It took almost two weeks before we finally heard that a local Mercedes dealership would be taking over. I know one Smart owner who had an excellent experience there... he said the dealership seemed genuinely excited to be carrying the Smart now.
It was all handled very poorly... really horrible from a PR standpoint.
Julie O'Malley said:
As of May 21, 2010, MY Smart dealership (Smart Universal City in Los Angeles) closed the doors.
We still have as yet not heard about MB Westminster servicing our car, so not ALL Smart owners have even been notified yet, very poor indeed!
my smart dealership closed mid May and now i take my smart to the Cadillac Behemoth Dealer across the street.
love my car, hate the way this has been handled... my smart tech is at the new dealership a couple days of the week so i have to coordinate before taking it in for service, etc. whereas before i would drop by and even chat/talk shop with the guys.
poo on Mr Penske and his shortsightedness on all things smart!