Joe Atlanta

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About Joe Atlanta

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    Atlanta, GA

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  1. I see now that smart USA is really not too smart. Yesterday I decided to call 1-800-smart USA for possibly some customer service, thinking that I should at least get some help BEFORE I gave them over $19,000. That’s because the DEALER had not returned phone calls, or emails. That’s because the DEALER had not really done ANYTHING to earn a sale at this point anyway. And they would NOT explain the reason for this “Training Fee” that I was being FORCED to pay EXTRA for. So I talked with a "so very concerned" rep at smart USA yesterday, and they said that ABSOLUTELY the dealer was not allowed to add an EXTRA DEALER MARKUP. He said that smart USA was here to HELP the buyer from RIP-OFF dealers. But he said that "extra doc fees" were controlled by the state and they could not do anything about them. And then when I said that they were NOT controlled by the state of Georgia, he said that there was (surprise....) nothing that they could do because they are NOT controlled by the state. He ended by saying that he was going to call the dealer immediately. I told him that I was planning to take delivery in 24 hours, but I’ve not heard back from smart USA. WTF is smart USA doing to the buyer who TRUSTED them? How will they treat me AFTER the sale? Just an hour and a half ago (after only 48 hours of my email request), I received a 2 line reply to my email requesting the bottom line cost. It’s now a “drive-out price” of $19,764.08. She would not itemize the “extra GOTCHA fees”. And from my calculation, that is now adding an EXTRA $540.68 to my cost. So for smart buyers in Atlanta, plan to pay $80 for THEIR Training, $399 for copies and stamps, and $61.68 for what I guess is the pleasure of this experience. Dave Schembri and Roger Penske, thank-you for bringing the smart to the USA, but you blew it. You will not control your dealers. It seems that there is an INCENTIVE for the smart centers to drive away those of us that have paid the deposits, configured cars, and are being FORCED to not take delivery of their smart cars. Are you giving extra cash to them when a configured car is not bought by the reservation holder? What gives? I must be the only one that sees this. This whole process STINKS and is not very smart. This is my last post here, I’ll be on Clark Howard’s radio program next. Thanks and cheers, Joe in Atlanta
  2. Thanks Regina,I had not been to that forum in AGES, so the 24 pages of "Rip-off junk fees" posts is impressive. It's a very helpful forum. Still, how can the dealer say that this is REQUIRED when the says otherwise. They have such a short term vision for this company.Another frustration is that they said that the price of the velour floor mats was $125. That is for TWO MATS, $125. I was told that the mats wholesale in the US for $124. and that thay are only making ONE DOLLAR on them.From the miracle of the internet, I see that they retail for 33.61 euros (before tax) in Germany, which converts to $50.41 US dollars. That's RETAIL in Germany not wholesale, so are they shipped Lufthansa First Class????????My last NEW car purchase was a BMW in 2003, and it was NOT like this BS at smart.Joe in Atlanta
  3. After nearly 12 years, I am finally SO close to buying a 100 percent US legal smart and am now getting very disturbing "we GOTCHA, ha ha" surprises from our assigned smart center. I stopped by Saturday to check on the status of my new smart and got a little surprise about what they are adding on to the prices. I was told that one of the two "extra added fees" that they disclosed was an "$80. training fee" which was to pay for the "training of the smart center staff". That was on top of a "$399. documentation fee" that she said was "less than the $599. documentation fee at the Mercedes-Benz show room next door". Such a deal. Did I hear right, a "training fee"? This one is a first for this area, as I have seen "$699. pin stripes" or "$999. paint sealants" REQUIRED to purchase on the first New Beetles or the first PT Cruisers. One was actually up-front and listed it as "$999. added dealer profit". We all know that these are typical stealership add-on fees that stealerships use to beat down the auto buyer. I thought that smart USA was above that, and that's why I paid a $99. deposit nearly a year ago, to give smart USA my good faith trust that I was supporting their plans and I would buy their car at their list price (whatever they felt was fair and would sell more that 10,000 cars), plus our state required Tag fee, Title fee and Sales tax. If smart USA wanted an extra $479. profit, they needed to add it to the list price, so they will say on their site "starting at $12,078*" not the "starting at $11,590*" that it shows now. Then there would be no deception. I see at it says "* Excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options". It does not say plus added dealer mark-up. I understand that they can't now include things like a luggage cover or a real warranty because of the weak dollar. I accept that. I understand that it's got a Mitsubishi engine, I accept that. I hope that Consumer Reports accepts a 2 year warranty (compared to normal 3 or 4 years in all other cars) next week when their annual Auto Issue comes out. I'm just shocked at the arrogant attitude of being told "there are 2,000 buyers waiting with $99. deposits assigned to our smart center, and we will only get 400 cars a year". I can't even got to Jacksonville or another smart center to buy my smart. Am I smelling something? I see that smart USA does not need my business, and that prices never drop. Look at the New Beetle or PT Cruiser today. What about VW's new TDI-hybrid coming to Geneva.......Toyota"s IQ...... Also listen to consumer guru Clark Howard on the radio, he has been talking great things about smarts for years, and he has a $99 deposit on his smart. But he is considering not buying now because it's "not the best deal". He's only on about 200 radio stations. If the economy was better, I'd probably say it's only an EXTRA $479 and what the hell, but this is a different market today. Or is it me? So today I'll just dust off my old 1996 VW cabrio and decide on where to put my upcoming "IRSMART" tag. Let me know what you think......... Thanks Joe in Atlanta
  4. Here is what the official accessory brochure says: >1 The chrome package: Small details that make a big difference. The highly polished chrome side mirror caps, radiator grille and tailgate trim immediately give your smart fortwo a more elegant appearance. You can see pictures here: Joe in Atlanta
  5. From Auto Motor und Sport: Seems to be a better concept of a 4 door smart. Somewhat along the idea of the Mitsubishi i. Joe in Atlanta
  6. Here is a link to last night's segment on NBC Nightly News: The smart fortwo is selling itself here, but we still NEED the DIESEL..... Joe in Atlanta
  7. Wait until you see the new US coins that just started circulating at the beginning of 2008. To coincide with the collapse of the world's economies during the Bush administration, along with $100. barrels of oil, the US economy is now using the Petroleum Standard. Gone is the DOLLAR, all US currency is now in GALLON Denominations. Here is the info on the new coins, including the "Bush Dabloon": Joe in Atlanta
  8. Yes, the "up arrow" is the signal that it's time to up-shift, and the "down arrow" is to down-shift. It helps for those who do not have tachometers.Wonders of computer engine management.... Joe (back) in Atlanta
  9. I just noticed that the site is updated to let anyone configure their fortwo from the home page. However it does not officially say how much the Destination Charge will be. I think that it will be $645. (from some other articles). Also it shows that ALL cars will have the Panic Button on Key! And an interactive dealer map, complete with contact information and dealer websites is ready and working from the home page. However some dealer sites like (in Atlanta) are not yet running...but it's getting CLOSE....any day now. Thanks again to Roger Penske, Dave Schembri and crew for having the foresight and energy to bring these smart cars to the USA. Joe in Atlanta
  10. From Automobile News today: DETROIT -- Smart CEO Anders Jensen told Automobilwoche, sister publication of Automotive News Europe, the carmaker is still deliberating how its platform can be expanded. Rainer Schmückle, Smart chief operating officer and board member of Mercedes-Benz Cars, told the German press agency, dpa, in Detroit that the automaker has not decided how such a variant would look or whether it would wear the Smart of Mercedes-Benz badge. "It is all about watching how automotive markets develop and in which segments growth is taking place," he said. "We are considering placing it between the Smart ForTwo and the Mercedes A and B class." He said the discontinued four-seater Smart ForFour was not a bad idea, but was executed badly. He did not rule out building on this platform again. More than 20,000 Smarts have been ordered in the US. About 70 percent of 30,000 reservations have turned into definite orders, Schmückle said. Mercedes will decide on the future of the A and B class toward the end of the first quarter, he said. Mercedes needs to improve both units sales and profitability of both models, he added. Schmückle said Mercedes would expand the number of variant models. Smaller models are gaining more prominence due to stricter emissions regulations and ever-increasing gasoline prices. A and B class models are one quarter of total volume sales. .....So lets suggest that they bring the A-Class or B-Class. They are GREAT small cars, and don't need a half Billion to develop. My 2 cents.....Joe in Atlanta
  11. I just discovered the micro compact home [m-ch]. From an article in today's New York Times about prefab houses "Is Prefab Fab? MoMA Plans a Show". The micro compact home [m-ch] is a lightweight compact dwelling for one or two people. Its compact dimensions of 2.6m cube adapt it to a variety of sites and circumstances, and its functioning spaces of sleeping, working / dining, cooking and hygiene make it suitable for everyday use. Informed by aviation and automotive design and manufactured at the micro compact home production centre in Austria, the m-ch can be delivered throughout Europe with project individual graphics and interior finishes. The product was first launched in Munich in November 2005 with the development of a case study village sponsored by O2 Germany, which is currently occupied by students of TU Munich. The m-ch will make its UK debut at the Grand Designs Live 2006 exhibition, London Docklands, in June 2006 Joe in Atlanta
  12. From Automotive News today: Zetsche: U.S. demand for Smart exceeds supply Harry Stoffer Automotive News WASHINGTON — More than 30,000 Americans have put down deposits for Smart cars in advance of the brand’s formal U.S. launch next month, Daimler AG executives said today. The first-year demand will exceed the number of cars that will be built for the United States, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at a breakfast meeting with reporters. He and other executives declined to forecast sales. Zetsche said the Smart ForTwo -- a tiny two-seater with a 1-liter engine that gets as much as 45 mpg -- will be more than a fad. More consumers will want a fun, safe car that is economical to drive, has low greenhouse gas emissions and is easy to park, he said. “The only vehicle I privately own is a Smart,” Zetsche said. He said Daimler wants to partner with a U.S. city for a test of all-electric Smart cars, just as it has done with London and will do with a city in France. He also hinted that a diesel-powered Smart will come to the United States , but he said Daimler will move cautiously before trying other body types. While in Washington, Zetsche also gave a luncheon address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was scheduled to meet later in the day with top White House officials -- but not with President Bush. Smart to dealerships in 1Q After a series of missteps and a major restructuring this year, Daimler’s Smart subsidiary should be profitable in 2008, Zetsche said. Smart USA, a division of Penske Automotive Group, is distributing Smart ForTwos. Daimler executives said today that 50 dealerships will be open for the Smart launch. There will be 65 U.S. dealerships by the end of the first quarter and 74 by the end of 2008, officials said. Thirty-three of those stores will be “co-located” with Mercedes-Benz franchises, said Smart USA President David Schembri. Nine of the dealerships are Penske-owned, said Anders Sundt Jensen, head of global marketing for Smart. He declined to predict total Smart production next year. The United States is the 37th country in which Smarts will be sold. Globally, more than 770,000 Smarts have been sold in 10 years. ----Joe in Atlanta
  13. From Jim Borgman from the Cincinnati Enquirer who also draws the "Zits" comic strip: Joe in Atlanta
  14. Thanks for the info, this now makes sense that there is an inspection in BC as is elsewhere. I'll relay this to the interested potential buyer.Joe in Atlanta
  15. Hi smarties in BC, I have a quick question about auto registration in BC and hope that someone here might have an answer. I have a potential buyer from BC who is interested in purchasing my smart and we are not sure of the paperwork or inspections needed. My smart is now registered in Toronto area, and I understand that after a sale there (the sale requires using a "Used Vehicle Information Package" ) the buyer needs a "Safety standards certificate" that is done by an authorized mechanic to show that the car is roadworthy. Then the car can be registered and receive a tag only with this "Safety standards certificate" Is this the same process for a car to be registered in BC? I've investigated a few websites, & I see that there is an orginization called ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) that seems to process the registrations. However is there a similar safety inspection for used cars? It seems that there's no inspection required. If the buyer wants to (for example) inspect the car in Toronto, decide on buying it there. Then is it possible to take the ONTARIO registration form which would be signed over to the new owner and send that paperwork home to BC and get a tag (with proper insurance, processed by a spouse) and then have the new BC tags sent by spouse back to Toronto, to be able to drive the car for a few months in the eastern part of Canada. Does my question make sense? In Georgia for example, the Atlanta area car registrations require an emissions inspection each year, once the car is 3 or 4 years old. However once the car is 25 years old, the emissions inspection is no longer required. Also all diesel cars are exempt. This is for the Atlanta metro area only, and other areas in Georgia do NOT require any inspections at all. Any info would be appreciated, & Thanks in advance.... Joe in Atlanta