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mkt

Just got off the phone with G&K automotive conversion

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As some of you may know,

I've been looking at importing a Smart ForTwo to Florida, since A- I live there, B- I live in the Orlando tourist corridor, with some of the highest fuel prices in Florida, and C- the DMV here on more than on occasion has let a Smart slip by and get registered.

So I have been doing my homework now...

Insurance isn't a problem. I have quotes from Progressive and State Farm, and am in the process of searching through other Insurance companies that specialize in Exotic and Classic cars.

Parts and Service won't be a problem either. I've spoken with two local independent Mercedes specialists as well as the shop foreman and they keep a minimal supply of Smart parts in stock for both visiting Canadian tourists and grey market Euro Smarts, and they're willing to do regular maintenance.

Now for the pain in the ass part.... G & K automotive conversion, the people whom Zap contracted to federalize the Smart....

I was hoping to get a Canadian spec CDI and have them federalize it. I was under the impression that since Florida requires no vehicle inspections, the car would only require the DOT work done to be legal and not the EPA work... which is not the case. So G&K refuses to even look at a CDI. To further complicate matters, they will only work on 2005+ model year Gas powered Smarts...

which means I am going to get even more headaches than I originally intended.

Does anyone know if the Gas powered Smarts are available in European Territories and possessions in the Caribbean/North Atlantic?

Sorry for the rant... just a bit peeved.

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If you go to www.smart.com , you can see the list of countries that smarts are sold. Following the link to Mexico, they definitely sell the fortwo in "Gasolina" format.

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thanks guys. I'm going to be phoning a dealership in Mexico City later this afternoon to see what they can do for me... see if the non-export agreement applies to Mexico. I think they also sell smarts in St. Maarten/St. Martin, and in the British Virgin Islands (praying for a LHD smart there). Wish me luck!

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I just called 5 Mexico City dealers and 1 Nuevo Leon dealer... and just like in Canada, they have a non-export agreement.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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I just spoke to a different salesman at the Nuevo Leon... and he has no problem selling to a US Citizen. US $13,600 for a 2006 Passion smart fortwo coup?... and he has every color available on the lot.

Now to phone G&K automotive back

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I really mean this to be helpful in a stress-reducing kind of way (and not at all to dissuade you from pursuing your dream of owning a smart), but given the recent talk of an imminent announcement from DC/MB HQ about the possible release of the next-generation (MY 2007) fortwo in the USA, why not just play wait-and-see until the end of the year?

All these frustrating dead ends may be unnecessary time spent if MB does the right thing and brings the smart to the US as soon as next fall.

Why exhaust yourself chasing a second-class, overly expensive, questionably modified, EU car when a reasonably priced, headache-free model could be just around the corner?

Easy for me to say, seeing as I've enjoyed the zen of smart ownership for the better part of a year, huh? :rollsmile:

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You bring a valid point... a very valid point. G&K is willing to modify a MY2006 Mexican smart (petrol euro smart with a US/CDN/Mex license plate bracket) for about $5k US... after adding up all of the costs, I'd be looking at about $26K US to have a fully federalized Mexi Smart in the US. Not that good of a deal in retrospect, when:

A- I can get a used Prius for $23k US locally

B- The VW Golf TDI exists

C- and so does the Mini

D- as well as the Scion xA

however, out of all of those, I'm looking at 40mpg as my BEST mpg.

I want a smart because they are far from common here, and I have always liked stares from unassuming Americans (we're a fun breed at times... that's why I try to disassociate myself from them as much as possible, and use my EU passport as often as possible for travel), not to mention the prospect of 70ish MPG when I have a 60 mile freeway commute is very VERY tempting.

Right now I'm filling up about 3 times a week in my Nissan which gets 28 mpg... so I need something better.

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You'd likely be looking at about 55-60 US MPG in strictly highway driving with a gasoline smart, at about 55 MPH (maximum)....A/C off or top up.

I agree with the others' advice, wait if you can.

However, the next generation smart won't be sold until 2007 sometime, not 2006. It depends how desperate you are to get one NOW.

If you do buy a Mex-smart, make it a Brabus cabriolet, for maximum driving pleasure and re-sale potential.

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resale on a smart in the US.

If I list it in the right area, I could get back most of what i paid.

If I don't, no one will know what the hell it is.

Who knows... with the current state of everything in the US, maybe I'll just pack up and go up north and buy a smart to drive daily.. lol

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Who knows... with the current state of everything in the US, maybe I'll just pack up and go up north and buy a smart to drive daily.. lol

You won't be the first! I have dual US/Cdn citizenship, and as a registered Democrat, I worked with Democrats Abroad to get out the vote from Americans living abroad. I did speak to several folks who decided to move to Canada after the results of the election in November!

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Who knows... with the current state of everything in the US, maybe I'll just pack up and go up north and buy a smart to drive daily.. lol

You won't be the first! I have dual US/Cdn citizenship, and as a registered Democrat, I worked with Democrats Abroad to get out the vote from Americans living abroad. I did speak to several folks who decided to move to Canada after the results of the election in November!

I should be able to get in... I speak both english and french fluently (albeit my french grammar is terrible, and my accent is rather funny), I have a bachelors degree, and work for a company that has offices located Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

Now to get my ass up to the embassy in DC and apply for residency.

My worst case scenario (in case of a draft, etc) is my shiny red Spanish passport. I'm a dual US/Spanish citizen, so I can hop on a plane to anywhere in the EU and live there... but I've lived in Spain and in France before, and it's one of those "I like visiting, but I wouldn't want to live there" scenarios. Canada is my first choice for an international relocation. Close enough so those that I love can visit me, no learning a new currency name/language, and I love hockey.

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lol... perhaps I'll move to BC. Not much of a chance of getting a hurricane there... like I am here right now.

Just spent the last hour getting Water, canned goods, candles, batteries for my flashlights, and dog food.

I think I'm gonna go to Disneyworld now and look for Canadian smarts in the parking lot

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You bring a valid point... a very valid point. G&K is willing to modify a MY2006 Mexican smart (petrol euro smart with a US/CDN/Mex license plate bracket) for about $5k US... after adding up all of the costs, I'd be looking at about $26K US to have a fully federalized Mexi Smart in the US. Not that good of a deal in retrospect, when:

A- I can get a used Prius for $23k US locally

B- The VW Golf TDI exists

C- and so does the Mini

D- as well as the Scion xA

however, out of all of those, I'm looking at 40mpg as my BEST mpg.

I want a smart because they are far from common here, and I have always liked stares from unassuming Americans (we're a fun breed at times... that's why I try to disassociate myself from them as much as possible, and use my EU passport as often as possible for travel), not to mention the prospect of 70ish MPG when I have a 60 mile freeway commute is very VERY tempting.

Right now I'm filling up about 3 times a week in my Nissan which gets 28 mpg... so I need something better.

The US smarts, when they arrive, will look quite a bit different from the current generation of smarts. This is based on the leaked concept photo's of the "world car" version of the smart. So you'd have a unique looking smart but it would be costly...

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lol... perhaps I'll move to BC. Not much of a chance of getting a hurricane there... like I am here right now.

Just spent the last hour getting Water, canned goods, candles, batteries for my flashlights, and dog food.

I think I'm gonna go to Disneyworld now and look for Canadian smarts in the parking lot

Nope. Just a great BIG earthquake! :clapping:

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lol... perhaps I'll move to BC. Not much of a chance of getting a hurricane there... like I am here right now.

Just spent the last hour getting Water, canned goods, candles, batteries for my flashlights, and dog food.

I think I'm gonna go to Disneyworld now and look for Canadian smarts in the parking lot

Nope. Just a great BIG earthquake! :clapping:

after 4 hurricanes last year, 2 this year, and experiencing the aftermath of Katrina here....

I say, Bring It On!

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