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saronian

smart USA -> Mercedes-Benz

11 posts in this topic

Well it happened, Penske Motor's is passing smart USA back to Mercedes-Benz USA.No details, just a "press release" style email from Penske.I'm hopeful the car continues to be available in the US.Scott

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It is a tough market and there are only so many cars you can sell with no marketing.Lots of great small cars out there competing on the basis of performance and economy.Gas is way too cheap down there and the gas smart just didn't have a hands down advantage in that department.

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Good news. Now if they will kill off the Nissan forfive, that would be the best news ever in recent memory!

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I see that now! Xmas 2011 came early....

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How many M-B Canada dealers are there? The AutoWeek article says M-B USA has 353 dealers: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110214/CARNEWS/110219925

smart USA had projected 2011 sales at less than 6K cars; with 353 dealers, the math really doesn't support a large number of cars sold by each dealership - ~17 smart cars annually per dealer(?) For that they're going to have a boutique showroom, smart trained techs and carry a full line of smart parts and accessories? Something isn't adding up here. It will be interesting to see how M-B USA sorts this out. :)

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I doubt all the M-B dealers will sell the smart. Watch for about 100 of them to be selling them (i.e. about 50 more). Most CDN dealers have a corner of the M-B showroom dedicated to smart, so the investment is miniscule. Service? WIS is WIS, with or without smart. Parts? Same system as M-B.

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In part from Bloomberg:///Mercedes-Benz could give smart franchises to other Mercedes-Benz dealers, but Lieb said they would not be required to build stand-alone facilities.“In most cases a shop-in-shop has proven to be the most economical,” he said. “If you are selling one or two cars, you need consistency in personnel and expenses. It will not work if you have a stand-alone facility.”Lieb said 300 of Mercedes-Benz' 353 U.S. dealers have upgraded their showrooms to the Autohaus corporate facility program.“This will be a lot easier than it would have been three years ago,” he said. “The facilities are completely different.”///Sounds as if-- like it or not-- MB-USA dealers will be parking a couple smarts in the corner and give it a go!

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The motive. more from Bloomberg...///Lieb said Mercedes-Benz wants smart back for two main reasons:1. It needs more small-car volume to meet new corporate average fuel economy standards that take effect in the United States in the 2016 model year.2. Daimler AG integrated Smart into the Mercedes-Benz car unit in September. The United States is the only market where smart and Mercedes operate separately.“It has become clear over the last few months that smart is an integral part of our achieving the fuel economy targets of 2016,” Lieb said.smart’s fuel economy numbers are already included in Mercedes’ corporate average. But Mercedes executives believe they can increase smart’s sales volume, and thus have a greater impact on the company's CAFE ratings.///

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