Has MB USA Completely dropped the ball? - Page 3 - Smart Car Forums
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post #21 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jwight View Post
The 2014 A-Class turbodiesel scenario is looking more realistic as each day passes...
The A Class hasn't been here because the FWD vehicle was thought to soil the image of the Benz line. The only way they would bring it here would be to rebadge it, but I don't think that will happen.
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post #22 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by T12121 View Post
Can we please let MB-usa get use to the day to day operations before we start going after them for not advertising car and other various things. I mean penske had 3 years and done nothing with it. Yes MB-USA needs to advertise and do many other things with the car, But that being said lets just give them a little time. I mean one month really isnt much time IMHO.
They Grabbed control from Penske back in February. Jill's crew stepped aside the first of the month.
You have to think that MB USA had a plan for the brand before February. If your a company like Mb you don;t just grab smart of a whim.

So in fact they have had since the Chicago auto show in February to get their act together.

And up until now
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post #23 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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I think MB is playing the wait-and-see game, and will remain in a holding pattern (with respect to the smart car line) until after its MB dealers are fully trained AND it has made every effort to get refusing MB dealers to carry the car line.

MB may also be waiting to see if any of its dealers appear to have little intent to sell and service the smart line - with the possibility of revoking their smart franchise and selling it.

It could take months before any new smart car centers might materialize.
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post #24 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:16 PM
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OK guys........Back from the first meeting....Good turnout BTW
Here's what we do know with M-B.
They are re-launching the brand. There are (we know already) liberal leasing plans and there will be a "Certified Pre-owned Program". That's good news for the value of the older cars
M-b is putting up nearly $24,000,000 (that's with a M) for TV ads to be starting in October this year.
There are going to be five (5) parts distribution centers, so parts availability will be greatly improved.
AND eventually ALL M-B dealers will be at least equipped to be able to read the computers in the smart. Allows for more (or less) repair work to be done so you may not have to drive hundreds of miles with an ill smartie.
No real changes in the car until 2014 when the new version comes out and the Renault/smart venture 4 door arrives. Diesels will then also become a reality.
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post #25 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kheran View Post
They are re-launching the brand. There are (we know already) liberal leasing plans and there will be a "Certified Pre-owned Program". That's good news for the value of the older cars
M-b is putting up nearly $24,000,000 (that's with a M) for TV ads to be starting in October this year.
There are going to be five (5) parts distribution centers, so parts availability will be greatly improved.
AND eventually ALL M-B dealers will be at least equipped to be able to read the computers in the smart. Allows for more (or less) repair work to be done so you may not have to drive hundreds of miles with an ill smartie.
No real changes in the car until 2014 . . . Diesels will then also become a reality.
kheran,

Was this all "dealer speak" or did it come from the mouth of someone who gets their paycheck from The Mothership MB?

I find it very odd that a local dealer would be sharing this information in advance of Tracey making her first pronouncement since The Transition.

I'd really like to "believe" but so far the Kool-aid just isn't ice cold . . .

kheran, please don't misread this as shooting the messenger - thanks for sharing.
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post #26 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:47 PM
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I have a friend who used to work at a VW dealer back in the day. They never turned a VW away. The worked on anything VW that came in whether it was sold in this country or not. Brasilia's, Fridolin's, Mexican Beetles, Kubelwagons. It didn't matter. If they couldn't get parts they just told you so. They would do what they could. I think it is very narrow minded of MB to to not be trained on every car they sell or try to accomodate them. Where do Unimog owners go? Same as us? So sorry, that's not sold here, let me cover my eyes until you remove it from sight.
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post #27 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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I think it is very narrow minded of MB to to not be trained on every car they sell or try to accomodate them. Where do Unimog owners go? Same as us? So sorry, that's not sold here, let me cover my eyes until you remove it from sight.
You're right, it is narrow minded. But to a lot of dealerships it isn't about helping the customer, it is about the bottom line. If they aren't trained on how to work on a specific vehicle and NOBODY at the dealership can work on it, they will see little profit off of it and lots of headaches. Sucks, but it's the truth. Some dealerships care, want to establish relationships with their customers to ensure they will be REPEAT customers. Others could care less and are just looking to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.

FYI, I know that Mercedes of San Diego has about half a dozen techs that are old-school trained. I'm not talking that the guys are old as dirty and worked on Benz's in the '70s, I'm talking about them having gone for 'recently' for factory training on maintaining and repairing the older vehicles, BEYOND the training they get on the latest/greatest cars and systems that the dealership is selling. When a service writer has a customer come in with a 'vintage' car (say '80s or older), it goes into the queue for these guys and they get the work order for it. Honestly, are you going to want some wet-behind-the-ears tech that only knows how to diagnose the problem on a new Benz based on what the computer systems are telling him to even LOOK at a car that is running carbs or K-Jet injection? I would guess they are going to start sending a small group of techs from each dealership off to get this type of cross-training for Smarts, it only makes sense especially if they have allowances for it in the training system anyway.

I have not been over to the Smart Center at this dealership yet since M_B 'took over'. This center was located at a Penske operated Benz dealership though, so I don't think I'm going to see much of a change overall.
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post #28 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by T12121 View Post
Can we please let MB-usa get use to the day to day operations before we start going after them for not advertising car and other various things. I mean penske had 3 years and done nothing with it. Yes MB-USA needs to advertise and do many other things with the car, But that being said lets just give them a little time. I mean one month really isnt much time IMHO.
I could care less about advertising & various things, than the fact the warranty has become nil in some areas. Being told the nearest warranty center is 300 miles away is virtually canceling the warranty.

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post #29 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 02:07 AM
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The answer Forest is no. I can confirm that the new DVI/smart is working hard to get the things we all want for smart to happen. Since you are using the Ballgame metaphor I'll respond in kind. They have assembled a pro team with a leader who 'gets' what the smart is about and has team members who are on the same page. Until DVI got the 'keys to their 'smart' they could only work on the 'closing' with smartUSA. What we knew as smartUSA is gone as of July 1. You and I got used to the posts from Dave S. And then Jill. on sUSAi. Remember that they spoke from the top of the hill, but rarely to owners directly. Dave was more public than Jill, but she did post announcements. Those posts on the sUSAi main page were soothing to us, but not satisfying. Yes, there were no posts after June 10. Yes, none since July 1. And here we are July 29. And all you have heard is two press releases and just the other day a change to the sUSAi main page in a attempt to clean the stagnant posts. Since you and I like many of our fellow smart owners, are on sUSAi and this site almost every day we are waiting for the Huddle to break and see our team run the ball. There is much more to this than we know. There has been constant work going on with the whole DVI/smart team. Back in June there was a meeting in NJ for all the smartCenter dealers new and old. The team went to France to learn about smart and how the smart-MB relationship works there, to bring that kind of system to the US. When Penske brought the car to us it took him more than a few months and we know that the smartCenter network was nowhere near perfect. Right now the smart hardly exists in the public eye and it's the same with the American MB dealers, The smart is going from a 'Mom and Pop' type shop to the size and power of MB in the USA. It's still going to take until the fourth quarter of this year to see the public face of smart emerge. I have reached out to and have received response from several folks at DVI personally. I never received a word other than a 'we're working on it' boilerplate with smartUSA about the same issues that you are concerned with. I tried since 2009 to no avail.

This is a major change with DVI/smart over smartUSA. I can tell you right now that they realize that the current owners on sUSAi and elsewhere are the key to marketing the smart. They want to hear from our voice and know it is important to understand how to market the smart in the US. Now that the team is back in NJ. They soon will be reaching out to us. Not by a meaningless 'proclamation' on sUSAi or here, but through a actual human to human dialogue. This, just like the smart, is a unique thing.

We are in a 24/7 internet world, the real world, the offline world, runs at the same speed it always has, we have waited for the car to come to the US. We have waited for smartUSA to run with the ball instead they tossed it to Tracey, Julia, Sean, and Deirdre. Again a small core team to lead smart, with a big difference...they 1) Have MBusa and Daimler behind them. 2) They come from Daimler not Penske/Detroit. and 3) They know that to move forward they need to see where smart has been and is right now, that means us, the owners will be involved to help. They have already started on the foundation and have done a lot in 29 days. More than we know right now. Make your list of what you think will make smart the car for a 'Open minded' American. Go post it here: smartownerfocusgroup
Time to support your team.
MJB

Last edited by spiceJax; 07-29-2011 at 04:47 AM.
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post #30 of 145 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:33 AM
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Most of the posts in this thread point out an information vacuum from the new smart USA team. They have numerous avenues to fill that vacuum but haven't done so since June 9th - hence all the rumors and speculation. We don't need all the nitty gritty of their behind-the-scenes work, just some assurance that they understand the car, have the owners interests at heart and have concrete plans to keep the current model viable until the next gen Daimler/Renault fortwo arrives (which I personally see as a 50/50 proposition right now.)
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