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post #31 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 24-42 View Post
For the most part I agree with you Larry but, Please exercise some tact.
Larry doesn't know what tact is.....

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I don't usually toot my own horn but the above quote stepped a little too heavy on my toes.

Donald LaFavor

Larry is very good at this. Remember, he is our resident troll....
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post #32 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 24-42 View Post
I don't usually toot my own horn but the above quote stepped a little too heavy on my toes.

I have degrees in both Electronics and Mechanical Engineering. For my thesis (1950's) I designed a Diesel/Gas-Electric Series Hybred powertrain. My team constructed this prototype mule chassis while I was at the GM Tech Center (Warren Mich.

Since 1952, have graduated from 27 (that's Twenty Seven) imported car manufactuer schools.

Taught Automotive Theory at West Coast Trade School.

Presented a paper (Wankel rotary engine) to over 500 engineers at the SAE convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit in 1971.

Owned & operated the largest independent imported auto repair in Detroit.
My sign said, "If it's Foreign - We Fix It"

In 1966 I created the original curriculum for training dealer service personal in the United States for the number one selling car company in the US.
Retired from the executive branch (several of you know the title) of this company.

So in summination, you wrote " One person near the top who knows the engine is in the back and drives the rear wheels? "



Donald LaFavor
Toot away, you've earned it. In a faceless society like this forum, we can't always tell from the brief quips posted who the real person is. Don't get to see you face to face, so a little background helps with the mental image we form. Thanks for your lifetime service in the industry we are passionate about.
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post #33 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 07:53 AM
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What's up with firefighters driving ridiculously huge trucks everywhere with just them in it. Complete with "I own the road attitudes?" I see their FF stickers in the back windows all the time.
Sent from my SPH-M900 using AutoGuide App
It's HOSE envy and the desire to carry a larger longer one.

Poor little fellas. Doh!

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post #34 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fannum View Post
July 11, 2011 - MONTVALE, NJ
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today announced appointments within a dedicated team that will be responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of smart products in the United States. MBUSA took over responsibility for sales of the two-seater coupes and cabriolets from the Penske organization on July 1, 2011.
Heading up the smart team as general manager will be Tracey Matura. Matura is responsible for the brand's distribution, sales and marketing activities, reporting to Michael Slagter, vice president of sales for MBUSA. She has worked for MBUSA for 16 years, predominantly in the legal and retail areas, most recently as general manager of strategic retail development where she was responsible for the MBUSA dealer network. She was ranked one of the "100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry" by Automotive News this year.
Matura and her team will be part of a new subsidiary of MBUSA called Daimler Vehicle Innovations, LLC. Positions reporting directly to Matura include:
  • Julia Knittel as manager, smart marketing and brand management. Knittel, who has worked for MBUSA since 2002 in such areas as learning & performance and consumer events & sports marketing, was also communications manager for the smart brand when MBUSA originally introduced the brand to the U.S. in 2004. In her new post, Knittel will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic communication platforms for smart products and the brand in the U.S. including traditional marketing, experiential marketing, partnerships, social and digital media.
  • Sean Lyons as manager, smart sales and aftersales. Lyons comes to smart from Lexus where he held management positions for 11 years in regional sales operations, preowned and marketing, and most recently, vehicle field sales. As part of the smart team, Lyons will be responsible for managing sales and aftersales activities including overseeing a team of six field operations managers.
  • Deirdre O'Grady as smart dealer network lead. O'Grady brings to her new position, nine years of retail experience at Infiniti in such positions as regional market manager, and dealer parts & service manager. She also worked in sales operations, market representation, marketing and consumer affairs. On the smart team, O'Grady will be responsible for the strategic development and support of the smart franchise network which currently consists of 75 dealerships across the United States.
The distinctive smart product line consists of four models in the U.S.: the gasoline-powered smart fortwo in coupe (in "pure" or "passion" configuration) and cabriolet bodystyles as well as an all-electric version of the smart fortwo coupe. Over 47,000 smarts have been sold in the U.S. to date.
This is good news if we will see a local dealer appointed to do warranty and non warranty work. Otherwise it is just another change that makes us think about recommending the brand to other potential buyers. With two Smarts in the garage folks are always asking us about our choices and we have to give them the truth.
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post #35 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:36 AM
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I suspect it is a matter of time. If Daimler has decided that smart is good for the company, then eventually it will be good for all MBUSA dealers to support Daimler's smart customers. I will welcome that change of heart even though it may come after my warranty expires. It is what it is.
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post #36 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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post #37 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 10:13 AM
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We need to be patient with MBUSA, they have only been at the helm for 2 weeks, and truthfully, they have made some pretty significant changes in two weeks. Feb-July 1 is not a lot of time to transition an entire dealer network(albeit a small one), to a new company. Most of that time was probably spent figuring out the details of the infrastructure to make sure the dealers could still get cars & parts. Also, my guess is legally, MBUSA probably couldn't do a lot until they officially took over.

They have made several dealership announcements, and they have promised 100 dealers, probably more. They have officially announced an ad campaign, and set a goal for over 50% more sales. The team is making rounds to all the dealers asking for input, and to present their plans and goals. I plan to hang tight until October-November when the 2012's come out. My guess is you will see a lot of effort put into the brand for the next model year. The potential exists, they just need to get the cross hairs lined up and figure out how to tap into it.

The next three months will tell the tale. As MBUSA rolls out its plans and moves forward with promoting smart sales, I think you will see a dramatic rise in awareness, and hopefully sales.

I really feel for those of you who live in areas like Minnesota, where there is no coverage right now. I believe MBUSA is going to correct that, it's just going to take time to get a local dealer onboard with the plan. I think that is the big hang up right now. Finding MB dealers willing to take on the smart. It's going to be a 180 degree turn around for some dealerships. smart owners are a passionate group. We like to have get togethers, and promote the brand. We're not the typical MB customer who just wants their car to function properly and can't find the dipstick. We want to go hang out at the dealership and get excited about our cars. MB dealers aren't used to that.
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