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.