smart happens here!
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
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Smart Plans 10 stand alone dealerships
While this just appeared in Automotive News today, it almost sounds like a step backwards?!
Smart plans 10 stores as stand-alones
Diana T. Kurylko
August 20, 2007 - 12:01 am EST
Smart USA expects to have at least 10 stand-alone stores when the For-Two minicar goes on sale in January.
David Schembri, president of Smart USA, says distributor Penske Automotive Group Inc. is still working on individual agreements for an initial network of about 40 dealerships. Schembri says he expects Smart's network to grow to 60 stores by the end of 2008 and perhaps to 70 within "a couple of years."
Of the initial 40, only seven or eight will be Penske Automotive dealerships, Schembri says. About half of the total Smart dealers also will be Mercedes-Benz dealers.
The first exclusive Smart dealership is being built in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. It also will be Smart's corporate headquarters, which now is housed in trailers on the property.
Rather than have an owner's name, all stores will be named the same way - Smart Center and then the city, such as Smart Center Bloomfield Hills.
Schembri says Smart will begin contacting some of the 20,000 potential customers who ordered a ForTwo by placing a $99 refundable deposit online. They will be given detailed pricing and asked to confirm, change or go into more detail about their choice of car. No contracts will be signed until dealers are appointed.
Only 40 dealers!!?....and only 20,000 potential customers - that makes me wonder how up to date the info is!