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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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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
Automotive News
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!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 08:18 PM
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Since they are citing initial production of 20,000 units, it sounds like it is fairly current. It was just recently announced that they were upping production numbers from 16,000 to 20,000. I'm still wondering why the initial 40 dealers haven't been announced yet. Maybe, the dealers requested that information be withheld until late in the year to postpone for as long as possible the irate calls from people who missed the opportunity to place a reservation. Our local dealer has already been determined and has notified all of the reservation holders within its sales territory, but only because they are having an "invitation only" Smart car show this week.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 04:09 PM
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According to the local dealer today, the official production volume for 2008 is still 20,000.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 04:44 PM
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Sounds like a good number to me....all I want is ONE!!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnysan View Post
Sounds like a good number to me....all I want is ONE!!

Based on my crude calculations, if you submitted your reservation before the end of JUne you got a shot at that ONE in 2008. Otherwise, be prepared to wait til the following year.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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Sure does not sound like a lot of dealerships out there. Let's hope we are not waiting years for these cars.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-26-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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I Hope that Smart or UAG PENSKE will build the Glass Smart towers like the ones in Europe....
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2007, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhoboy View Post
Since they are citing initial production of 20,000 units, it sounds like it is fairly current. It was just recently announced that they were upping production numbers from 16,000 to 20,000. I'm still wondering why the initial 40 dealers haven't been announced yet. Maybe, the dealers requested that information be withheld until late in the year to postpone for as long as possible the irate calls from people who missed the opportunity to place a reservation. Our local dealer has already been determined and has notified all of the reservation holders within its sales territory, but only because they are having an "invitation only" Smart car show this week.
As in the case of my local dealer, all these late announcements evidentally are due to the variable negotiation process with SmartUSA. Some contracts are signed quickly and early, others are still in the works. No sense in announcing a dealership and then have the agreement fall through, I guess.
Presumably SmartUSA will make a formal dealership network announcement soon when all the ink is dry on the agreement on the dealers that will be open in January.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 07:37 AM
 
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At 20,000 units over 40 dealers equals 500 cars for each dealer per year or about 41 sales per month per dealer, on average. That does not sound like a large distribution number when you look at it that way.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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My local BMW/MINI dealer is owned by Penske. The local MB dealer is not. It will be interesting to see where it lands.

I'm near Minneapolis.
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