Interview with the manager of smart center Riverside: The smart car chronicles - Smart Car Forums
User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
 
diegosilang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Corona, California
Posts: 105
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interview with the manager of smart center Riverside: The smart car chronicles

Attachment 62
It was a dreary, rainy, and a very cold Friday afternoon at Riverside, California. I had cancelled an earlier 12:30 appointment to finally testdrive for the first time a smart car at the Riverside smart Center. I felt so bad cancelling the appointment that it left a feeling of emptiness inside of me. I tried to divert my attention and tried to fill the void that I felt by surfing the SCOA site, reading stories about other fellow members finally receiving their much long awaited ride, and stories of other people still waiting to take home their very own smart toy. Then all of a sudden an idea came up to me and I asked myself, why not call the manager of that smart center and do an exclusive interview that I could share to my fellow SmartCar of America forum members. So I went ahead and called John Gaddis, sales manager of smart center Riverside, who was very gracious enough to agree to be interviewed on the spot. I introduced myself as a smart car insider that had made the blind leap to a $99 reservation, and a member of this rapidly growing 11,000 strong SmartCar of America forum enthusiast. I asked him a series of questions that ranged from the number of promised deliveries for the year 08, to the issue of the orphans. Throughout the whole interview he offered a rare insight that only a sales manager of a smart center can give, of which he was kind enough to share to a total stranger like me. Below were a series of questions that I asked him.

Since opening day how many smart cars have you delivered?
John Gaddis (JG): Counting from opening day 1/18/08 to the present time (2/22/08), we have delivered about 3 dozens of smart cars to the owners and I am expecting to deliver about 30 more before the end of this month (February). In fact I am expecting 30 more to arrive this coming week and I have notified the following people that those cars belong to.

How many cars are you expecting to receive this year 2008?
JG: I was told that I would receive about 420 cars this year alone.


Are you aware of the number of reservations that is covered by your dealership and also what areas or counties are assigned to your smart center?
JG: I believed that I have about 600 people that made reservations that lives around this smart center's jurisdiction which covers Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial county. This makes the smart center of Riverside with the largest area of jurisdiction coverage in terms of square miles compared among the other dealerships in Southern California.
Attachment 61
Is'nt Las Vegas part of your coverage also?
It is part of our area of coverage until that dealership opens up around June of this year.

How far are you now in terms of deliveries to the reservees? As you may know in this forum we go by the last 4 digits of their reservation no. to identify your place in line i.e. 1173 as the first day of reservation.
JG: As of today, I believe it is 1181. And I will continue to receive more deliveries, and believe me they come in bunches. But no worries I got a lot of room available for them.

How much so far is your fallout rate (rate of dropouts among reservees)?
JG: So far we have averaged about %20.

How do you handle the disbursement of your orphans?
JG: Here we have a different term for them and we call them the fallouts. I have about 100 + people on my waiting list and I call them in order to see if they wanted to take home one, which so far had no problem getting rid of them.

Why don't you offer it (orphans) to those people that made reservations that started last year and go by their dates of reservation? Is'nt that a fair way to handle those orphans or fallouts as you call them?
JG: That is just a lot of work for me and I have enough work to do already. And besides this center is part of the Mercedes, Porsche group of dealerships in which we have repeat customers that have bought 2 or 3 Porches in the past who also would want to get a hold of this cars as either a gift to someone close to them and we sell it to them to reward them of their loyalty. Would you not do the same?

A lot of members in our forum are questioning the length of the covered warranty and the differing cost of the extended warranty. Why does smart only offer a 2 year/24k warranty? Is smart questioning the reliability and durability of the car, or is it also a way to lower cost?
JG: It is not because the reliability is in doubt, and we do believe that this is a dependable and durable car. The engine alone is built by an aircraft engine manufacturer, which if you were to imagine the amount of stress that it could withstand while in high altitudes (aircraft engine). So that is why Mercedes went with someone that has an excellent reputation in building engines. I believe cost is the major factor in this, and we try to make it affordable to everyone, which is represented by the price range of the pure alone ($11,590 base price). I also believe that most people who would buy this car would have this as their 3rd car and probably not put a lot of miles on it. We also offer affordable extended warranties like a 5yr/60k miles for $995, 5yr/75k miles for $1195 and 5yr/100k for $1595. There is a $100 deductible for every occurence, which we believe is competitive enough.

How reliable is your communication with Smart1 at the moment? Are you satisfied with the amount of information you are getting from them? This to us is part of our frustration with smart USA, we always get a canned response and offered the same line of answers.
JG: What we get from them is how much cars are coming from the boat and the list of poeple getting them. And as soon as we get them, we call the people that those cars belong to. That is as far as we could get with regards to information from smart1.
Attachment 63

How about my car John, is it part of your next delivery yet? I am waiting for a Black/Silver cell passion car and made reservation April '07.
JG: Did we call you yet? If not it is probably on the next boat.

John, thanks for the interview and would it be okay if I call you again in the future and do another interview?
JG: By all means Reggie, Im available anytime for you.

There you have it guys and gals. An insight from a manager of a smart Center in Riverside California. Hopefully I could get Dave Schembri in the future for an interview just like this one. ;)

Again my wholehearted thanks to John Gaddis, who was kind and gracious enough to grant me this impromptu interview. If you want to come visit him at his smart center, it is located at 8505 Indiana Avenue, Riverside, California (951.688.3332).

Reggie

P.s. Above pictures were taken at the smart center Riverside a week before this interview took place

Last edited by diegosilang; 06-14-2008 at 05:33 AM.
diegosilang is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 01:13 AM
SCOA Club
 
SmartPassion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Gabriel Valley, Sunny Cali!
Posts: 925
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by diegosilang View Post
Attachment 62
The engine alone is built by an aircraft engine manufacturer, which if you were to imagine the amount of stress that it could withstand while in high altitudes (aircraft engine). So that is why Mercedes went with someone that has an excellent reputation in building engines.
Nice sales pitch but:

1) Airplane engines are manufactured by a totally different sector of the Mitsubishi conglomerate.

2) Daimler owns 34% plus of Mitsubishi Motors

SmartPassion is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 04:57 AM
SCOA Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mars
Posts: 1,606
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Diego: thanks for taking your time. That was a good comprehensive interview. I don't think we could expect much more. It does give a good overall idea of what most dealers will be doing. Good job.

Mitsubishi is a reputable engine manufacturer. If they weren't MB wouldn't bother with them. Daimler probably owns 34% of them because they have a quality product.
SmartBob is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 05:03 AM
smart happens here!
SCOA Club
 
SmartCard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 1,830
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good job and thanks to Mr Gaddis for going on the record!
SmartCard is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 07:30 AM
 
shack01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 280
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
>> How far are you now in terms of deliveries to the reservees? As you may know in this forum we go by the last 4 digits of their reservation no. to identify your place in line i.e. 1173 as the first day of reservation.
JG: As of today, I believe it is 1181. And I will continue to receive more deliveries, and believe me they come in bunches. But no worries I got a lot of room available for them. <<




Hmmm . . . As a Las Vegas 1176, I would have to dispute that! I got the 30 day e-mail on 1 Feb and finally got a call from SC Riverside last Wednesday that my car would be here in a few weeks. I'm pretty sure they got some vehicles this past week but apparently mine was not one of them.

tm
shack01 is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
 
diegosilang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Corona, California
Posts: 105
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Shack01, when I asked JG that question, it sounded like he started glancing over his paperwork and first mentioned 1176 then said 1181. I was under the impression that he was talking about smart cars that he was receiving this coming week which belongs to group 1176-1181 and that he also added that owners of those cars were recently notified of the impending arrival. And it is safe to assume, since you mentioned that they have contacted you already, that you are one of those lucky people that would be getting one of the arriving batch of cars from smart center Riverside. And I am happy for you, your smart car is finally almost here. If you could only see the envy in my face. So hang in there, the wait is almost over for you.
diegosilang is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
shack01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 280
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Whooo Hoooo! You are correct, sir. Got THE call today from Veronica and a follow-up from John. "Come and pick up your car!" Bad timing, however, as I most likely won't be able to get to Cali before next Saturday. Still, its great news and John even had my VIN available so I can work the insurance and loan angles next week.

tm
shack01 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Smart Car Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
smart center Riverside - CA SMART smart center Dealerships 26 08-26-2012 10:28 PM
Interesting talk about the Smart BDC from a internet Sales Manager SMART smart Reservations 28 02-05-2008 03:01 PM
Riverside (CA) dealership to sell Smart Cars - Press-Enterprise spdickey smart News & Rumors 9 12-21-2007 11:06 AM
New (to me)Old Interview with Dave Schembri head of Smart USA ScarGo smart News & Rumors 0 12-18-2007 08:58 AM
Update from a Florida Smart Sales Manager kwagar smart News & Rumors 9 12-14-2007 05:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Clubs, Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.