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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All

This post would be best on the EU threads, but I figured I'd start here.

I too have paid my $99, but there are also some questions too.

1: There are more than 20,000 pre orders and the plane was to only ship 16,000 to the US.

2: Dealers adding extra charges (if they can they will, I would).

3: Closest dealer is 55 miles away.

4: I may have to wait a year + to get one ( I don't see them shipping all 16,000 in the first quarter).

5: Untested model.

But as I found out over the weekend I have a Zap dealer 20 miles from my house and they have 2 2006 conversions in stock. Of course the price is high but do the following factors justify the extra expense.

1: Dealer 20 miles form my house (who has been with Zap for the last 3 years and has a certified service tech it in house)

2: Proven model with years of history.

3: Parts and on-line support all ready established (granted parts would come from Canada or the EU (at a higher cost))

4: Proven to get 50-55 MPG

5: Could buy it TODAY

This kept me awake last night going BACK AND FORTH. My plan for this car is to back and forth to work (17 miles in each direction), I looked at pure electric and to do 10 mile highway and 7 mile city in a COLD New England state during the winter on 1 charge would cost more than the Zap version.

I looked at the Toyota Pr. and if you look at the Google data ( their Plugin project) the non Plugin only get 39 MPG and to go Plugin is about $10,000 more and you lose your warranty and bringing the cost to well over 30K.

So WHAT would you DO, wait or spend the extra money for a 2006 version OOHH and I have driven both, I really don
 

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smart happens here!
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AFineDilemma

Good questions

I think your decision comes down to how much IS the Zap conversion - and is it worth getting it today.

I think all your other '06 vs '08 pros and cons are about a draw- mpg, reliability, service are all about the same either way you go. Think it comes down to two facts not in evidence: How early did you get you deposit in, and what are you driving now. If you've just sent in your deposit, and are currently driving a gas guzzler, then the choice may be obvious - don't wait. But if your current vehicle get 20+ mpg and you sent in your deposit back in March, well.....more sleepless nights await! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
SmartCard

Well, I put in my deposit in the end of May (then 1 week later I hear the pre-orders hit 20 K), so if they stick to the 16K plan I'm OUT. I drive a 4 cyl Ford Ranger for this commute and I get about 20 MPG ( BUT 20 VS 55 is a big deal).

I just found out Liberty Mutual will NOT insure this car but State Farm and All State will and of course I use Liberty, SSOO I would have to change insurers, but that is OK, the cost is $620 and $760 per year (rather high for New Hampshire).

Also I'll have to take it back to the dealer for it's annual inspection, when I called my garage, well they laughed.

sandyncorgi

Zap is a co in Ca. that has been importing the Smart for the last 3 years, bringing them up to US standards and selling the Americanized Smart (same car, different exhaust, padded covers for the roof, adding 2nd air bag, head milling, etc,etc).

I sign the papers for the Home Equity loan on Wed, (for tax purposes) and will have the money next Mon or Tue. Will select the one I want this weekend and should be driving in 8 days, so I guess I will end my Smart USA and jump over to the EU threads, BUT the refund of the deposit will be something I will keep U all updated on.

:D ASM
 

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smart happens here!
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No need to jump ship AFM, you'll still have a Smart car, and it will be in America! ;)

Congrats on your impending purchase then. This wouldn't happen to be from that Ford dealership in New Hampshire, would it?
 

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$64000 Question

Think of it this way, if you go for the 2006 it will be one less person waiting for a 2008.

But if it was me pondering that question, I would wait for the 2008. I have been to the gray dealer closest to me and I wouldn't trust him with a ten foot pole. I don't trust car dealers anyway but he is at the bottom of the list.

Teapots
 

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The major issues with the gray market cars are a) the car cost double the 2008 model and offers less and more importantly b) once the real smart dealers open early next year they won
 

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The current model smart cars that are not from ZAP dealers do have a warranty that is honored at any mechanic that wants to work on the car. We supply free repair CD's and website assistance to assist the mechanics in learning those repairs. There are two completely different warranties in existence on current model smarts. Ours are 4 year/50,000 mile warranties. The non-ZAP dealer warranties have no geographic or dealer centered requirements. There are not many folks that want to spend the higher amount of money for these limited available cars, but that's okay since there aren't that many of these cars anyway. It is important for potential buyers to know that the ZAP warranty is much different from our warranty and our warranty is from a company that has been selling these agreements for over 25 years. This is meant to be a clarification. Thanks.

Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
 

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The current model smart cars that are not from ZAP dealers do have a warranty that is honored at any mechanic that wants to work on the car. We supply free repair CD's and website assistance to assist the mechanics in learning those repairs. There are two completely different warranties in existence on current model smarts. Ours are 4 year/50,000 mile warranties. The non-ZAP dealer warranties have no geographic or dealer centered requirements. There are not many folks that want to spend the higher amount of money for these limited available cars, but that's okay since there aren't that many of these cars anyway. It is important for potential buyers to know that the ZAP warranty is much different from our warranty and our warranty is from a company that has been selling these agreements for over 25 years. This is meant to be a clarification. Thanks.

Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
I just wanted to thank Ron for joining the site. I feel he will be a great resource to the community can help us in many of our questions about possible ownership of the Smart Car, whether it be the US model to come or currently available models in the US.
 

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Thanks, SMART. It has been a thrill to be involved with these little guys for the past 15 months and we've learned a ton about the cars through experience and the various forum websites available. This appears to be a very good new site where folks can learn about both the new and the current smarts. We'll be glad to answer any questions that come up (where we know the answer) and throw some neat weird stuff in sometimes (Did you know you could "pop start" a smart if the battery goes dead? Did you know you can clear the maintenance wrench from your display if your mechanic forgets to do it? Hint: Evilution holds the answers!) So much neat information about this car that the rest of the world has had years to learn. Fun being the rookie!

Ron Gaus, aSmartCar.com
 
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