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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, reality is starting to set in...

I have been researching to see if Tucson, AZ will be getting a dealership. I have stopped in, phoned, checked websites and even contacted the Penske rental sites here in Tucson. As of right now I don't think we will have one. :(

The Mercedes Benz dealership in Chandler (where the road show stopped) said they are still waiting word, but it looks like they will be the dealershlip for the "State of Arizona".

The dealership even has a Smart Car rep that you can talk to but she is not saying much until more infor comes down the pipe line.

The big question is warranty issues...how will that be handled?

Teapots
 

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Arizona Penske Group dealers

This is the list of the Penske Groups dealers in State of Arizona.

Did you know that Penske has been selling smart cars for several years and owns 8 dealerships in Puerto Rico and it is possible they will not get a dealer? But keep an eye on Triangle Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Honda a few miles from San Juan, if they come!

I'm sure one or two of these will be selling the cars.

Acura North Scottsdale
Audi North Scottsdale
BMW North Scottsdale
Jaguar North Scottsdale
Jaguar Scottsdale
Land Rover North Scottsdale
Land Rover Scottsdale
Lexus of Chandler
Mercedes-Benz of Chandler
MINI North Scottsdale
Porsche North Scottsdale
Rolls-Royce Scottsdale
Scottsdale Aston Martin
Scottsdale Audi
Scottsdale Bentley
Scottsdale Ferrari Maserati
Scottsdale Lexus
Tempe Honda
Volkswagen North Scottsdale
Volvo North Scottsdale
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks SmartAmerica

Nothing against Scottsdale & Chandler but they are still in the Phoenix area...approximately 100 miles from where I live.

Teapots
 

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I know how you feel Teapots.....keeping my fingers crossed that Louisville gets a dealership - then Kentucky will be lucky to land just one as well. Of course it only adds salt to the wound to think California might get 10 or so!

Second choices would be Indianapolis or Cincinnati, both about 100 miles away. My MINI I puchased from Cincy and warranty and service have not been too bad (fortunately no major issues) so about once a year I go up there for service and have any warranty issues taken care of at the same time. So it hasn't been too bad. Of course, I've known other MINI owners in town who have had major problems (non-drivable) and then the distance becomes a problem. MINI is good about their warranty work however, and will send and pay for a flat bed truck to fetch the broken down MINI. How Smart will handle warranty problems is a mystery at this point, so I would feel more comfortable to have the Smart dealer here in town.
 

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No Penske in Kentucty

No Penske dealers, that I'm aware of in Kentucty.

TENNESSEE

Landers Ford of Memphis
Wolfchase Toyota-Scion

INDIANA

Penske Chevrolet
Penske Honda

Not to say there will not be a store a few miles away. If your on the list and do get offered a car it should not be a problem.
 

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Thanks SmartAmerica

Nothing against Scottsdale & Chandler but they are still in the Phoenix area...approximately 100 miles from where I live.

Teapots
After being in the US market for over 5 years, MINI is still forcing thousands of its customers to travel over a hundred miles to the nearest dealership for warranty work. In the DC area, I'm fortunate to have 2 MINI dealers to choose from, both over 30 miles away. I'm even more fortunate that the local SmartCar dealer is only 20 miles away out in the exurbs.
 

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No Penske dealers, that I'm aware of in Kentucty.

TENNESSEE

Landers Ford of Memphis
Wolfchase Toyota-Scion

INDIANA

Penske Chevrolet
Penske Honda

Not to say there will not be a store a few miles away. If your on the list and do get offered a car it should not be a problem.

Yes, that's one of the first things I checked (going to PAG's website) to see if there was a Penske dealer in the area. Forutnately, it is my understanding that it is not a requirement that the new Smart dealer be at an existing Penske site.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, that's one of the first things I checked (going to PAG's website) to see if there was a Penske dealer in the area. Forutnately, it is my understanding that it is not a requirement that the new Smart dealer be at an existing Penske site.
I have even gone so far as to check out sites that would be good for a Smart Car dealership. As soon as I would see activity going on, I would jump on it and start calling. Just to be let down again....again....and again.:(

Today, I had a call back from a message that I left over a week ago. I knew it was a "no" already but when the man on the other end of the phone said he didn't know what a Smart Car was:eek: I knew I could take that site off my list.

By the way, I have found some pretty good locations. Too bad I don't have the money for my own dealership. Then I could be surrounded by Smart Cars all day long.:D

Teapots
 

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Picked this up on Google:

"Sam Swope Auto Group will be the exclusive dealer of Smart cars in the Louisville market when the vehicles make their United States debut in January."

Here's a link to the article: http://louisville.bizjournals.com/louisville/stories/2007/08/20/daily27.html?jst=b_ln_hl
WOOHOO!!!! :):p

Thanks for the news! I had heard negiotiations were in progress with an "unnamed" dealership - the source didn't want to tell me in case the deal fell through...I guess not!

just got around to opening todays paper, and its page one on the business section as well!
Also mentioned in the article is the location of Louisville's Smart Tour - the Hard Rock Cafe downtown.
 

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There seems to be alot of secrecy surrounding dealerships at this time ..the ones that are pretty sure but not 100% just yet don't want to jump in there until something is cast in stone and I don't know what that is as yet. I keep buggin the hell out of our local dealer and the GM keeps telling me they don't know anything yet and that they will contact me when they have a demo car for me to drive some more if I want( they sponsored the Smart Tour in late July) They bought property next door to their dealership that they are going to renovate for the *Smart Center of Albany* this fall.....they have told me that much so it seems like it will happen and it's just a question of having patience and waiting this whole thing out. Jez....I hate wishing the time by....after all, we only have so many days on this earth, you know?
 

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Dealers, Secrecy, and Test Drive

I had my smart drive today hosted by Checkered Flag Motors of Virgina Beach, VA, at a gathering separate from the public deal tomorrow and Sunday. I was hoping for some time with both the smart people and the CFM dealer people. As expected, the smart people had all and everything we have heard so far, and also all the non-commitment. The only dealer people from CFM were the host folks with the refreshment tent, and I asked one of them if there were any CFM sales and business people to talk to; that is where my remaining questions are. She said nope, they were there earlier during the set-up but were asked to leave by the smart side before the designated start time. She confided that PAG is keeping everything under very tight wraps, and even the hired marketing firm teams conducting the road tours are only authorized to say what they have been briefed by PAG to say.

The only new intel I could get was (1) the Mitsubishi-designed engine is built in Europe somewhere under the M-B aegis, (2) Checkered Flag Motors will indeed be the regional dealer, even though PAG declines to announce it, and (3) the dealer allocation will be by pre-established regions, and the order of delivery will be in accordance with the date of reservations of those people "assigned" to that region by PAG/Internet Brands.

I found nothing in the test drive that was inconsistent with what has already been written here, and it was a positive experience. I found the car to have a bit more off-the-line acceleration than I expected, but the acceleration curve may flatten significantly as torque diminishes and wind resistance increases. I gave the transmission most of my attention during my seat time and found no fault with either auto or manual mode. It can be shifted from one mode to the other on the fly with the push of a button on the shift lever knob. One thing I couldn
 

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If they are going to launch in the "Fall" they'll have to announce their dealer network pretty soon. I suspect there will be a lot of dissapointment and a lot of people cancelling their reservations if they have to drive 600 miles to the nearest dealership.
 

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Knoxville Smart stop

The the urban champion, imported by the Penske group incorporates a stopover in Knoxville on Sept. 20 at Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville 10131 Parkside Drive.

A Sacramento dealer will invest about $1 million to renovate an empty showroom and equip a service department for Smart at Arden Way and Fulton Avenue, on the other end of the Volkswagen dealership, company president Rick Niello said. Niello's ninth franchise will operate out of the auto dealer's former Audi site and employ about a dozen people to start.

"When the sales network has been established, dealers will be given lots of leads," says Kettenbeil. smart USA is working with a lead management system called smart1 in conjunction with Cars Direct, a Los Angeles-based multi-brand online car buying service.

The leads will come from their reservation program, web presence and the marketing tour.

"Generally what we do for our road shows is that we have teams that go out to locations and scout them, considering the drive route, characteristics within the community, to see if it fits within the brand, Smart car is a very fun, very creative type brand and it represents a lifestyle pretty much." said smart spokeswoman Krissy Posey.
 

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I like the design of the smart dealers. I hope the newly build dealers have the same design. This stack up tower can be seen from far away, which is very smart design. If the dealer in Fairfield, CT has the same design, then everybody driving on the nearby I-95 can see them. This tower will definitely attract attention.
 

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For those who haven't seen one, or forgotten about it, the tower is a copy of the Swatch watch revolving displays on jewelry counters with the watches in their plastic boxes.
 

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HAHA! That has got to be the funniest thing I've ever heard. Everytime I hear something like that it makes me want this car more and more.... Plastic boxes..lol:p

Getting back to the subject at hand, however, those glass towers which are used to... How should I call it? "Dispense", smart cars would be a really cool idea. I don't know of any other car company that would dare do something like that with any of their models. I wonder if those dealerships are expensive to build?

I really enjoy how smart does everything differently. Power to them!:cool:
 

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From what I understand, the Euro towers are automated and the cars are all dealer-prepped and ready to be driven away.

I wouldn't be surprised if any U.S. towers were simply frames with illuminated panels. What dealer is going to have up to 36 smarts to put into a showcase.
 
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