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Here's the text of the letter I wrote to Roger Penske. I encourage you to do the same.

November 10, 2007

Re: smart car warranty

Mr. Roger Penske, Chair
Penske Automotive Group, Inc.
2555 Telegraph Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302-0954

Dear Mr. Penske and the Smart Team:

First allow me to thank you for being a visionary by bringing the smart car to the United States. I have been a dedicated follower of this car since I first saw it in Paris a decade or so ago. My enthusiasm for the car has translated into my early entrance into the reservation program (March 26) and the subsequent configuration of my Passion Coupe on October 20, 2007.

The reason for this letter, in addition to expressing my gratitude, is to give you my thoughts regarding the smart car warranty. Rumor has it that the warranty will only be a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty. I participate actively on a smart car forum and I can tell you that this is one hot topic! The forum members, all avid smart car fans, are dissatisfied with this minimal warranty. Many are concerned, as am I, that the warranty will reflect poorly on the car suggesting that it is not a quality product, a bit of negative P.R. this controversial car cannot withstand. We smart lovers are convinced of the quality and soundness of the product but, as you know, there are many naysayers in the media. Why add fuel to their fire?

I am an early adopter, often embracing new technology and innovative design before most people. I purchased a first generation Prius in 2001. This car has been the best car I have owned (I went to Prius from Mercedes) and I am willing to sell it to own the smart car—such is my dedication to the smart brand. Toyota, in their infinite wisdom, knew they had a solid product yet still offered a 10-year power train warranty, a five-year warranty, and 2 full years of routine maintenance for free! Standing behind their product gave Toyota an edge over the Prius’ detractors. I believe you and the smart team should do the same.

At minimum, you should offer a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. Your fans will thank you and your detractors will not have a flimsy warranty program to attack.

I appreciate your time and welcome your thoughts.

Sincerest regards,
 

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Excellent letter - thank you! If we go with the smart it will replace an 02 WRX wagon, something I'm not happy about since the WRX is too much fun to drive. The smart is a much more rational car with gas heading for $4 a gallon so I guess I have to admit I'm putting common sense over fun on this one. However, the Mini and the Corvette stay! :)
 

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That should get their attention!

Shanna,
I could not have written a better letter myself! Nice work...:)
I have a feeling that someone from PAG will begin to read the postings here if they aren't already doing so and this should allow PAG and Smart to at least keep a pulse on the positive side of their marketing efforts. The negative attitudes out there are represented well enough in some of the rantings our forum members find on the internet and elsewhere so you can bet they are aware of them.

I believe that additional warranty will be offered ..... excepting it will come with a price which is BS. Hopefully some consideration of the negative impact that will have on their marketing efforts will open their eyes to modify the warranty policy.

Again, nice job SmartShanna!
 
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