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My feeling is that they will tank to a premium of $5 over the cost of a new one throughout 2008. People will still pay a premium to get their hands on one, business people using it for promotions in particular.
 

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I think it all depends on how collectable the first generation becomes. Overseas they are everywhere but here they are pretty rare so in the USA they might end up being collectors items and hence somewhat valuable. They are quite different and somewhat more "pure" in concept than the one we'll be buying- hence the possibilty of collectability.
 

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The 2008 North America import of an EPA and DOT approved Smart has already impacted Grey 2005/2006 450 conversions. I know of two owners who have already gotten disillusioned by this frustrating marketing scheme PAG is subjecting us all to. They went up to Dallas and drove home 2006 Smarts that day. $26 to $31 thousand is not a big deal to some impatient folks.

I know for a fact that there is ONE Grey Market Smart that did not sell because of the 08 451 NA version...coming some day

ME.... I am affluent enough to get top of the line Passion Cabrio with every option PAG will support ----- but I am not willing to pay $10,000 more for a two to three year old when for $19,000 +/- I can have a new zero mileage one by waiting a few months to a year. Saving $10,000 buys a LOT of patience grin

If the Grey marketeers are concerned, they should drop their price $5000 right now and the rest of thier inventory would be gone in two weeks!

I would tell PAG to kiss my fanny if I could get the Cabrio in Dallas tomorrow morning for $22~$24K
 

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Do you agree or disagree that gray market car prices are going to tank when the 2008 USA dealers are up and running?
sure, but only once there becomes 451 inventory to purchase. As long as it takes 6 - 12 months to get a new 451, the grey market prices will remain inflated.
 

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I haven't ever understood people paying that much money for a gray market car - unusual or not. Since I don't see but the occassional Smart in the area, and it's certainly affluent enough that people can afford to buy what they want, (exotics are pretty common) I have to think that when the new Smart hits town and the original ones aren't so out of the ordinary, the value of those cars will drop to an appropriate price in comparison to the new cars.

So, the gray-market Smarts value will be calculated from a starting point equal to the newest cars - or a little less since they won't have the same features as the new design. Most people won't see the difference and crtainly won't pay a premium for an original/gray market - possibly significantly less.
 

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sure, but only once there becomes 451 inventory to purchase. As long as it takes 6 - 12 months to get a new 451, the grey market prices will remain inflated.

As will the price of nearly new 451's that unscupulous people will resell for a quick profit to the impatient on line. I think the crazy ordering process PAG has installed is guaranteed to and is calculated to produce this result (like the first Mini Coopers) which will end up leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouth except for the greedy dealers and the guys who ordered early just to resell who are rubbing their hands anticipating a killing.

I think the first 451's will go for even more than the grey market cars because they'll have parts back up and a real warantee.

p.s. I hope I'm wrong in all of this!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And so it begins http://www.ecoautoinc.com/?gclid=CO7To6eMio8CFSQYZAodMioPsg :D

New '06 Ruby Red /Siver "Passion" Coupe - Reg $24,995 - SALE! $21,995
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New '06 Phat Red/Silver "Passion" Cabrio - Reg $29,995 - SALE! $26,995 Car is in Florida!
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New '06 Ferrari Red/Silver "Passion" Cabrio - Reg $30,995 - SALE! $26,995
Click for photos and details
 

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I guess my question is, how hard is it to get a gray market car repaired? It may be the case that even after the dealships are around the gray market car may not be supported very well? If this is true, the value will plumet to below a comparable USA version.

The USA version is not better in the gas mileage department, but it's better riding, handling, so on, will make it a far better car for the US market.

The dealerships, are not going to be allowed to change the retail price. The destination charge will be different based on distance to get them to the dealership, but other then that they will be the same.

I wouldn't buy a gray car right now, even if it were the same price, just because of my concerns for service??? Maybe these aren't real concerns, but I think I'm the average guy?
 

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Daddy of Miss Norah

Interesting info..thanks

However the Passion Cabrios at $27,000 plus Texas TT&L-- (I bet insurance is going to be higher based on sale price).

So, even discounted, the 2006 Cabrio is still well over $5000 above what I should be getting the 2008 version for......($18,840 +TT&L)

I admit this PAG marketing scheme had me think about the prices you posted two or three times.....

No thanks--- I think I will continue to hold my April 30th day in line (where ever the hell that puts me in line) I know I should be ahead of the May 07 and later $99 reservation holders.....

On the other hand, I am not a loyal MB customer and do not personally know any MB sales or dealer persons, so I assume there will be some folks who cut ahead in line....
 

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A good independant auto mechanic can pretty much do what a dealer's service department can - and cheaper. My intent is to acquire copies of the 451 service and parts manuals to be available to an independant mechanic if needed.

I understand getting those documents for a grey 450 is problematic as M-B is reluctant to part with them. But by law they must be made available for any vehicle legitimately marketed in the U.S. (which the 450 was not).

BTW, I prefer the spelling "grey" when referring to the color; "Gray" is my clan name (Clan Gray of Lanark). Anchor Fast Anchor!
 

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As you point out Norahs dad, the price of the gray market cars has already dropped. I have been watching them for several years and I can say they have dropped quite a bit. The old engine may be better than the new one, but I think the price will fall through the floor when the 451s start to arrive. Warrenty and service issues alone will make the older cars far less attractive than the new ones.
 

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OTOH, as untraveled as the average Americans is, a vast percentage don't even know what a Smart car is. (Those of us on this forum are a very small minority) When the cars start showing up and people become aware of the car, they might want to go out a get one. When they find that the wait is over a year and a half, they may then be tempted to go the grey route. I wouldn't write off the expensive grey market just yet as this window may stay open for another year.

tm
 

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When they find that the wait is over a year and a half, they may then be tempted to go the grey route. I wouldn't write off the expensive grey market just yet as this window may stay open for another year.
I suppose it's possible but WOW, you REALLY have to like them to pay an extra 10 grand or so to have one NOW! hehehe :eek:
 

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When looking at the differential of grey cars cost to our list prices I think it is premature to assume we will not be paying above list for our smarts just yet. I can imagine many ways our dealers could "dress up" our cars with added charges and say to us - take it or leave it.
 

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You never know what will really happen, but I talked to Smartusa the other day and specifically asked the question about pricing. The said "the retail price is fixed". They also said, that I can choose which dealer I work with, which is important to me, since I'm in Des Moines.

Normally Feldman in Minneapolis would probably get my area, but I go to Kansas City all of the time, so I would rather buy from a dealer there if possible.

One other thing they told me about availability. They said that being in a small market may be to your advantage. The supply for the smaller markets will be higher relative to the demand created from the orders.

Of course they can say anything, but we won't know for sure until it happens. I would go grey market right now if it wasn't for the 451 coming soon, so it almost has to be effecting demand, which effects the price.
 

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Normally Feldman in Minneapolis would probably get my area, but I go to Kansas City all of the time, so I would rather buy from a dealer there if possible.
My experience at the dealer in KC that is "supposed" to get the franchise has not been what I would call ideal. However there is an upside to every problem and I really prefer the brand that I went to as a substitute. It much more fulfills my needs as a driver and occasional track day participant.
 

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Every time you think you have a handle of what is going on, another little scrap of info gets in the way. The Fortune/Penske article said that the PAG M/O was to bring in just customer cars and not have
 
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