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Discussion Starter #1
This question might be considered by some to be like the proverbial question, "Which came first....the chicken or the egg?"

I know there may not be a lot of vendors for Smart Car items until the cars are actually being delievered HERE, but on the other hand, if it takes some time to ramp up one's inventory and get prepared to do business, waiting until the cars actually hit the market may leave quite a void for quite some time.

I'm especially interested in things like steel wheels, or snow tires, bicycle rack, trailer hitch, etc. after hearing that most Canadians put those things on their cars to make them get better traction during the winter months and to extend the use of their economical cars.

My thoughts are that any vendor getting set up with inventory now, and letting us all know, will have a huge jump on those that wait for the demand and then go hunting suppliers.

I have read about vendors in Canada and the United Kingdom, but I would like to do business in the US if at all possible. If you are going to be a supplier, I hope you get enrolled in that section of this forum. I'll be looking forward to doing business with you.
 

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Harleyduo, you make a good point! The first smarts won't be delivered to the US until at least February. We're all going nuts waiting. I'd buy some stuff right now if it was available from an American supplier. The American aftermarket parts suppliers do a HUGE business, but their smart business right now is zilch. We just have to wait. (sigh!:()

Hey, Vendors! Harleyduo and I (and probably a vew thousand other reservation holders!) want to know about you! If any of you parts suppliers out there read this forum you should contact the admin people for ad info! If I can't have my smartie yet at least let me drool over some parts & accessories! :) Anybody out there know if there were any vendors at the SEMA show in Vegas with smart parts or accessories?

The CanadiansmartClub has a couple members that use their logo as a link to their business. Hmmm...
 

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I am certain that most of the vendors are waiting until the car gets released next year before jumping into inventory before the fact now. It is an all new car and will have many changes from the 450 that may not meet the eye until they are out and under close scrutiny by their owners and that can only be done after Jan 1st, 2008.
 

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Ever6ybody here makes a good point and I can validate that there are eager vendors out there but right now they don't have any cars to build prototypes from yet.

As soon as vendors and manufactures car put their hands on the new Smart Fortwo, i have a feeling we will be swimming in parts and cool things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Get us while we're 'hot'....

If potential vendors could step forward and begin to identify themselves and what kinds of products they intend to be carrying, I think it would endear them to our hearts and help both them and us. For instance, if somebody is going to be carrying a line of clothing items with pictures of Smart cars, do they really need to wait until the cars are available. I'm ready to order one right now and start wearing to promote what I'm waiting for.

Likewise, some of the items don't have to be engineered, just purchased from a wholesaler of those products. Items like tires, mag wheels, etc. are already being produced and sold in some parts of the world for the 451, so we Americans are looking for distributors in OUR country for those same or similar products.

I know for a fact that Daimler is not going to be the only source for things like compact utility trailers or campers, but people may want to start thinking about lining up those products NOW for next summer's vacations.

Key rings, ball point pens, hats, wallets, jackets, and all kinds of things could satisfy the eager hordes while they were waiting for their actual deliveries of their vehicles.

I know it's unlikely that anybody is going to stock tons of mag wheels yet, for a car that isn't even available, but if they would even let us know they WILL be stocking them and begin to put together those advertising materials that we could begin shopping, there would be lots of business to be done when the cars hit the roads. I'm wearing around the Sirius satellite hat that I was given at the test drive and get all kinds of comments on that..I'd much rather be wearing a hat with a Smart car pictured on it and be talking about THAT instead of the radio programs my car can get.

Time is flying by, it will be first quarter before we know it and there's going to be a lot of 'Christmas present sales' missed if vendors continue to wait.
 

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I am kind of astounded that PAG does not have a part of their SmartUSA site with things like this...they are the most in the know and certainly be aware of risk decisions relating to product lines vs. real likely hood of actual car deliveries

If I was them I already would have a catalog of the standard accessories all the Euro and Canadian markets have.

I am not certain enough that I will actually see a smart car in 2008 with my name on the title so I highly doubt I would order a set of rims, tires, spiffy exhaust, or any other high dollar outlay..but right now I could be conned out of good cash for logos and baubles
 

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Even for parts as mundane as wheels, vendors are going to need test mules to establish specialty products for the 451. Of course, you could drool over wheels with the factory diameter, width and offset, but you can do that now at hundreds of wheel outlets (assuming yoiu know the 451 offset). The trick is determining the proper offset to allow the lowest, widest and meanest tire (or any other attributes you are trying to maximize) This can only be determined with an actual car in hand to measure and fit.

Same goes for just about anything else except for "lifestyle" products (chatchkis and apparrel), and those will require licensing from Smart to attach the Smart logo.
 

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There is no appreciable difference with the euro 451 and the NA import save the EPA stuff and DOT safety stuff... we know the mitsu motor has a turbocharged cousin, we know that there are already raising and lowering kits with all sorts of different height and rate springs and shocks and the vast quantity of prices, styles and offsets of rims are already just about all we can expect to be offered including the 3 lug to 5 lug adapters

I can find 15, 16, and17 inch rims in lots of style variations depth and offsets, many offered with rubber, on the Brit and German sites....

You are correct that for a production unit in the continental USA to R&D something new...they need a mule

I suspect With the rather large amount of look sharp and go fast goodies already in production not too much of that will happen....

I do know there will be a few folks who find the magic code to tune the factory ECU I suspect Big performance has a contact overhere already

K&N will lead the way in so called "cold air kits". Bassani or similar will quickly offer fart pipe exhausts. I think it won't take long for some home grown spoilers and flares to make it to market but much of this will, as you say, require a test car

Any one ask any of the major catalog suppliers if they are aware the Smart is coming and do they have plans to expand product lines yet...I have not but I think I might drop Summit or Jeggs a note
 
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