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I received my Newsletter Vol 10 today. Nothing earth shattering, but a couple of specific statements that may allay the more rampant "grassy knoll" theories:

"This month we have many exciting announcements for our smart enthusiasts. To begin, we started our Reservation Confirmation Program for current reservation holders, which is the next step to owning a smart fortwo. Please be patient as the smart USA team will be contacting reservation holders based upon the date the reservation was placed. Our smart USA team is currently contacting approximately 350 Reservation Holders per week. Reservation Holders will now have the opportunity to change and confirm their vehicle model, colors, and options, as well as update personal information. Upon confirmation, your vehicle will be sent to the factory for production and delivery."​


"The next step in the reservation process has arrived! The Reservation Confirmation Program is now open and accessible to smart reservation holders. This interactive program allows you to personalize your smart fortwo to suit your needs and individual style, and send it off to the factory to be built just for you!"​


"Finally, we plan to announce our entire dealer network for 2008 by the end of this year, so that enthusiasts will know where their future smart centers will be located."​
 
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At 350 per week, number 20,000 can expect to order the car in 57 weeks, probably won't get the car until 2009. Doesn't look good for me, reserved in Mid June.
 

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Yeah, after seeing the latest newsletter, I am not sure what to be more concerned about - a) the fact that, at 350 order confirmations per week, I personally won't be seeing an order confirmation e-mail until mid 2008 (and not in the second half of 2007, as is noted on my reservation confirmation), b) the dealer list now won't be finalized until the end of the year (instead of the end of this past quarter, as I was told at the road show) or c) I did not receive the newsletter via e-mail and had to read it here.

At 350 cars per week, that is under 19000 cars per year, so there had better be at least a slight ramp-up if they intend to deliver 20000 cars per year.

I am not sure why they are keeping the reservation program open. If you put in a reservation today, you won't be taking delivery for a very long time. You would probably get a car sooner by picking up a car off the lot from the local dealer (who has it because, for example, the original reservation holder decided against the purchase). If you get a reservation now, your car would be available so far from now that used smart cars will likely be available before then.

Sorry to sound so negative, but I am very discouraged by this whole thing. Maybe I should just drop out of here and forget that I have a reservation until the middle of next year.

alan
 

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I’m wondering if smartUSA Distributor LLC is doing the same thing as the airlines – overbooking to an expected cancellation rate (or a little more). If in time we see that they close down the reservation program with 35,000 (or whatever) in hand to cover a 20,000 run, maybe they see evidence of an attrition rate of 43% (that would be a way high number!). But if that theory and that percentage held, and one was date-wise #20,000 on the list, then they may be in reality be 11,400th in the end.

Another thought is with the reservations continuing to pour in, supported by the $99 bills, perhaps smartUSA is using the figures and interest to leverage more factory production (in excess of 20k) to the U.S., which Mercedes Car Group may be happy to see.

As I have posted previously here, my estimate of overall attrition is 25%-30%, though not within this group. Participating in such an 1100 member group indicates a higher than average interest than the other 28,900 out there on their own. I think we may see 15%-20% here.
 

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350 a week?!

With 350 a week there is no way they will hit 20,000 the first year. I also think there must be some sort of ramp up to this. Maybe right now it's 350 a week and after it gets rolling, they'll confirm more per week. I also wondered why the reservation option is still open. The whole thing seems rather odd to me, but I'm still hanging in there because I just love this little car. :) I placed my reservation at the end of July so if they were not planning on delivering in first quarter they should have changed the wording on the reservation page. Something just doesn't make sense.
 

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When the smart was introduced in Canada a few years ago there was no "reservation program". People who knew about the car put deposits with their local Mercedes dealer and than waited to see if the car would actually be sold in Canada. Some waited well over a year. Smart expected to sell 1500cars the first year. In reality they sold 4000. They were basically all sold to people who went to their dealer, signed a "purchase contract", put down a deposit and ordered a smart. I beleive it was over a year before dealers had smarts in inventory that people could walk in off the street and buy a car. there were of coarse used smarts that came back to the dealers for various reasons but for the most part you just had to wait.

I hope the Mr. Penske and his group are more successful at providing smarts for purchase to anxious buyers. They have a pretty good indication of the interest here by the response to the reservation program and hopefully they will have the time and clout to get the cars they need.
 

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I received one yesterday as well, but it was the second time they emailed it to me. I also receive three Welcome Letters. One of them was from Mr. Penske, the other two from their Prez.
 

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I recieved the Vol 10 on 1 Oct.

Yesterday, 9 Oct, I got a second e-mail with Vol 10 newsletter

I am fairly sure the second send was because recently I spotted the "survey". I was forced to Register to take the survey. Because I have both a home, and work e-mail account-- I am never sure what one I used last. Each e-mail with Vol 10 news-letter is to a different account.

I suspect they have too many databases open with many many duplicates of all of us in them.....

I was going to send SmartUSA a note on this and decided not to. I do not want to confuse them any more then they appear to be
 
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