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Hi, just curious to know if there are those who wished in the past that Daimler would have put the Smart Cars under a different car company to sell and maintain other than Mercedes? I feel that was a big part of their downfall here in the states due to Mercedes not really wanting to fool with them because they were "high-priced" and looked down on "lower-priced" tiny cars. We were like the gnat that wouldn't go away for a while and it always seemed we were a pain in the azz to them in repairs. I always felt they "high-priced" the repairs in an effort to make us go away. Rarely did I ever see them advertised, and Smart Car of America seemed to back away and started to not want to help in the Smart Car groups in an effort to really promote them. And what was Daimler thinking with the electric cars that only went like some 67 miles on a charge for the US? It was all mishandled from the get go. JMO. Diane
 

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I guess they could have put them under the Chrysler umbrella while they owned them however,
we all know how well that would have gone... As far the range goes, the smart car be it ICE or ED
was intended as a city car.;)
 

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The snob’s won and America couldn’t embrace a micro car. The Mercedes hold on everything SMART , parts , service, etc put a working bloke (Who was attracted to this vehicle) in a pickle with those outrageous service costs and parts inflated to a (Professional suit and tie type) Benz budget . The Marketing here was atrocious and the whole “city” car sales pitch took it in a wrong direction .. too bad for us that enjoy them .
 

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The previous (and original) owner of my 2009 Passion spent more on repairs in the time he owned it ($17k) than he did on the purchase of the car ($13k). Over 12 years, I suppose that wasn’t too bad, but still.
 

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My car was bought, at a stand alone Penske smart dealership. The service was preformed in a MB dealership. MB service prices. Only a 2 year manufacture vehicle warranty. We loved MB dealership, the sales people etc. Who owned the smart franchise They went out of there way to host the largest smart car event in the country. The 2010 smart car nationals.

zero smart car, advertisement from Penske or Mercedes-Benz.

What hurt the smart brand here. The 451’s transmission. 453 the styling, and price. Not many previous smart car owners warmed up to the 453’s new design. The cars sat on the dealers lot. No customer loyalty here, for the brand. Then MB dropped the ICE cars. Went full electric, very short driving range. Very $$$$$$ to buy. That was the nail in the coffin here.
 

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What company would that have been? In the early days many owners were complaining about the Penske organization and wishing Mercedes had imported the smart. When Mercedes took the brand back there were a lot of high hopes. Not so much after a year or so under the mothership. It's all moot at this point and my prediction is smart won't be coming back to North America. :)
 

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The Penske Organization, seem to care about the smart brand. Gift cards were mailed to new owners. I still have mine. One of them is for Starbucks. 1st. Anniversary post cards were mail to the current owners. inviting to a dealership party. I receive Christmas card from them too. Penske got involved In the smart car events. That all ended, when MB took over.
 

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My car was bought, at a stand alone Penske smart dealership. The service was preformed in a MB dealership. MB service prices. Only a 2 year manufacture vehicle warranty. We loved MB dealership, the sales people etc. Who owned the smart franchise They went out of there way to host the largest smart car event in the country. The 2010 smart car nationals.

zero smart car, advertisement from Penske or Mercedes-Benz.

What hurt the smart brand here. The 451’s transmission. 453 the styling, and price. Not many previous smart car owners warmed up to the 453’s new design. The cars sat on the dealers lot. No customer loyalty here, for the brand. Then MB dropped the ICE cars. Went full electric, very short driving range. Very $$$$$$ to buy. That was the nail in the coffin here.
I would agree with your assessment. The 451 transmission is unique. But a tach and manual shifting works for me, and not having a clutch pedal in city traffic works (or worked, when I drove in the city...) As for the 453 styling, does nothing for me either. And 60-70 miles on a charge for the electric? And $10K+ to replace a battery pack? Yeah, stick a fork in it. It's done...
 

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How about running a mini generator in the back? I really drank the Kool-Aid on 5 of those cars. I still can change my own oil, plugs and tires. I can pump up my own A\C too. I know they have a propensity to lose some. Switching to a K and N filter also helps.
 

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  • The previous (and original) owner of my 2009 Passion spent more on repairs in the time he owned it ($17k) than he did on the purchase of the car ($13k). Over 12 years, I suppose that wasn’t too bad, but still.
    Gee that could have something to do with it. It has been said many times from others 'Cheapest parts from the lowest bidder.'
 

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Hi, just curious to know if there are those who wished in the past that Daimler would have put the Smart Cars under a different car company to sell and maintain other than Mercedes? I feel that was a big part of their downfall here in the states due to Mercedes not really wanting to fool with them because they were "high-priced" and looked down on "lower-priced" tiny cars. We were like the gnat that wouldn't go away for a while and it always seemed we were a pain in the azz to them in repairs. I always felt they "high-priced" the repairs in an effort to make us go away. Rarely did I ever see them advertised, and Smart Car of America seemed to back away and started to not want to help in the Smart Car groups in an effort to really promote them. And what was Daimler thinking with the electric cars that only went like some 67 miles on a charge for the US? It was all mishandled from the get go. JMO. Diane
my problem was they were not consistent. if mbz dealers didnt want the smart they didnt take them. hence, i have to go 70 mi to have service done, vs. 4 miles, as my mbz dealer said no, but, hell no. sstupid. in 1949 vw came to america, and it was a fella that owned a mess of jag dealerships in the northeast. they were forced to take two vw bugs. they didnt want to. if they didnt they'd get no jags. jags were hot. so they did. within 2 yrs they couldnt get enough vw's as they were hot hot hot. and so a legend was born. you'd think mbz woouold know that history lesson. they let their dealers piss off, and smart was doomed. with the advent of no more ice and only electric, at 67 mi per charge. that was the last straw. few want an electric that goes 67. i would have kept buying smarts, but, hey, they screwed up and they are in china now. stupid move mbz
 

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It doesn't help us Smarties either whence the Wuhan Flu made gas go down to 84 cents a gallon. I guess the gianormous SUV will always be king of the mountain.
 

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smarts died long before the seasonal political flu struck. the mistakes were made when they brought smarts to america in 2008. i was in germany living, in 1998 and fell in love with the first gen. the secret to success....imo....was what that fella who imported the first vw's into america. he forced all his franchise dealers to take them and service them...or no pie for you (jags). it worked. i think it would have worked again. also, ild have loved to have the diesel engine. in eu it was most popular as in canada, but, didnt come to america. and penske got the smarts first. another screw up. he didnt know the biz. it wasnt a truck or a race car. such is life.
 

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As a friend used to say: “Woulda, coulda, shoulda.” But then how many great cars have been discontinued due to corporate stupidity, and how many worthless cars have been brought to market? My one near experience with the nearest MB dealership was disappointing. But then I can say the same about a local Cadillac dealership. I think that’s one of the things that is so great and cool about the smarts and the smart community. I/we have a fighting chance to keep these little wonders running and enjoy them. 40 mpg works for me. And being able to park just about anywhere is pretty cool too. I park my two 2015s in one regular space. People are amazed.
 

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As a friend used to say: “Woulda, coulda, shoulda.” But then how many great cars have been discontinued due to corporate stupidity, and how many worthless cars have been brought to market? My one near experience with the nearest MB dealership was disappointing. But then I can say the same about a local Cadillac dealership. I think that’s one of the things that is so great and cool about the smarts and the smart community. I/we have a fighting chance to keep these little wonders running and enjoy them. 40 mpg works for me. And being able to park just about anywhere is pretty cool too. I park my two 2015s in one regular space. People are amazed.
Vega, Pinto come to mind.
 

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Vega, Pinto come to mind.
The Vega. It was supposed to get a rotary engine until GM realized how crappy the mpg was going to be. My understanding is that the engines were pretty good once they were sleeved. Hardening the alloy cylinder walls was a great concept that just didn’t work. Yet another GM failure.
 

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I forgot about the smoke credits! The Smart would offset the AMG Compressor. A 40mpg car vs. a 20 something... An electric that get 67 miles to a charge? Smoke and mirrors. I'll still drive Minimus Prime till the wheels fall off! Remember we still have 2yrs of service and parts and then the plug gets pulled!
 
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