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July 11, 2011 - MONTVALE, NJ
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today announced appointments within a dedicated team that will be responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of smart products in the United States. MBUSA took over responsibility for sales of the two-seater coupes and cabriolets from the Penske organization on July 1, 2011.
Heading up the smart team as general manager will be Tracey Matura. Matura is responsible for the brand's distribution, sales and marketing activities, reporting to Michael Slagter, vice president of sales for MBUSA. She has worked for MBUSA for 16 years, predominantly in the legal and retail areas, most recently as general manager of strategic retail development where she was responsible for the MBUSA dealer network. She was ranked one of the "100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry" by Automotive News this year.
Matura and her team will be part of a new subsidiary of MBUSA called Daimler Vehicle Innovations, LLC. Positions reporting directly to Matura include:

  • Julia Knittel as manager, smart marketing and brand management. Knittel, who has worked for MBUSA since 2002 in such areas as learning & performance and consumer events & sports marketing, was also communications manager for the smart brand when MBUSA originally introduced the brand to the U.S. in 2004. In her new post, Knittel will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic communication platforms for smart products and the brand in the U.S. including traditional marketing, experiential marketing, partnerships, social and digital media.
  • Sean Lyons as manager, smart sales and aftersales. Lyons comes to smart from Lexus where he held management positions for 11 years in regional sales operations, preowned and marketing, and most recently, vehicle field sales. As part of the smart team, Lyons will be responsible for managing sales and aftersales activities including overseeing a team of six field operations managers.
  • Deirdre O'Grady as smart dealer network lead. O'Grady brings to her new position, nine years of retail experience at Infiniti in such positions as regional market manager, and dealer parts & service manager. She also worked in sales operations, market representation, marketing and consumer affairs. On the smart team, O'Grady will be responsible for the strategic development and support of the smart franchise network which currently consists of 75 dealerships across the United States.
The distinctive smart product line consists of four models in the U.S.: the gasoline-powered smart fortwo in coupe (in "pure" or "passion" configuration) and cabriolet bodystyles as well as an all-electric version of the smart fortwo coupe. Over 47,000 smarts have been sold in the U.S. to date.
 

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Wow... Lots of girls for a very girlie car. How did Ole' Lyons slip in there. :D

Remember, the Miata was considered a girlie car too. We also had one of those. :D A2Jack
 

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Wow... Lots of girls for a very girlie car.
Don't know about you Jack, but my masculinity is not challenged. I sit taller on my wallet as I pass all those gas stations, and park up front in crowded lots.

Cheers, Bob in KC
(then again, I have no problem ordering quiche' either)
 

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It's a good move. Having a women-oriented management team may provide crucial perspectives that were missing before with Penske and allow marketing decisions that would not have otherwise come. It can't hurt.
 

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I'd feel better if someone at the top knew the difference between the clutch actuator and the window winder and could identify any part of the car I handed him, instantly, knowing how to install it back in the transmission without a training program...and has had a little grease in his hands that didn't come from a boutique.

Couldn't we have just one person near the top who knows the engine is in the back and drives the rear wheels? Maybe such a person could be convinced diesel engines aren't just for garbage trucks and ships.

Hello Kittie?
 

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I'd feel better if someone at the top knew the difference between the clutch actuator and the window winder and could identify any part of the car I handed him, instantly, knowing how to install it back in the transmission without a training program...and has had a little grease in his hands that didn't come from a boutique.

Couldn't we have just one person near the top who knows the engine is in the back and drives the rear wheels? Maybe such a person could be convinced diesel engines aren't just for garbage trucks and ships.

Hello Kittie?
Have to agree with you on this one Larry :D


 

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I'd feel better if someone at the top knew the difference between the clutch actuator and the window winder and could identify any part of the car I handed him, instantly, knowing how to install it back in the transmission without a training program...and has had a little grease in his hands that didn't come from a boutique.
Roger Penske, perhaps?
 

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I'd feel better if someone at the top knew the difference between the clutch actuator and the window winder and could identify any part of the car I handed him, instantly, knowing how to install it back in the transmission without a training program...and has had a little grease in his hands that didn't come from a boutique.

Couldn't we have just one person near the top who knows the engine is in the back and drives the rear wheels? Maybe such a person could be convinced diesel engines aren't just for garbage trucks and ships.

Hello Kittie?

I'd like for you to name me one large, international company that this is true for? I can promise you none of the top GM, Ford, or Chrysler execs ever get their hands dirty. Neither does Dieter Zietch(sp?). Heck, most of them couldn't tell you where the dipstick is on their own car.

The last exec that I knew of that was a car guy was Bob Lutz, and you know what happened to him....


They hire these people for their business savy, not their automobile knowledge.

Just to note: I'm not disagreeing with you, just the reality is, it's not going to happen.:)
 

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Now which of those folks do we bug about filling some of those service Gaps in the country.

I don't give a rats A$$ about sales if follow up service is not available
 

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I'd feel better if someone at the top knew the difference between the clutch actuator and the window winder and could identify any part of the car I handed him, instantly, knowing how to install it back in the transmission without a training program...and has had a little grease in his hands that didn't come from a boutique.

Couldn't we have just one person near the top who knows the engine is in the back and drives the rear wheels? Maybe such a person could be convinced diesel engines aren't just for garbage trucks and ships.

Hello Kittie?
So your assumption is all women are clueless about automobiles? Good luck with that one...:rolleyes:
 

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All i know is i do hope there will be a larger network of MB dealerships and more sorely needed, INDEPENDENT SHOPS THAT CAN WORK ON THESE CARS. It is one thing to have a crew of marketers that have the capability of advertising the Smart in a way that can appeal to the general masses, which is what the original folks who distributed the Smart obviously had no sense in, however if there is not much of a base that can back up the service it is not going to go well. Do recall that a number of owners of the Smart are not as fortunate as those who live in the more metropolitan areas to have at least one nearby their home. I do speak for the majority of Smart drivers of course.
 

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price of the on-line manual just went up so add $100 to the independent repair bill!WE NEED A MANUAL -- how about a forum sponsored manual where everyone doing a procedure writes it up and take pics and then submits the info to the forum?
 

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  • Julia Knittel... ...was also communications manager for the smart brand when MBUSA originally introduced the brand to the U.S. in 2004.
  • Deirdre O'Grady will be responsible for the strategic development and support of the smart franchise network which currently consists of 75 dealerships across the United States.
That's surprising, I thought MBUSA never sold the smart in the US and that there were currently about 53 dealerships.:confused:
 

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SO.......what happened to Jill? sorry, haven't kept up on ALL of the goings-on with smart. :eek:

her new position didn't last long.........:rolleyes:
 

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Jill

I hear Jill had interviews with Suzuki and Mitsubishi. Her dream job-Mahindra-fell through. She has always wanted to work for a brand that died before they sold a single car in the US.
 
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