How is this different from a deposit?One could look at it this way: the $99 reservation program is equitable to both parties. PAG doesn't guarantee to sell you a car and you don't guarantee to buy one.
I guess it is moving ahead. However, letting people move on to the next phase 300 at a time, how long is it going to take to work through 20000 reservations?In practice, it appears that the process is moving ahead in the order that reservations were placed, as SmartCard says.
To answer you last question first- SmartUSA has gone on record that the dealers will not charge over MSRP. (of course, maybe this only applies to original orders!?)That's been my concern all along. If Smarties are shipped across the country in Jan to various dealers and I, for example, keep in close touch with my dealer I may be able to buy a car in Jan. It may not be the exact color or config I originally reserved (to p/u in Sep '08) but it might still be fine provided the dealer doesn't gouge the hell out of the price.
Which brings me to my next concern. Can Mercedes lock the MSRP or can the dealers jack up the price as much as they want?
My "Dealer Candidate" discussed this very point at the dealer demo day. They stated that if a shipped car was not wanted by the reservation holder, the dealer may, at their option, offer it to another reservation holder (I don't recall that they said "next in line") or keep the vehicle for dealer demonstrator or inventory purposes. One can only guess what the price would be in these circumstances.But you also bring up an interesting scenario - what if someone backs out on an order which was built and shipped for them - who will get that "unwanted" smartie? I guess it may depend upon where it is when it gets abandoned.
And Penske is going to make the dealers tow the line and deliver the cars by the master list. He wants there to be no hanky-panky with this new car line. I don't think the back-door "dealer lists" and "extra dealer profit" are going to fly this time.My sales rep said if someone defaults and there are cars left over he will call whomever lets him know they will take anything that pops up. I ordered a Pure but I'll take a passion if it's not loaded up with extra crap. I have 3 dealers who have my name on that list.
Now, if we could just get Penske to have a firm chat with the Ford dealers regarding the stunts they're playing with the GT500.And Penske is going to make the dealers tow the line and deliver the cars by the master list. He wants there to be no hanky-panky with this new car line. I don't think the back-door "dealer lists" and "extra dealer profit" are going to fly this time.