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Sorry to be a wet blanket...but as you're interacting with Smart USA in KC...don't place to much credibility on their future vision for Smart in the United States...I think Penske (Smart USA) will exit the Smart business within the next 12 months...and Daimler will step in...

FYI...Penske (Smart USA) is an independent distributor...95% of all vehicle sales in the US are facilitated directly by the manufactures...in terms of marketing efforts...Daimler has much deeper pockets...(and since they are the manufacture of the Smart vehicles...a failed United States marketing effort...places their reputation at greater risk)...

All thing equal...Penske has very little skin in the Smart game...if he pulled out tomorrow...it would have very little effect on his corporate bottom line...:cool:

Toyota, Nissan, Fiat, Ford, and others will be entering the US micro automotive market in the next 2 years...Daimler will not stand by and allow Smart to be driven out of the US Market...Penske may not be in the future picture...but Daimler & Smart products will be!!
 

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Toyota, Nissan, Fiat, Ford, and others will be entering the US micro automotive market in the next 2 years...Daimler will not stand by and allow Smart to be driven out of the US Market...Penske may not be in the future picture...but Daimler & Smart products will be!![/B]
I wish I could totally agree here, but after having read all of the books published on smart right before & after I bought my car, Mercedes/Daimler were already on the verge of discontinuing the smart, and were planning on the smart SUV being the import vehicle of choice for the U.S.A. Then the price of gas skyrocketed, and since there was some demand already for the fortwo, they cancelled plans for the SUV and decided to do the fortwo, with Penske's help, of course. Even thought there are quite a few smarts running around in Europe, according to what I read earlier on, the numbers were falling and just NOT where Daimler needed them to be. They were looking at it as an almost "failed" project already. I think there was a lot of hope in the U.S. fortwo project, but I'm not sure they're ready to keep throwing money on top of money to keep it going. I hope I'm wrong! I really don't see the project continuing 'as is', without some sort of merger and subsequent bastardization of the 'fortwo' into something that's barely recognizable as a fortwo. Again, I hope I'm wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Can we skype the Q&A session so members that are not able to come can log in at the time of the session and watch/listen?

Not sure if there will be wireless internet available at particular site. Someone who has a laptop/webcam could do it though. :)
 
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