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Discussion Starter #1
I had a long conversation with Ethan of Obrien Auto Group of Seattle area. He will be responsible for setting up and running the Seattle area smart dealership. The location will be next to the Acura dealership in Southcenter area of Seattle, 301 Baker Blvd, Seattle 98188. Their website has information on the reservation process, with links to the smartusa site. He is anticipating having cars by January and starting to fill reservation orders. He did say Penske wants reservation holders to be serviced in order of reservation. If a car is refused it will be passed down the list to the next person. He said the smart got a 4-star crash rating. I failed to get the source of his information. I was too excited about the rating to think of much else. He said production has started on US smarts, ie, most popular models, colours, interiors. This information was harvested off the smart web site, as well as from the reservations. He is hoping to get a couple of cars to use as demos, once they start coming in. He anticipates having all the parts and service knowledge to support the smart. Some of the dealer options may not be immediately available.
He was not sure whether the 450 model can be serviced in his dealership, maybe just the routine care:), but no warranty work.
He wants to start smart clubs, have rallies, and maybe races:cool:. He was very enthusiastic about the concept of the smart car and it's unique place in the fleet of vehicles in this country.
 

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If a car is refused it will be passed down the list to the next person.
So then the dealer tries to contact the next person.....numerically may not even be in the same state. Still in the mean time a walk-in with $20k in his pocket says "I want that one" and the dealer refuses saying sorry you haven't a reservation so it may take a year for you to get one?

Not being argumentative. It just seems difficult to grasp. A dealer is going to have a major hassle on his hands trying to dredge up "in order" who each "next guy" is to get in and buy the Smarty. If this all does hold true, I'll be waving to you Smart owners from my Yaris in January. :( Mind you I DO like the Yaris a lot but I WANT MY SMART CAR!! :D

Also, I refuse to buy my Smart if my dealer can't do warranty work. You'd think there would be all parts and warranty support before the car is sold. *shrugs*
 

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When my time comes to get further into the process, I will keep my choice (read: maintain my hopes) simple enough to be reasonably obtainable. E.g., all I really need up front is a basic passion with black tridion and Designer Red interior. If I get that close, and what is offered isn
 

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So then the dealer tries to contact the next person.....numerically may not even be in the same state. Still in the mean time a walk-in with $20k in his pocket says "I want that one" and the dealer refuses saying sorry you haven't a reservation so it may take a year for you to get one?
I'm betting each dealer will get a list of reservation of holders in their territory and will work that list. So if someone in dealer X's territory refuses their smart, it'll get offered to the next reservation holder from dealer X's terrirory.

I'm with fishrdnc on this one; I can be somewhat flexible on color, etc., so long as the overall price is somewhere close to the one I ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, I refuse to buy my Smart if my dealer can't do warranty work. You'd think there would be all parts and warranty support before the car is sold. *shrugs*
The Seattle dealership will be ready for all warranty and service work on the 451 models, the 2008 US models. The question is whether or how much they can service the 450 models, grey models, brought into the states previous to 2008.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O'Brien car group

Just finished talking with Ethan of O'Brien Acura in Southcenter in Seattle. Seattle apparently has a large number of reservation holders:D.
General news from the dealer meeting in MI: 35,000 reservations, at least 30,000 cars will be imported. Production is NOT a problem. Mercedes can supply the cars. One of the reasons for limiting the model choices was to meet the demand if it proved to be high. I guess it's looking pretty high. All prospects for the car are being directed to the smartusa web site, which will control access to the vehicle. No direct marketing right now.:rolleyes:
Demo cars should be in the dealership sometime in December 2007 for hands on inspection. Dealer options/accessories will be available once a reserved car comes in. Not sure about cruise control, details on this are being worked out. I got the impression, dealer options/accessories will be optional, not forced on to the customer:cool:, but definitely available. For example, Brabus wheels and rims as seen at the Smart House.
Dealers are learning about reaching out to the community in ways not previously seen in dealerships: community action groups, arts community, conservation groups. New idea, in the image of smart. Maybe we can open more minds.:)
 

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smart center Seattle

Thanks for all of the support! The store is coming along and will be ready for visitors January 1st. I know all of you have unanswered questions and I plan to address each one of them in time.

I would like to let reservation holders know that you will be contacted by smart 1 (reservation management) after the store is completed. After that initial contact, one of our specialists from the store will be contacting you to set an appointment for a test drive and introduction to the staff in order of reservation date. Because of the volume of reservation holders, this process may take up to 2 months (so please be patient). If you have already driven at a road show, we ask that you allow us to test drive all of the reservation holders that have not driven the car yet so they feel as confident with their decision to purchase a smart car as the rest of us. You are however always welcome to drop by the center to visit with the understanding that you will only be allowed to drive the car if you have made an appointment.

The most important message I have for you is that I am as excited to get cars as you are and know it is hard to be patient. However, the process that has been established for confirmation and delivery is design for maximum customer service for all reservation holders. If at any time you feel like you are not getting answers you need, do not hesitate to contact me directly. Because of the large number of inquiries we get, please use email to ensure a prompt reply. I will post accurate contact information next week but until then, contact me using esmith @ acuraofseattle .com

Ethan Smith
General Manager
smart center Seattle
 

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Another dealer joins the forum! We really do need a supporting dealer section for those guys. Welcome Ethan! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of the support! The store is coming along and will be ready for visitors January 1st. I know all of you have unanswered questions and I plan to address each one of them in time.
esmith @ acuraofseattle .com

Ethan Smith
General Manager
smart center Seattle
Huuuuurrrrah!:woohoo

Welcome to our smartie club site. We are thrilled to hear from you:D

Waiting for the call that my "greying bee" has come in (Passion coupe,yellow, grey, comfort package):)

Still waiting with baited breath....:spots
 

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warranty question

The warranty issues will not apply to the new models (451) being delivered through authorized smart dealers. We have support and parts and will be able to handle any issue that may come up. The smart models that are "gray market" (including all 450 models) that were not sold through an authorized smart center in the US will not have warranty repairs done at the smart centers. These vehicles were not designed and manufactured for the US and many if not all have significant modifications to make them DOT and EPA compliant. With that said, current 450 model owners are important to the success of smart in the US and will not be abandoned. I have already started making contacts for parts supply and local technicians that can assist with the needs of these trailblazing owners. Although the work may not be performed here at the store, we should be able to give a reliable referral to someone that can assist with the repair or part need.

Ethan Smith
General Manager
smart center Seattle
So then the dealer tries to contact the next person.....numerically may not even be in the same state. Still in the mean time a walk-in with $20k in his pocket says "I want that one" and the dealer refuses saying sorry you haven't a reservation so it may take a year for you to get one?

Not being argumentative. It just seems difficult to grasp. A dealer is going to have a major hassle on his hands trying to dredge up "in order" who each "next guy" is to get in and buy the Smarty. If this all does hold true, I'll be waving to you Smart owners from my Yaris in January. :( Mind you I DO like the Yaris a lot but I WANT MY SMART CAR!! :D

Also, I refuse to buy my Smart if my dealer can't do warranty work. You'd think there would be all parts and warranty support before the car is sold. *shrugs*
 

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Welcome Ethan!

I'm from smart center Portland - so we're neighbors. :) Hopefully everyone gets a chance to read the information Ethan has provided as it is extremely accurate and helpful. :)

Cynce
 

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Stopped by Smart Center @ South Seattle and talked to a lady sitting in a ready to go empty showroom all by herself. She was most anxious to answer any and all questions. Of course my first question like everyone elses was WHEN????? Two demos are due in next week. The only thing missing was the cars. She didn't hesitate to give me the local Smart Center direct phone # for any other questions. They opened the doors 2 days ago.
 

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Smart Center of Seattle

Hello Everyone,
My name is Vicki and I work for Smart Center of Seattle. I want to thank everyone for such a positive response and your patience with us. I do have some information. The direct phone number for Smart Center of Seattle is 206-243-1455. If you want to reach us from out of state on purchasing a Smart Car in the Seattle area that phone number is 1-866-58-SMART(76278).
As of right now our Smart Center has a sign that says coming soon.You can visit our Acura of Seattle showroom for more information on the Smart Car which is located right next to the Smart dealership. We expect our demos to be arriving by the beginning of January. The best way to find out if they have come in is to continue to call us but, rest assure we will contact you when your vehicle is in route. We are more than eager to answer any questions you may have to the best of our knowledge.
Thank You
Vicki Biyo
 

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"What happend to the MPGs?"

The question that keeps coming up is “What happened to the MPG?” Smartusa.com recently posted 2008 EPA estimates for consumption on it’s site (smartusa.com/smart-car-technical-specifications.aspx[/url]) that are lower than what we have all been hearing the car should get. “So what’s the deal?” I asked. The reason is that the EPA has changed its testing process. This new testing will be changing many vehicles’ ratings. If the 451 had been tested last year it would have been rated at 40/45 (motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/112_0802_2008_smart_fortwo_first_drive/[/url]) .
Although the vehicle has been proven to get significantly higher than 40 MPG by independent car magazines and current owners abroad, the EPA is the authority in the USA on what Manufacturers can officially claim and advertise. My own personal feeling (not the opinion of smart USA) is that it doesn’t matter what number the EPA make smart put on the window sticker. There has been plenty of independent testing and real world driving to shows the car will get the MPG expected and new owner testimonials will prove it. The 450 was rated at 40 and many have posted on this very site that they did much better and I expect the 451 to have the same result.
 
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