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Today's email:

As a valued owner, I wanted you to know that as part of this transition, smart center Bloomfield, will no longer be representing the smart brand effective June 30, 2011. The team at smart center Bloomfield has done a tremendous job in launching and representing the brand in the marketplace.

The new dealer will be Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills, please find their contact information below.

>>smart center of Bloomfield Hills
36600 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304
Phone Number: 248.644.8400
Brand Manager: Brian Middel
Service Advisor: John Polk

We anticipate that the new team will be operational in early July.
 

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Here's a news article about it:

The Smart car dealership on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township will close next week, and the minicars will be sold out of the nearby Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills dealership.

In a letter to customers, the closure is attributed to Mercedes' February move to take over sales of Smart. Previously, Bloomfield Hills-based Penske Automotive Group had been running the dealer network.

"Starting July 1st, Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills will be representing the Smart brand in the metro Detroit market," the Smart dealership's general manager, Shane Reed, wrote in the letter to customers.

Reed could not be immediately reached for comment.

Penske launched the European microcar brand, owned by Mercedes' parent, Daimler AG, as an independent distributor in 2008. But after a fast start, U.S. sales of the tiny, French-built ForTwo have plummeted, according to past coverage by Crain's sister publication Automotive News.

Penske got off to a roaring start with Smart, selling 24,622 cars in 2008, as gasoline prices reached record highs. But sales have tumbled in the past two years -- falling 59 percent in 2010 to 5,927. This year, ForTwo U.S. sales plunged to 2,226 through May – down another 20 percent from the same period last year.

Under the deal announced in February, distribution rights and management shifted to Mercedes-Benz USA.

Of the 79 dealerships that had been selling Smart cars, 21 lacked Mercedes products and were set to lose the Smart franchise.

The Bloomfield Hills dealership, at 1765 S. Telegraph Road, is a standalone location. Penske Automotive could not be reached for comment this afternoon for information about what happens next at the dealership.

Charles Ghesquiere Jr., owner of Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills, said his dealership, at 36600 Woodward Ave., has enough room to accommodate Smart.

"This would be difficult if we had to build another facility," he said. "We have a perfect area for this, and it's going to work nicely."

Ghesquiere said that after July 1, both his dealership and Mercedes will be marketing the Smart cars extensively.

"There's going to be a lot to say about this," he said.


Source
 

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I'm not sure how many read this forum, but I just wanted to reach out again to say it's been a plaasure meeting and serving each and every one of you over the past 3+ years. We've become a family here and it's sad to see us go.

MB of Bloomfield Hills should be fully operational on July 1st, but until then....we're still here to serve you. We have appointments available for basic service/maintenance (please call to set appointments) and still have 2011 inventory that must go!!!

We have accessories including custom floor mats & bike racks available at big discounts. No reasonable offers will be refused on parts, accessories, or available 2011 inventory. Please call or email with any questions!

Again, it's been a pleasure serving you all throughout the years.

Thanks,

Shane Reed & the staff of smart center Bloomfield
248-292-2044
[email protected]
 

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Couple of questions:

1. How does the change work exactly? Do the smart lifts and other service equipment get moved down the street, along with parts inventory? Assume some money has to change hands also.

2. Bloomfield Hills was also the smart technician training site. Will this operation be moving to M-B USA in New Jersey? :)
 

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Shane.

Smart Bloomfield was the best auto dealer we have ever dealt with.

Your Service Manager Mark, is in our opinion, one of the sharpest in the service business , and a fine fellow.

As General Manager Rick, is the best. most personable GM any business could have. Smart Bloomfield really knew how to treat their customers.

We are going to miss all you guys. Jack+Nancy. :)
 

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WE are going to miss the people at the :smartlogo: Bloomfield Center. I drove by M-B on Woodard the other day and didn't see a Welcome :spots: Party for Smart owners. We hope you all the best.:thanks_smile:
 

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I didn't get up there too often, I didn't need to! That being said, you guys are really the greatest.
I've heard the party line that "the MB dealer will take great care of us owners", but that remains to be seen. One thing that is absolutely certain is that the disbanding of the Bloomfield center is a loss for the Michigan smart community.
I hope you guys are being taken care of and best of luck.
 

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My concern is what the changes in costs are going to be for maintenance intervals. The costs at the soon to be "Old" dealership was quite reasonable. Thanks for a great dealership. Hopefully some of the people will be able to transfer to the new place. You will be missed.
 

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Stopped by today to say "Thank-You" to everyone, you will be missed. smart Bloomfield was an awesome dealership....that was truly because of the people. Got a few accessories too! Thanks for taking such good care of me.
 

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Wife called on the Bloomfield MB Service Manger, Steven Taormina, Yesterday, and had a chat about their Smart service.

Steven turns out to be one of the old gang of ex Honda guys and knows Mark. (and most every other high level service tech in the Detroit area,
Penske brings his own MB in for service there but does not own the dealership).

She also talked to the Assistant SM and some of the techs, as they were all having lunch when she came in. :D She was most impressed with the whole group.

She also asked the two "Magic" questions directly:

"How do you plan to treat us Smart owners when we come in here... like poor little sisters you want out of sight" ? ( Yes she used those words :D )

"And what about service prices"? ...

More later, A2Jack.
 

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My concern is what the changes in costs are going to be for maintenance intervals.

...Or for *any* work done, for that matter.

Guess I'll find out soon enough; I had a raccoon run out in front of the car last night, on my way back home from Cadillac. Lots of busted plastic up front. We'll see how the new service team handles it.
 

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+1! Is there any chance Mark will be moving over to Woodward Ave., too?
Not sure....probably a better question for Mark!
Actually, if Mercedes-Benz USA has half a brain, they'll promote Mark up to National Service Training Staff and relocate him to the Benz Mothership in New Jersey.

(...to the detriment of us Michiganders)
 

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Debriefed wife on ,conversations with Steven Taomini and his service staff.

Wife, asked all the right questions. Answers below.

Service costs will be the same as with Mark's operation at Smart Bloomfield.

Hoists and all other equipment to be moved and installed ASAP. (She asked specifically about dropping out engines). They say they will be ready to go July 1.

On Smart Customer treatment. Steven says they are "humble" folks and will embrace us Smarties with open arms :)

They did not hire any of Mark's techs as they were all grabbed up and committed before MB could move. However...

This Woodward MB group did all the prep on the Detroit Auto Show Smart cars, before Penske took over the Brand.

All profess their love for Smart cars and promise to treat us well. :D

BTW, according to Steven, Smart service in the West Michigan area is still in the conversation. A2Jack




.
 

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...Or for *any* work done, for that matter.

Guess I'll find out soon enough; I had a raccoon run out in front of the car last night, on my way back home from Cadillac. Lots of busted plastic up front. We'll see how the new service team handles it.
Rigger. Smart Bloomfield had no collision service. All crash work was referred to the Toyota dealer in Waterford.

We had an SUV swing a big door into our car in the parking lot of Mc D's. Toyota Waterford did a beautiful repair. A2Jack.
 

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All crash work was referred to the Toyota dealer in Waterford.
I know; they did a great job rebuilding the front end of my car last summer, when that tire gator I got clobbered by on the Ohio Turnpike did $3,900 worth of damage to the Cabrio.

*BUT*...

They have to get their parts from somewhere, right? Ostensibly, that "somewhere" will no longer be Mark Hovis; it'll be Steve at M-B Bloomfield Hills. Or will they elect to do all the smart collision work in-house, rather than farming it out to Jeff at Waterford Toyota (who is also a really nice guy, AAMOF)?

Inquiring minds want to know...
 
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