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Pretty funny, considering the link on the Mercedes page for the smart center goes to the same thing. Looks like smart didn't renew their contract for the websites, and must not own the domains. Pretty big blunder! Guess that's what happens when you loose your digital marketing person.
 

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MotorTrak was the website provider for smart dealer sites and MB dealer sites (many MB dealers also have their own sites in addition) and Mercedes/smart ended their relationship with Motortrak on 10/1. smart centers are still in business within their respective MB dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The smart centers are still here, for sure, but without dedicated websites and no national advertising campaign it's going to be hard for potential buyers to get information on the smart and then find a dealer in order to check out the car. Not helpful; hopefully smart USA will fix it quickly. :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's what I get when I click on the "view inventory" button for the Cincy smart center:

Server not found

Firefox can’t find the server at new.

Check the address for typing errors such as ww.example.com instead of Example Domain
If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer’s network connection.
If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.
Not helpful.....

My comment on lack of information referred to the absence of a national marketing campaign. Potential buyers have to be aware of the smart brand before becoming "potential buyers"... :)
 

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Interesting that some of the MB dealers in my area show FORTWO as a model in their inventories and some do NOT - no smart listed at all in inventory (under the MB site).

Guess they don't want to sell them........

-Barry-
 

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The old url takes me to the local Mercedes landing page. With no reference to smart being offered, people will have a hard time finding the car. I had to select show all inventory to even see the available smart offerings. The dealers websites will need a refresh.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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As it currently stands, select MB dealers (roughly 90 around the U.S.) carry smart. What the future holds, is still in the air.
Franchise contracts (like smart) have very specific upfront requirements - business acumen, liquidity and monthly payments to the Franchisor. Upfront Franchise Fee, often a term of 10 - 20 years and monthly Royalty/Advertising Fees.

This currently comes with certain expectations as to facilities, technician training and such. Since the Penske days, smart has evolved from stand alone facilities to hybrid showroom arrangements to nothing on the building being smart branded.

As the smart brand continues to be watered down it appears that we could be headed toward some changes to the Franchise model as we knew it?

I have asked my Magic 8 Ball and the only answers that come up . . .


  1. Reply hazy try again
  2. Ask again later
  3. Better not tell you now
  4. Cannot predict now
  5. Concentrate and ask again
 

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Do all of those dealers carry the smart brand? :)
YES -

I know for a fact (having visited those dealers previously) that they do carry the smart brand.

The ones that do show smart in the inventory are of one 'style' web site and the ones that don't are of another style. Division is by family of dealership. Looks like whoever did the programming for the ones that don't show ForTwo only looked at the MB model lineup for the pull-downs. IMHO

-Barry-
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It appears the new websites are up. No more separate smart center sites; if you search for "smart center [city]" you get the Mercedes-Benz dealer site. Then you need to look for new vehicles, and select smart. Seems to be working for the Cincinnati dealer anyway - except for no inventory...... :)
 

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What I meant about "what the future holds" was in regards to an expansion of more smarts. The electric coupe, the electric cabriolets, and beyond. And the number of dealers potentially increasing. That's what I was referring to.
 
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