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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/11/28/072071.html

theautochannel.com 11/28/2007 said:
Smart says more than 30,000 consumers have put down a refundable $99 deposit to reserve a Smart car. The company is hoping to move at least 30,000 units in the first year. Not many U.S. subcompact cars sell in the 30,000-unit range.

Close competitors like the Kia Rio and Scion xA sold 28,388 units and 32,603 units in 2006, respectively, while the significantly larger Scion xB sold 61,306 units and the popular Mini Cooper sold 39,171 units.
With 30,000 reservations, less about 20-25% who drop out leaving upwards of 6,000 cars for walk-ins, its going to be a good year for smart.

Looks like all of us will get our cars in 2008.
 

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That's some of the most encouraging news, We must keep in mind though that for some of us it still means later in 2008 than sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The story said "move" 30,000 cars. I assume that they will have to make 30,000 US spec cars to move them. That's good news in my book!
 

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I wouldn't yet bank too much on the 30K number..........yes, they are hoping to move that many but I am guessing the 20,000 to 25,000 is probably more accurate for now, but maybe somehow they'll squeeze in the extra 5 grand.
 

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It's called "overtime". lol Made a chunk of money like that over the years (Thank God)!:rolleyes:
Remember French workers are limited to a 35 hour week. I am not sure how the auto manufacturers work around this but I suspect with the bureaucracy there it is not an easy task.
 

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With 30,000 reservations, less about 20-25% who drop out leaving upwards of 6,000 cars for walk-ins, its going to be a good year for smart.

Looks like all of us will get our cars in 2008.
Not to rain on the parade here, but where does that 20-25% number come from? I don't know if that estimation is reasonable yet as we have no way of knowing the drop-out rate until several months into deliveries. Did I miss something? :confused:

tm
 

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Not to rain on the parade here, but where does that 20-25% number come from? I don't know if that estimation is reasonable yet as we have no way of knowing the drop-out rate until several months into deliveries. Did I miss something? :confused:

tm
It doesn't look unreasonable to me, and is something I have thought about before. I believe after some rational thought many will back out when the time comes.

1. Some may have only a passing interest and/or do not miss the temporary loss of their returnable $99. They may begin requesting refunds early to beat a feared rush.

2. Some will realize that it is not suitable as an only car unless they are urban dwellers with an affordable place to garage it. Only marinas charge to dock by the foot.

3. Some will realize that it is not a good substitute for a second “standard” car, and is of limited practicality if not used as intended (as a “city car”). Note: Deiter Zetsche and Mercedes-Benz Cars group unabashedly continue to refer to the U.S. smart as a “city car.” smartUSA characterizes it less narrowly to gain potential sales.

4. Some will realize that $12-$17k is a lot of money for “Whee; look at me” motor-bling that will be of transient cuteness and attention-getting value, if that is their primary interest. PT Cruisers are now invisible, and even MINIs aren't turning heads.

5. Some will realize that it isn’t an extremely “green” or extremely cheap commuter. The MPG is quite good but not spectacular, and 91-octane gas adds expense.

6. Some will tire of waiting and might go the grey route, or wait for used U.S. 451s sold by disillusioned, early buyers. Some might hold out for a future U.S. “stop-start” (maybe) or diesel (not gonna happen) configuration.

7. Some will not care for long distances to dealers and servicing.

8. Some will shy away due to safety concerns, real or imagined.

My personal guess has been 25%-35% attrition nationwide, and 10%-15% within this obviously more engaged group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Not to rain on the parade here, but where does that 20-25% number come from? I don't know if that estimation is reasonable yet as we have no way of knowing the drop-out rate until several months into deliveries. Did I miss something? :confused:

tm
You missed a couple of things. The current drop out rate on confirmations is 20% per Penske. We can probably safely estimate at least 5% when it comes to actually paying for the car (and of course that could be higher). So when I say UPWARDS of 6,000 cars can be sold to walk ins, if the drop out rate goes higher, then there will be more cars available to walk ins and later registrations.

In other words.it appears that plenty of cars for those who want one; looking at currently reported reservation levels and reported factory production during 2008.
 

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7." Some will not care for long distances to dealers and servicing." Might be a "bigger" factor then most realize....A lot of people don't, won't or can't service their own vehicles.:(
 

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BTW, the drop out rate do date is 7 to 8%, not 20%. I'm personally hoping it will increase after the early adopters take delivery.
 

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Drop outs in the smartisphere...

The more configured units, the more ORPHANS!

Is it true that dealers will be penalized 2% if the adoptee resides outside their region?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just visited my dealer in Beverly Hills. He's got about 20 confirmations contacted for delivery in hand right now, and none of them live in Beverly Hills!

The attrition rate will surely increase later this year as the rabid fans like us 1173s get their cars and they move into the those who configured later last year.

I'm still sticking with 20-25% total dropouts next year. However, they now have upwards of 45,000 reservations on the 30,000 production level. So don't plan on getting just the right color orphan anytime soon.
 

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There was a post here someplace that had the reservation numbers at
45000+ the experts will all tell you you can't sell small cars in the USA...
I wish MB & PAG all the best and hope they deliver mine soon
karl
 
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