From the excellent review at cars.com
Note: Ash Zaki is chief operating officer of Mercedes-Benz San Francisco.At least initially, Smart will build the ForTwo to order on a first-come, first-served basis. The car is set to ship from its assembly plant in France to U.S. dealers in January. Around 50 dealerships will be available from the start — many of them separate showrooms within a Mercedes dealership — and most major cities should have one. Later on, expect 25 or so more dealers to join the effort, Smart says.
As of this writing, Smart has taken about 5,000 fully configured reservations. Ash Zaki, a dealer operator, told me that if all goes according to plan, Smart salespeople won't have to sell any actual cars. Their job will be to entice walk-in customers to order a ForTwo from the factory. Zaki would not say how long it takes from order to delivery, but Smart executives told journalists the first cars to arrive in January were ordered last April.
Zaki conceded that a small number of buyers could default on their reservations, leaving a handful of cars available to walk-in shoppers; if you're particularly shrewd, you might find one. Chances are it will be a Passion coupe or convertible, as Smart says just 3.5 percent of the initial 5,000 orders were for the Pure.