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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’d like to witness a “full boat load” of smarts arriving in '08; it would be impressive. As best I can divine it, the smarts will be shipped between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Baltimore, MD by Wallenius-Wilhelmsen Line. W-W L’s “pure car carrier” fleet includes a ship with a capacity of 8,000 standard size cars – maybe 18,000 smarts, maybe more. Wow!!
 

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I’d like to witness a “full boat load” of smarts arriving in '08; it would be impressive. As best I can divine it, the smarts will be shipped between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Baltimore, MD by Wallenius-Wilhelmsen Line. W-W L’s “pure car carrier” fleet includes a ship with a capacity of 8,000 standard size cars – maybe 18,000 smarts, maybe more. Wow!!
Right! I was going to suggest that the first 300 car delivery will barely fill a single cargo container. :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Boat

Lhoboy,

I was being facetious about 18,000 plus smarts in a car carrier (PCTC). Nice thought though. There isn't a PCTC out there that has lashing gear for 18k vehicles! But, there are enough Wallenius departures out of Zeebrugge to the U.S. East Coast to accommodate whatever the smart factory can assemble for us (it is France ya
 

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Lhoboy,

I was being facetious about 18,000 plus smarts in a car carrier (PCTC).
Needless to say, I was being facetious as well about the 300 Smarts in a single container, but it is amusing to think how little space will be required to ship an entire production week's worth of cars (about 400) to the states.
 

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Arriving Soon...

According to informed sourced (OK, those guys on the "other" forum), the first four US spec 451s are already on route to Baltimore. VINs are:

WMEEJ31X68K027284
WMEEJ31X68K027351
WMEEJ31XX8K027529
WMEEK31XX8K027575

(EJs are coupes, EK is a cabrio).

I wouldn't get too excited, though. I suspect they might all have an early date with a large, concrete barrier!:(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was sort of guessing that the 20-or-so Euro 451 road show vehicles might be used for the testing after they had served their purpose. The bodies, engines, and drive trains are substantially the same.
 

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I was sort of guessing that the 20-or-so Euro 451 road show vehicles might be used for the testing after they had served their purpose. The bodies, engines, and drive trains are substantially the same.
I don't think the euro versions will be useful for any testing as the feds insist on testing the actual production versions.For one thing, the tranny, a significant component, will be different. It would make sense that the first four US versions would be used first for the EPA tests and then the crash tests.
 

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Needless to say, I was being facetious as well about the 300 Smarts in a single container, but it is amusing to think how little space will be required to ship an entire production week's worth of cars (about 400) to the states.
I don't know were you got your info but the weekly production is 3365 cars per week, far more than the 400 you mentioned..
 

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Testing Procedures

I don't think the euro versions will be useful for any testing as the feds insist on testing the actual production versions.
The NHTSA and EPA don't actually test vehicles for compliance with federal standards. They define the test procedures and acceptable results: the manufacturer is responsible for conducting the tests and certifying that their vehicles meet the standards. This testing is normally carried out at the manufacturer's own facilities. The resulting certification will be specific to a particular version of the car (e.g. US-spec).

The NHTSA does conduct the NCAP (aka "Star Rating") crash test. This test is not part of the federal regulations, so it's not required in order to sell the vehicle. Nor can a car "fail" the the NCAP test, although a 1 or 2 star rating would clearly be a marketing disaster. I'm sure that smart will want the NCAP test done sooner rather than later, in the hope that a good rating will allay questions about the fortwo's safety. That may where those first four smarts are headed....
 

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I don't know were you got your info but the weekly production is 3365 cars per week, far more than the 400 you mentioned..
Well, since they are producing about 20,000 vehicles for the U.S. in 2008 and there are 52 weeks in a year, that comes to 385 cars per week.

Your number may be citing their total production for global distribution.
 

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I wonder how the Smart factory in France will suddenly increase production to accommodate the increased demand from US?
 

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Presumably by either adding a 3rd shift (if they haven't yet already) and/or by diverting global units to the States. I don't think the factory was expanded for the US launch?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wouldn't it be (have been) great if smart GmbH had previously bought a closed U.S. assembly plant to cover Western hemisphere production.

But, it is known that even in Europe M-B hasn't made any money (maybe lost some) on smarts. This is Dieter Zetsche's thing, much to the disdain of the stockholders, and they are not likely to have been interested in a big capital investment for a so-far weak project.
 

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I wonder how the Smart factory in France will suddenly increase production to accommodate the increased demand from US?
I have now heard that the Smart is assembled in 1) Switzerland, 2) Germany, and 3) France. Does anyone have a valid reference source (no, not the media) as to where these cars are actually assembled?
 

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I have now heard that the Smart is assembled in 1) Switzerland, 2) Germany, and 3) France. Does anyone have a valid reference source (no, not the media) as to where these cars are actually assembled?
If you poke around in the Canadian smartcar user's site (clubsmartcar.ca), you'll find some posts by folks who have visited the factory in Hambach, France.
 

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If you poke around in the Canadian smartcar user's site (clubsmartcar.ca), you'll find some posts by folks who have visited the factory in Hambach, France.
Uhhhhh, I'm not so certain about a French car. A Chinese one might be better. I'd rather have lead in my paint than benzene in my water or anti-freeze in my wine.:D:D
 
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