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THIS MESSAGE WAS COPIED FROM smart USA insider


July 29, 2011

A message from Tracey Matura, General Manager, smart:

These past few weeks have gone by in a blur since we have started with smart and I wanted to update you on two areas that we’ve seen a lot of questions about: the dealer network and our marketing plans.

As far as the retail network is concerned, this is a top priority for us. Our goal when we took over from the Penske organization was to have essentially the same footprint, i.e. 75 dealers. Those dealers are in place but we are keenly aware that there are gaps in coverage that need to be taken care of as well as areas of untapped opportunity. To that effect, we plan to add another 25 dealerships by the end of the year.

On a related note, I’ve seen several questions as to whether smart service, parts and/or accessories – or the fortwo itself -- would be available at every Mercedes-Benz dealership. The answer to that is no: all sales and service will be at authorized smart dealerships where we will have trained personnel who can support smart to the level of your expectations.

From a marketing standpoint, our main goal will be to increase awareness of the smart brand and the fortwo. Beyond the fact that MBUSA has some top-tier platforms that we’ll be able to leverage to increase visibility of smart, our team is currently working with our agency team to develop a robust marketing plan that increases awareness and perception and reflects the iconic nature of the smart brand. This will include traditional advertising (yes, TV commercials), online presence, social media and events. Our goal is to realize a creative campaign that breaks through the clutter and brings to life not only what makes smart unique but also the right car for the right people. I think you’ll like it.

Obviously sites like this one will be undergoing change and a lot of that will be based on input from you. With that in mind, I’d really like to encourage you to share with us your thoughts, comments, questions and ideas. We’ve started a new discussion in the forum section ‘give us a shout’ to facilitate that. I can’t promise you that everything will be answered all the time but what I can promise is that everything will be seen and we will address as much as we can.

That’s it for now…we’ll be back at the page in the weeks ahead!

Tracey
 
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