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http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j9Qf_NjNCjCiojne423mhhbdNPCQ

US Smart car distributor hikes sales estimates

19 hours ago
DETROIT, Michigan (AFP) — The US distributor of the tiny Smart car hiked its 2008 sales estimate for the small vehicle Wednesday as US automakers reel from a sharp sales drop in big gasoline-guzzling trucks.
Roger Penske, chairman of the Penske Automotive Group of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Smart's sole American distributor, predicted sales would boom beyond an original estimate of 20,000 vehicles.
The tiniest car on sale in the US market, accommodates just two adults. It is assembled in Hambach, France.
"We expect Smart sales will come in between 24,000 and 27,500 during 2008," Penske said.
The Smart "fourtwo" car went on sale in the US for the first time in January.
Penske said surging gasoline prices had helped boost demand for the small, fuel-efficient car.
If Smart owner Daimler AG of Germany can deliver enough vehicles to the US, Smart sales could reach between 30,000 and 32,000 units in 2009, Penske said.
 

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When I took delivery of my car last weekend at smart Center Lincolnwood IL (Loeber) they told me they could sell 300 a month if they could get them. I was no 399 for the year on 7-26. I bet the US could easily handle 50-70k of them a year. That's the same number Toyota is predicting for the IQ.
 

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It's too bad there is a year to year and a half waiting list. Thats gotta hurt potential sales. Even 30,000 ain't nothing when you compare that to the 1/2 million or so Toyota Camry's or Honda Civics sold here.
 

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Is this a joke?

Hello!

In German newspapers we read months ago that Daimler an Penske estimate 30-40.000 Smarts in 2008. Now he seems to be happy with 12.500 sold in 7 months! In Hambach they are able to built more cars, a speaker said today in a news:

[...] Eine Daimler-Sprecherin wollte die Zahlen nicht kommentieren. Laut Unternehmensangaben verkaufte Daimler im ersten Halbjahr 11.400 Zweisitzer in den USA. Für die Deckung einer höheren Nachfrage in den USA sieht die Sprecherin keine Probleme. "Das smart-Werk in Hambach ist sehr flexibel, die Produktionstakte können der Nachfrage angepasst werden." Source>>

So why do you have to wait? What´s going wrong?

Regards

Schaefca
 

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at those figures (32-32K cars in 2009) it means approximately 33 cars/month per smart center (at the current 75 centers)


hardly enough to make a DENT in the number of reservations.

unlike in Europe, cars in the US have become an 'impulse item', much like chewing gum and candy in the check-out aisle at your local grocery.

if something isn't done soon, that 'impluse' will pass for many buyers.....
 

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[...] Eine Daimler-Sprecherin wollte die Zahlen nicht kommentieren. Laut Unternehmensangaben verkaufte Daimler im ersten Halbjahr 11.400 Zweisitzer in den USA. Für die Deckung einer höheren Nachfrage in den USA sieht die Sprecherin keine Probleme. "Das smart-Werk in Hambach ist sehr flexibel, die Produktionstakte können der Nachfrage angepasst werden." Source>>
For non-German speakers:
A Daimler spokeswoman did not want to comment on the numbers. According to company sources Daimler sold 11,400 two-seaters in the USA in the first half-year. The spokeswoman saw no problems covering the higher demand in the USA. " The smart-factory in Hambach is very flexible, the production cycles can be adjusted to fill the demand."
I think the original estimate of 30 - 40K was made when they were expecting to start full shipping to all dealerships in February. Many of the dealerships were no where near setup or ready at that time, and most didn't start taking delivery until May (some are just starting now...)

Personally, I think they're doing a good job of it, and like the fact that people are still standing in line to buy them. It's unlike any other car in the US, and this just adds emphasis. For early adopters it's nice too, and adds an extra bit of Joie de vivre, being the only kid on the block to have one for a while.
 

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What if the gas prices back down to, say $3.20 a gallon. Don't you think the demand will lessen. I bet some people are buying because of fear of gas prices rather than a real desire for the car.
 

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What if the gas prices back down to, say $3.20 a gallon. Don't you think the demand will lessen. I bet some people are buying because of fear of gas prices rather than a real desire for the car.
I agree that if gas prices get lower,demand will drop. So if the demand for the car remains high, the price for resale will remain high. So lets not flood the market with the Smart. :smartje.grs.zw:
 

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Personally I would prefer there to be less of them over here. If people don't get the car fast enough and change their mind...great.

People that look at this car as a solution for high gas prices are looking in the wrong place. Sure it gets better mileage than some cars, but I have had a car that gets better mileage since the 1980's and there are many other choices out there that get equal or better mileage. Other manufacturers will soon have competitors in the market here, and so people will have other choices.
I hope the IQ gets here quick, so that those people that are only interested in the car for gas mileage can go get one of those and let smart enthusiasts have the smarts, and mileage enthusiasts have another option.
 

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Personally I would prefer there to be less of them over here. If people don't get the car fast enough and change their mind...great.

People that look at this car as a solution for high gas prices are looking in the wrong place. Sure it gets better mileage than some cars, but I have had a car that gets better mileage since the 1980's and there are many other choices out there that get equal or better mileage. Other manufacturers will soon have competitors in the market here, and so people will have other choices.
I hope the IQ gets here quick, so that those people that are only interested in the car for gas mileage can go get one of those and let smart enthusiasts have the smarts, and mileage enthusiasts have another option.
Smarts only for enthusiasts? Smart is a company that has to earn money. Only some cars for some enthusiasts will not be enough. Dealers here in Germany are waiting for more Smarts, the service-network was built up for 5 different models: 42, 44, Roadster, ForMore and a MPV (based on the 44). They say: we can not survive without them. Daimlers says: Don´t worry, we will sell lots of cars in the US. Sorry, 11.400 in 7 months - a lot??! MINI does 6000 a month...

Regards

Schaefca
 
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