I believe Roger Penske has stated that they already have approx. 35,400 reservations at this time. He hopes to have between 20,000 to 25,000 cars to sell the 08 year. He may be able to get more for the 09 year. The plant can produce between 130,000 to 140,000 annually according to him.
The problem with the 130,000 to 140,000 figure is that in France you do NOT hire people and then lay them off. A job contract is essentially a lifetime thing. So, they really need to be assured of the U.S. market numbers and stability before actually jacking production up.
Original estimate was 16,000 Smarts to be imported by Pensky Auto Group (PAG) the exclusive USA franchise holder. I think the current rumor is they are trying to get more allocation, something in the 20,000 car neighborhood
In July PAG said they had over 20,000 "Insider Reservations". Estimates in Aug and Sept put the number closer to 30~35 thousand.
How may drop outs there will be or how many cars will arrive is open to a lot of speculation.
I suspect there will be some "Insider Reservation" holders that are going to be disappointed next year. I also suspect some of them will be offering to buy any 08 Smart for well above MSRP.
Ok, honestly, I think they word things very carefully. I may be wrong, but they say "they have taken 34,000 reservations".
What they don't mention is how many have already cancelled....I know they get a lot of cancellations everyday....the number of still viable orders may be very close to the estimated imporation. Remember everything is just an estimate until it happens.
"Hired for Life"? And they get to Strike....man sounds good for the employee.
A Recession may have something to say about how much money people have to spend, but the increase in fuel costs will probably overcome lost sales from the Recession. Yes, we are entering a Recession....JMHO
Yeah, but I would drop mine in a heart beat if, after all the waiting, they told me I had to pay more than list for a car. Once people have to sign the dotted line, I would bet that 35% or greater change their minds.
Also if the numbers hold up and there are many many more buyers than cars- the dealers are certain to be VERY bad on trade-in values- which will lead to some drop outs too I suppose. It won't be like bargaining on a Chevy or a Ford!
Most people cannot afford to have the Smart as a "toy" (i.e. an extra car).
Trade-ins are always a bad deal. Our prices are solid as far as I know. No discounts so there is no lattitude for trade-in. (Ususally part of your trade-in value is a discount off the price of your new car.) Best bet...sell your car privately.