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Ok, so my only complaint about my smart dealership during the short time that Roger Penske was in charge was that the dealerships were too limited and too far apart. I was sure I read that when Daimler took over the smart dealerships in America there would be MORE dealerships so smart owners did not have to travel so far to purchase their cars or get them serviced. I have several Mercedez Benz dealerships much closer to me than the 80+ miles I have to travel to my smart dealerships, so why is Daimler still limiting their expansion of smart dealerships, if they really want to keep producing them and claiming them in their product lineup? I have had at least several dozen people express an interest in buying a smart car UNTIL they hear how far away the nearest dealership is. Most working people cannot afford to take time off to get to and from a dealership in the hours their service departments are open when they are that far away. I have had a very positive experience with my smart car and am beginning to think about its replacement but if Daimler does not increase the number of authorized service areas I'm not sure whether I'll buy another, nor will I continue to encourage others to do so. Even if they want to limit how many dealers can sell them you would think they would still have all dealerships service them. I can't imagine other vehicles manufacturers trying to market and support their products as poorly as this one has been marketed and supported by Daimler. Who should we contact to voice our dissatisfaction? It's time they take note. Six model years have gone by since I bought mine and I feel that's plenty of time to take action.
 

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I'd say both infrastructure and image.

Some Mercedes dealerships cannot take on smart sales without a major remodel.

Then there's the image that Mercedes tries to portray in America. Mercedes is supposed to be one of the most prestigious brands out there...not to be tarnished with work vans and city cars...

They don't sell lesser vehicles at some US MB dealerships, so if you want a Sprinter or a smart, you'd have to go a large scale dealership.

Then there also seems to be a heavy shortage in trained smart techs. Smart Centre Lincolnwood and Smart Centre Lake Bluff used to share smart techs. Imagine how horrible that would be with a huge nationwide network.

Of course, smart is treated like the ugly stepchild in the US, so just about anything is a possible explanation. :(
 

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Mercedes dealers would need to make a substantial investment in their facility in order to accomodate a dedicated smart sales area, service capability and parts stock. If a dealer or Mercedes does not see the expected demand to support it in a specific location it will not happen.
 

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To the OP, if the smart, was selling like hot cakes, there would be more dealerships. Were lucky here to just have one now. I just learned today, our other dealer, doesn't sell them anymore. I wonder, if they still service them. We only have 2 MB dealer here anyway. Both owned by the same owner.
 

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Ok, so my only complaint about my smart dealership during the short time that Roger Penske was in charge was that the dealerships were too limited and too far apart.

Who should we contact to voice our dissatisfaction? It's time they take note. Six model years have gone by since I bought mine and I feel that's plenty of time to take action.
Harleyduo, you are preachin' to the choir my friend!

The smart Center "network" was spotty when PAG began distribution six years ago and some were lost with the transition to DVI USA.

At the end of the day it is all about who wants to buy the $mart Franchise and then build smart specific facilities to sell a low margin, low volume niche vehicle? Very few successful M-B dealers can justify the lack of an ROI on such a large ground up investment thus we still have many states wherein there are NO smart Center?

Don't expect to see any improvement in this state of affairs unless the new 453 is an outside the park home run . . .

You could call the Mothership in Montvale, New Jersey or drop Mark Webster, General Manager of smart USA :yawn: an email?

Or, take them on using social media . . .

Discussion Forum - smart USA insider

https://www.facebook.com/smartusa

https://twitter.com/smartcarusa

Good luck with that as the brand creates little chatter and smartUSA is apparently still real busy working through the PAG to DVI USA that began in 2011?
 

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Mercedes dealers would need to make a substantial investment in their facility in order to accomodate a dedicated smart sales area, service capability and parts stock. If a dealer or Mercedes does not see the expected demand to support it in a specific location it will not happen.
Seriously how much room do you really need for a smart sales area? :rolleyes:
 

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If the MB dealerships I've seen mean anything, A LOT!

They seem to space the cars out and elaborately decorate the place...Teak floors, chandeliers, the works.

The smart centre half of Loeber Motors takes a pretty nice chunk of dealership real estate, with its own decor and everything.
 

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smart out in the cold - North and South

If the MB dealerships I've seen mean anything, A LOT!

They seem to space the cars out and elaborately decorate the place...Teak floors, chandeliers, the works.

The smart centre half of Loeber Motors takes a pretty nice chunk of dealership real estate, with its own decor and everything.
That may be the exception, not the rule. Wasn't that the headquarters at one time?

At the MB dealership in Cherry Hill, NJ the smart 'section' is upstairs on the second floor with one little sign pointing to a stairwell and nobody upstairs when you get there - area looks trashed and abandoned. There are NO smarts indoors on the main, first floor showroom - just a few cars outside one corner of the building and a few electrics plugged in in the service entry area. There is no smart literature on the first floor.

At the MB dealership in Sarasota, FL there were two smarts inside on the main showroom floor and a decent literature rack. However, in the beautiful accessory store section - filled with bejeweled Mercedes shirts and hats - there were NO smart items on display. When I asked about them, after searching around the store clerk found a couple of hats in a drawer.

Both dealerships have GOOD smart service!!

-Barry-
 

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That may be the exception, not the rule. Wasn't that the headquarters at one time?

At the MB dealership in Cherry Hill, NJ the smart 'section' is upstairs on the second floor with one little sign pointing to a stairwell and nobody upstairs when you get there - area looks trashed and abandoned. There are NO smarts indoors on the main, first floor showroom - just a few cars outside one corner of the building and a few electrics plugged in in the service entry area. There is no smart literature on the first floor.

-Barry-
Nah, Loeber Motors was the main smart dealership in Chicago...now it's the ONLY smart dealership in Chicago AND Milwaukee (the Milwaukee smart centre got turned into a Fiat dealer)! :eek:

I'm sorry to tell you, but it sounds like the Cherry Hill dealer might be close to closure. Those were the exact conditions of Smart Centre Lake Bluff in the months preceding its closure.

They had smarts on display, but nobody in the dealership (they let go every smart rep two years before they closed). Even the Brand Manager's office was empty, except for an abandoned computer quietly whirring away. In fact, they let the Brand Manager go too...

They had smart documents and brochures on the front desk, hundreds of them...All dated from late 2008 to early 2009...They had smart shirts and other apparel, all dating back to the same dates of the brochures on the front desk.

They had a neat waiting room equipped with leather couches and chairs and a coffee table in the middle with rare smart books...all of them ripped to shreds as if a wild dog was let loose on them. :(

If you wanted to buy a smart, you had to walk next door to the Hyundai dealership and ask one of their salesmen...who would try their best to get you into a Hyundai...

And what would've happened if you just sat in one of the comfy chairs in the smart centre? Many dealership employees/salemen would walk right by you (on their way to or from the service bays) and not even acknowledge your existence.

It was sad, and depressing...Thankfully Lake Bluff finally pulled the plug in early 2013...It was such an awful dealer to get service at.

Both of my dealers have (had) crap service.
 

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Bottom line is it's a business decision. Some M-B dealers don't carry Sprinter either. With national sales below 10K last years I'm surprised some M-B dealers haven't already dropped the smart. :)
 

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My smart center is in pretty good condition, although they used to display a few smarts on the main floor as well. I bought one of the two smarts on display there, and I don't think they ever replaced it :D
 

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Simple explanation...being a Smart Dealer is a losing financial proposition...there is just not enough volume in sales or service/parts to cover the overhead...the 451 is essentially yesterday's news...so until the redesigned 453 is launched...not much chance for any profit potential owning a Smart Center!

There's a reason Penske walked away from being a Smart Distributor in the US...the Smart Brand has been a losing venture worldwide for Daimler-Benz...and it was a losing venture for Penske!

The Franchised Automobile business is very simple...it's a numbers game...no sales volume...no profit...no sales volume...no service or part penetration...so no profit!

It's all about ROI!!

It's ironic...currently Smart & Mitsubishi are the least desirable Auto Franchises in the US...hummm??
 

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Mercedes dealers would need to make a substantial investment in their facility in order to accomodate a dedicated smart sales area, service capability and parts stock. If a dealer or Mercedes does not see the expected demand to support it in a specific location it will not happen.
They wouldn't need sales, nor stock to offer service. The local Dodge/Ford/Chevy dealers don't carry a huge inventory of parts. Very common for service to be delayed until parts are brought in from outside the area. Even if it takes a week, that would be preferable to a 600 mile round trip with accommodations overnight. As noted by the OP, a lot of folks can't afford to take a couple days off work and stay at a hotel, just for auto service. Most people aren't that dedicated to a specific car. They'll buy one they can have serviced locally instead. Or at least within a few hours' drive.

And, as the OP noted, I too have come across interested parties, put off by the unavailability of local service.

I am surprised to see smart sales in the US as high as they ARE, given this situation.
 

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Everyone seems to forget...the Smart is niche product designed for urban transportation...there is no absolutely no valid business model to locate Smart Center's anywhere but major metro areas...if I did not live within 30 minutes of a Smart Center...there would be no reason for me to own a Smart!
 

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But, HoustonSmart, as I and others have suggested ... no need for a smart center on every corner. The question, as I understand it, is why MB dealers can't service smarts.

Besides many on here, myself included, take issue with the city car idea, LOL. Even if MB markets the car in that way.
 

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But, HoustonSmart, as I and others have suggested ... no need for a smart center on every corner. The question, as I understand it, is why MB dealers can't service smarts.

Besides many on here, myself included, take issue with the city car idea, LOL. Even if MB markets the car in that way.
They don't have the technicians trained to service the vehicle. That why.
 

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But, HoustonSmart, as I and others have suggested ... no need for a smart center on every corner. The question, as I understand it, is why MB dealers can't service smarts.
Some of those uppity folks with their shiny tri-stars don't want to share their latte's with our smart brothers and sisters?

Oh, and M-B Dealers don't want to carry additional parts inventory to service M-B's red headed step child . . .
 
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