Smart Car of America Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
43 Posts
Yeah, one of the mods posted a thread the other day with that video.

It's barely half correct. The #1 reason was marketing of which letting Pensky get involved because the Mercedes dealerships did not want the Smart brand cheapening the Mercedes brand. Then when they did step in to take control of it it was far to late.

You know what the marketing campaign was ? Parking in tight spaces.

When it should have been at the core, it's just a fun car to drive. Then we get to the auto rags who bad mouthed it from day one because they simply could not grasp the fun factor and of course being paid off to slam it cause that's how the games operates.

But the biggest mistake ever was that Mercedes ever built it. Give this design to KIA and the car is still here and successful.
I bought one just to be able to add it to the smallest cars ever made, I have own them all except for one and that one has been dead since 1972. But even that one could not tough the Smarts length which is indeed the one critical measurement.

I like my Smart, but I'm angry we got played for idiots.
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,095 Posts
The #1 reason was marketing of which letting Pensky get involved because the Mercedes dealerships did not want the Smart brand cheapening the Mercedes brand. Then when they did step in to take control of it it was far to late.

You know what the marketing campaign was ? Parking in tight spaces.

But the biggest mistake ever was that Mercedes ever built it. Give this design to KIA and the car is still here and successful.

I like my Smart, but I'm angry we got played for idiots.
Hard to be "angry" as a "newbie" who jumped on the smart train AFTER Daimler had already closed the barn door, so how were you "played" for an idiot???

It was a Daimler business decision not unlike that which brought the demise of Oldsmobile, Pontiac, iQ and so many other marquees that have gone before.

Without "The Captain," we would have never seen smart in the U.S. As for Marketing, don't recall "parking in tight spaces" being the focus in the U.S. where there was no mainstream marketing???

With eyes wide open - in 2007 put down my $99 and have since added 2 more smarts (ICE/ED) to our "fun fleet."

Oh, and as for smart being built by a Korean manufacturer - never been in their showroom and likely a Korean smart would have not been appealing to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I've lived and worked in the States and I've my own idea about why the brand failed in the US.

Oh, and as for smart being built by a Korean manufacturer - never been in their showroom and likely a Korean smart would have not been appealing to me.
Yet you don't have a downer on French manufactured, Romanian powered cars like the Smart? Strange, because "Made in France" is regarded over here as a byword for shoddyness and poor quality when applied to the automotive sphere, yet "Made in Korea" is associated with moderately decent quality.
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,095 Posts
The answer was in my post - owner since 2008 with 3 smarts in our fleet.

Obviously no “downer” towards a German Daimler-Benz/Chrysler smart built of “world parts” assembled in a factory in France.

Hardly the French Renault of old...
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,095 Posts
More like cheap and cute made by Mercedes. So you were incense only a fool unlike me being just an idiot. ;)
smart was never "cheap" to purchase or maintain???

Have been an owner for 11 years and while disappointed with smartUSA's execution stateside, no regrets. Not sure how that makes me a "fool?"
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
43 Posts
smart was never "cheap" to purchase or maintain???
My Scion iQ was $16,500 in 2016 my Smart was still less than my 2012 iQ. Don't get triggered it's obvious you are emotionally attached, nothing wrong with that and the cost to maintain it is the part most never understood which once the word got out help do them in. Who were they marketed towards ?

The millennial's are not into cars like past generations they are into gadgets like iPads and phones, etc. And they have no money with most by 35 with sub prime credit scores. The myth is people go small when gas goes up. Total b.s. they simply drive less.

The Smart is simply for fun, it has no real practical application or purpose. At least in America.
Very few people get what it's all about, it works for me because I'm eccentric.
Some even consider me a mad genius. :)

But putting lipstick on a pig or a man as they say still doesn't change what they really are.
Great concept but poorly executed by a company that gives BMW a run for the money with overly engineered cars on the assumption that the Germans are the epitome of engineering.

I would even guess your initial buy was based on it being made by Mercedes, would you have bought one made by KIA ?
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,095 Posts
Wrong, NEVER thought of smart as a M-B. And the dealers soon made it obvious that it was the unwanted stepchild of Daimler. Those who bought the smart Franchise made a huge investment which became nothing more than a money pit.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6 Posts
Wrong, NEVER thought of smart as a M-B. And the dealers soon made it obvious that it was the unwanted stepchild of Daimler. Those who bought the smart Franchise made a huge investment which became nothing more than a money pit.
Oh, and as for smart being built by a Korean manufacturer - never been in their showroom and likely a Korean smart would have not been appealing to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now I own 3 small cars, that are extinct here in NA, like the dinosaurs. My smart car, Fiat 500, and now the new 2020 Honda Fit. All of them, are no longer imported here. In the land of crossover’s, SUV’s, and Trucks.

I guess my next car, will be a Mini EV, or Kia Soul EV.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
43 Posts
I guess my next car, will be a Mini EV, or Kia Soul EV.
It's ashamed about the new redesign Fit as it's the first redesign I actually like. Once again the American market gets the screw because we have allowed a handful to dictate what we get over here.

My sources tell me the EV Soul has been delayed until 2021 with KIA saying global demand out paced production. Which is of course b.s., if the average American cannot afford one 3rd world sure the hell can't. My guess is they have serious problems with the batteries and the Soul line has a dismal recall record to begin with. It is getting better though.

Don't go in the first year out wait to make sure they got the bugs out, my guess is their batteries are exploding like cell phone batteries do with Apple and Samsung. __ Not good.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,697 Posts
Yeah, one of the mods posted a thread the other day with that video.

It's barely half correct. The #1 reason was marketing of which letting Pensky get involved because the Mercedes dealerships did not want the Smart brand cheapening the Mercedes brand. Then when they did step in to take control of it it was far to late.

...
I'd say they're more correct than you are. That said, it's correct that Penske got involved because MB was too scared of doing it themselves. They didn't even want to sell Sprinters until they figured out that people were putting Euro market MB grilles on their Dodge and Freightliner Sprinters.

Marketing is only a piece of the puzzle. BMW markets the MINI harder than smart ever has, and yet they still struggle to get Americans to buy them nowadays without ballooning them in size. Scion was much of the same with the iQ. In fact, the iQ had a vast dealership network and extremely aggressive marketing. And yet, smart beat the iQ's sales nearly 3:1 globally and basically 2:1 stateside. Clearly, marketing isn't everything. Fiat even has trouble selling their 500 and that thing was initially more of a smash hit than the 451 was. Fact of the matter is that city cars do not sell in America. There is a reason Ford is dumping their lineup of cars and GM is slowly following suit. People want crossovers, not two seat or barely four seat city cars.

Also, when MBUSA stepped in they really didn't do a whole lot. They improved the warranty, played some ads in cities, and purchased a few Super Bowl ads. Sales improved, but obviously not to a level that made the car profitable. All the while the ownership experience became worse. Penske was actively involved in the owner communities and supported events. MBUSA basically pretended we didn't exist.

Kia does have a city car, but even they realize that city cars aren't volume sellers in America and so they do not sell it here. So a smart built by Kia isn't likely be in America today, either.

And I'm going to kindly remind you again to keep your politics and insults towards the smart community to yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mini total brand, has sold...
2019 YTD 27,826 unitscompare to 34,193 units in 2018
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,333 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
It’s funny people complain that the Mini have gotten too large. Their top sell models here, are the larger ones. Countryman, and Clubsman.

The issue with Fiat here. You can kept selling the same unchanged model since its introduced in 2012. The turbo model, get poor fuel economy for a small car. The European, Asia, middleast, and Australia 500 got a styling refresh. In 2016.

In Europe the 500 is the top selling city car. I believe Opel, is stopping it’s production of the Adam. VW dropping the UP too. Marketing there is changing to EV’s too.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,697 Posts
It’s funny people complain that the Mini have gotten too large. Their top sell models here, are the larger ones. Countryman, and Clubsman.

The issue with Fiat here. You can kept selling the same unchanged model since its introduced in 2012. The turbo model, get poor fuel economy for a small car. The European, Asia, middleast, and Australia 500 got a styling refresh. In 2016.
Like I said, MINI struggles to move their smaller models, thus depend on the larger models to keep the brand relevant today.

Unfortunately, Mini purists (BMW's "MINI" is stylized in all caps) hate the idea of their beloved badge on a crossover. Personally? If a big car saves the company, build it. The purists will whine but oh well.

Even performance and luxury brands like Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley all have seen the writing on the wall that the money is in crossovers.

The European Fiat 500 released in 2007 and like you said, didn't see a facelift until 2016. Apparently this is a problem with all of their lineup. From what my European friends tell me, Fiat doesn't really have competitive cars in Europe right now because they never update them. Instead they continue to have their eyes on the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and RAM divisions. Makes sense why they keep trying to merge with a larger automaker. Currently they want to merge with PSA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
As some have said, the "Fun Factor" has been the main selling point outside of the major cities. We got a 2008 cabriolet as soon as they started importing them (after renting one in Europe a few years earlier). We then got a 2009 cabriolet, and for 3 years they were are only vehicles. We were living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and no kids. Sold each of them after 50,000 relatively trouble-free miles.

Fast forward to present day. We now live in Tucson, AZ. I've had a yen for a Vespa scooter, as I've owned them in the (ancient) past (late 60's early 70's). Fun, trouble free. Eventually moved up to motorcycles. Then got into healthcare and saw the living proof of the Neurosurgeon adage, "Buy your son a motorcycle for his last birthday". I recalled what we called our first Smarts - a safe, warm, and dry Vespa. I started searching for a 2017 ICE Smart Cabriolet, finally finding one an purchasing it. I've had it for 2 weeks, and absolutely love it!

Ron
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
43 Posts
That's it Ron ! All the rest is plain b.s., had they marketed under fun instead of the shuck&jive they might still be around. And if you can make it work as your daily driver all the more fun. :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16 Posts
The Smart is simply for fun, it has no real practical application or purpose. At least in America.
Very few people get what it's all about, it works for me because I'm eccentric.
Some even consider me a mad genius. :)
Yup, the Smart lacks the pure practicality of a V-6, 4-wheel-drive, wagon with 3 rows of seats and 4 DVD players.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top