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Old 02-05-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Sales of the Smart Fortwo Plummet




Quote:
When it comes to plunging car sales, all eyes have been on Chrysler. Car sales at the company now managed by Fiat dropped 44 percent in 2009 compared with 2008.
Smart USA doesn’t get the same attention, but its sales were just as bad. Now they’re getting worse.

The diminutive coupe, which is sold by Daimler AG, saw a 40 percent annual sales drop last year. And for the first month of 2010, sales have plunged off a cliff. The company sold just 278 Smart cars in January, down from 864 in December, and an extraordinary 84.3 percent drop from the same month one year earlier, when 1,776 Smarts were sold.

Company officials, not surprisingly, say they know what they need to do to get back on track. That includes new marketing strategies from its new president, Jill Lajdziak, a former Saturn executive. In addition, the company will go back to road shows, taking the vehicle to select cities for public test drives to counter what a company spokesman sees as a “lack of brand awareness and misconceptions regarding its safety.”

A plug-in electric Smart will also arrive in the fourth quarter, but the number available — just 250 in select markets — will not make any dent in sales in the short run.
One thing the company won’t do is change its product mix. It will not import its diesel version available in Europe. Despite the fact that this model achieves more than 69 miles per gallon, it’s gasoline-only for these shores. Which means the company must rely on a model that has been criticized (by me and other reviewers) for a balky transmission, lackluster road-holding and pretty average fuel economy for a car this size (36 miles per gallon, according to government testing — a number I never achieved).

With larger modestly priced cars boasting similar fuel economy, like Honda’s Fit and the coming Ford Fiesta, it’s hard to see how Smart will manage to attract enough buyers to make this a going concern
http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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Well the shock of it being released in the US has worn off.

Nick
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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“lack of brand awareness and misconceptions regarding its safety.”
BS. Everyone knows what a Smart is.

Smart USA has already misguided millions of Americans into thinking it's a safe car when it isn't.

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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Something oddly satisfying about that Mercedes symbol hanging in the air for a second.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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Ya, the smart car was always crap, I don't understand how people bought into it. Now they are probably kicking themselves.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:03 AM   #6
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Wow, I much rather be in the C300, which is not a large car, than the Smart. The C300's grill was pretty much inside the Smart's cabin. Also, the driver in the C300 barely seemed to move when the Smart's driver was flailing around.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
BS. Everyone knows what a Smart is.

Smart USA has already misguided millions of Americans into thinking it's a safe car when it isn't.

YouTube- IIHS Crash Test Of Mercedes C300 Versus Smart ForTwo
Well, I'll be god damned, we actually agree on something for once.

But yeah, there are cheaper, safer, nearly as efficient alternatives on the market. Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, etc.

Other than being a conversation piece, I really don't see the appeal of these cars. The whole urban environment/parking aspect works in Europe, but not so much here in the US.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max_stirling View Post
Wow, I much rather be in the C300, which is not a large car, than the Smart. The C300's grill was pretty much inside the Smart's cabin. Also, the driver in the C300 barely seemed to move when the Smart's driver was flailing around.
Now thinking back, remember the video Mercedes showed demonstrating the S class slamming into the smart car. That demonstration is now proven staged.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:19 AM   #9
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I hate the idea of increasing mass for safety reasons. Its not ecological.
Unfortunately, the smart may be incompatible with our transportation system (dodge ram 1500's barrelling down the highway at 80mph)
I dont really have a problem with the smart's safety rating. If everyone drove Smart-like cars, its relative safety would obviousy increase and fatalaty/injury rates normalized by # of smart cars on the road would decrease.

There's nothing wrong with the Smart from a safety standpoint. The problem is with every other large vehicle on American roads.

That being said, I wouldn't drive one. They feel chincy for how much they cost, they idle too fast, and i can't get used to the bottom-pivot brake pedal.

There needs to be an additional safety crash test. Whats the result of the OTHER driver involved in the accident. using some normalized vehicles, one from each class. Our current crash testing standards are selfish.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:39 AM   #10
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The smart is nothing but a toy for the rich. its like an accesory, like those stupid tiny annoying dogs famous people have.
People pay $20k!!!! for those smarts COME ON.

I would take an accent over that thing any day an it would even save me like $2k over the smart's base model oh yeah and it fits 4 people.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:02 AM   #11
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Even ignoring the safety issues, a car that small should be doing MUCH better in fuel efficiency. If you are going to compromise all practicality of ownership, there should be a greater gain than you see with this little bugger.

Also, can we keep these jerks out of the "fast" lane?
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty25RS View Post
I hate the idea of increasing mass for safety reasons. Its not ecological.
Unfortunately, the smart may be incompatible with our transportation system (dodge ram 1500's barrelling down the highway at 80mph)
I dont really have a problem with the smart's safety rating. If everyone drove Smart-like cars, its relative safety would obviousy increase and fatalaty/injury rates normalized by # of smart cars on the road would decrease.

There's nothing wrong with the Smart from a safety standpoint. The problem is with every other large vehicle on American roads.

That being said, I wouldn't drive one. They feel chincy for how much they cost, they idle too fast, and i can't get used to the bottom-pivot brake pedal.

There needs to be an additional safety crash test. Whats the result of the OTHER driver involved in the accident. using some normalized vehicles, one from each class. Our current crash testing standards are selfish.
kind of a moot point. you might as well say its unfair to say its dangerous to walk across an 8-lane highway because if everyone walks and no one drives, its perfectly safe.

and again - the crash test video was smart vs c300 which isnt considered as a "large vehicle on American roads". it would be a different story if they try smart vs hummer of course.... even though i do want to see a video like that just to see the outcome
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerinside View Post
The smart is nothing but a toy for the rich. its like an accesory, like those stupid tiny annoying dogs famous people have.
People pay $20k!!!! for those smarts COME ON.

I would take an accent over that thing any day an it would even save me like $2k over the smart's base model oh yeah and it fits 4 people.
People buy harleys and sportbikes for the same reason. I'd rather they all buy Smarts, personally.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:03 AM   #14
Dirty25RS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW View Post
kind of a moot point. you might as well say its unfair to say its dangerous to walk across an 8-lane highway because if everyone walks and no one drives, its perfectly safe.

and again - the crash test video was smart vs c300 which isnt considered as a "large vehicle on American roads". it would be a different story if they try smart vs hummer of course.... even though i do want to see a video like that just to see the outcome

its not a moot point. your metaphor of walking across the highway is not accurate. The reason we have crash tests is because traffic fatalities was a real systemic problem (still is). Vehicle on pedestrian fatalities are not a widespread issue (its usually on purspose).

if you want to look at what causes traffic fatalities, u need to look at both sides of the coin.

But on the subject of safety, IMO all the cars sold in the USA are plenty safe. Its the drivers that need improved. A 16 year old that just passed their drivers test (memorize this book and write it down on this piece of paper, ok, now drive around the block) is unsafe in any vehicle. and it only gets worse from there because, as they get older, they realize what they can get away with and start to become a typical sloppy rear-view-mirror-preening, texting while driving, distracted american driver.

so if you have a poorly educated, poorly trained driver, out on the road with you, would you rather they be driving a Smart or a C300 @65+mph?

Its bad enough we allow such poorly educated and trained drivers get licensed to drive a 2500lb machine that can achieve speeds of 80mph, but its even worse that with the same certification they can drive a vehcle 4000+ pounds capable of 100+mph. What other machinery of that power can you become licensed to use at 16 years old in less than 30 minutes and less than a few hundred bucks?

/rant

and I apologize for getting a little off topic, but americans fear of smaller vehicles for safety reasons is taking us and the automotive industry in a bad direction.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty25RS View Post
its not a moot point. your metaphor of walking across the highway is not accurate. The reason we have crash tests is because traffic fatalities was a real systemic problem (still is). Vehicle on pedestrian fatalities are not a widespread issue (its usually on purspose).

if you want to look at what causes traffic fatalities, u need to look at both sides of the coin.

But on the subject of safety, IMO all the cars sold in the USA are plenty safe. Its the drivers that need improved. A 16 year old that just passed their drivers test (memorize this book and write it down on this piece of paper, ok, now drive around the block) is unsafe in any vehicle. and it only gets worse from there because, as they get older, they realize what they can get away with and start to become a typical sloppy rear-view-mirror-preening, texting while driving, distracted american driver.

so if you have a poorly educated, poorly trained driver, out on the road with you, would you rather they be driving a Smart or a C300 @65+mph?

Its bad enough we allow such poorly educated and trained drivers get licensed to drive a 2500lb machine that can achieve speeds of 80mph, but its even worse that with the same certification they can drive a vehcle 4000+ pounds capable of 100+mph. What other machinery of that power can you become licensed to use at 16 years old in less than 30 minutes and less than a few hundred bucks?

/rant

and I apologize for getting a little off topic, but americans fear of smaller vehicles for safety reasons is taking us and the automotive industry in a bad direction.
no need to apologize, I was driving down the road and was amazed to see a woman with her phone crooked between her ear and shoulder and applying eye makeup at the same time.

I thought for a split second about getting behind her and letting her hear the hellas, but meh, she'll kill herself eventually and doesn't need my help.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:41 AM   #16
rypt
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
BS. Everyone knows what a Smart is.

Smart USA has already misguided millions of Americans into thinking it's a safe car when it isn't.

YouTube- IIHS Crash Test Of Mercedes C300 Versus Smart ForTwo
The passenger cell survives and is hardly distorted though
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #17
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The novalty has worn off. The car is not practical. If you are looking for a small efficient car better suited for city driving, a Honda Fit, Chevy Aveo, or Mini Cooper would better suit your needs and not have to sacrifice a passenger to carry groceries.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:06 PM   #18
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Cars like the smart cannot be as safe b/c they don't have room for crumple zones.

Mass is a separate point. If they put a roll cage in it like a racecar so there was no intrusion into the passenger compartment the lack of a crumple zone would still negatively affect the safety b/c deceleration would be so swift.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #19
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Every time I see one on the road, I laugh.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Mass is a separate point. If they put a roll cage in it like a racecar so there was no intrusion into the passenger compartment the lack of a crumple zone would still negatively affect the safety b/c deceleration would be so swift.
like Snell rated helmets
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:55 PM   #21
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i guess they ran out of stupid people
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Yotsuya View Post
People buy harleys and sportbikes for the same reason. I'd rather they all buy Smarts, personally.
huh
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:07 PM   #23
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It helps if you read the quote as well.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:24 PM   #24
samagon
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I bet this would boost the sales...

http://green.autoblog.com/2010/02/05...of-co2-per-km/

get rid of the people who say the gas engine isn't efficient enough at least.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:11 PM   #25
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Man I hate this car. I saw one with a license plate that said "2smrt4u" and I was like FFFFFUUUUUUU
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