Big Excitement for Tiny smart Car
Washington DC July 11, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that prospective buyers are forming a long line to buy a very short car.
The Detroit News reports that more than 20,000 people have put down $99 deposits to buy Smart cars, built by DaimlerChrysler AG, when they go on sale in January.
"The response has been overwhelming," David Schembri, president of Smart USA, said at a presentation in Detroit Tuesday of the boxy, 8.8-foot car, called the Fortwo.
Smart USA plans to complete by the end of the year a dealership in Bloomfield Township, MI that will also house the company’s headquarters. Smart USA wanted its headquarters employees to see firsthand the customer experience.
"I’ve always said it’s the salesman that’s been on the dealership floor for one day that knows more about what’s going on in retail than any of us sitting in an office," said Schembri, a former U.S. executive for Mercedes, Volkswagen AG and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
Smart USA is finalizing plans for a network of 60 to 70 dealerships across the U.S. About half will be located in or beside an existing Mercedes dealership.