Smart cars selling strong, distributor could do with 15,000 more this year
It's a good time to be selling Smarts in the U.S. The North American distributor, Roger Penske, told Automotive News (subs req'd) that he thinks that, on top of the 25,000 Smarts he's getting from Europe this year, he could "easily" sell 15,000 more. The trouble is that the Smart factory simply can't produce more than they currently are, so those 15,000 extra sales will either be delayed or lost to other brands. Penske said he's waiting to hear from Mercedes about possibly making more Smarts for the U.S.
Since the refundable deposit for ordering a Smart online is/was only $99, Smart USA said that as many as 25 percent of pre-orders are being canceled in some markets. Still, Smart USA's president told AN that the overall number of cancellations is "low," and the cars that were once destined for a particular buyer are not sitting on the lots because of high demand.
In the grand scheme of of the American car market, 25,000 Smarts - or even 40,000 - is not a lot. Still, if anyone was curious whether Americans could embrace a truly small vehicle or not, I think we have the answer.
[Source: Diana Kurylko and Richard Truett / Automotive News (subs req'd)]
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