It’s no surprise that everyone is holding off on costly purchases until the economy improves. According to a bunch of Smart dealers, while the small ForTwo is attracting many shoppers into Mercedes-Benz showrooms, there has been a significant increase in the number of cancellations.
“Since November, it seems people are backing out of purchasing a Smart,” Sean Sarraff, brand manager of Smart Center Germantown in Maryland told Automotive News.
Sarraf said that he has 48 Smarts at his dealership and 25 convertible ForTwos.
Smart’s distributor, Penske Automotive Group Inc., discourages having what are known as “orphans.” The ordering system requires customers to order the Smart ForTwo through smartusa.com. Following their order a car is shipped to a U.S. dealer. Only when a customer orders a car and changes his/her mind while the car is in transit does a ForTwo end up in a dealer’s stock.
Nonetheless, David Schembri, president of Smart USA, says that the company’s forecast for 25,000 U.S. sales in 2009 is still on track. Last year sales came in at 24,622 vehicles in the United States.
– By: The Daily Auto Editor