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02 G500
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When the $99 deposit program was announced, I jumped on it. I heard a lot of (changing) estimates as to when I would be getting the car.

It's now May, 2008, and no car in sight. And it's not like I live in the boondocks - I am two hours from Washington, DC, and five minutes from an MB dealer.

A few months back I received an email that let me "design" the car I wanted. Nothing binding about the exercise, no sales order was generated - seemed more like a way to keep the customers attention. Right now, I am assuming that I will not be getting a car from SmartUSA and am making other plans.

Is this a real program? Has anyone actually received a car via the $99 deposit? I still get vacuous press announcements via email from Smart once a month, but not a peep about actually buying a car.

Steve
98 E320
02 G500
00 M5
84 911

PS: I have seen four Smarts recently in the town where I live. Somebody is getting them somehow.
 

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Yes, it is a real program. By doing the $99 deposit, you should be registered with Smart USA. You can go on their website and get a 3-month window estimate as to when your car will be ready. Currently, the wait is about a year and 3 months. FWIW, I also plunked down $99 at my Smart/MB dealership.

Your design details should have been forwarded to your Smart dealer. They are supposed to eventually contact you regarding your order. But I guess there is no reason why you can't contact them if a decent amount of time has passed.

This whole process, while generating some buzz for Smart, basically shows that they cannot even come close to meeting demand. This begs the question: Should they even be selling cars in the USA at this time?
 

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Sport Package, 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500sel US Spec
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A friend of min has ordered a smart. The dealer has no idea when cars will come in. All I know after speaking with a lady who received her car is that it takes about a full year. She ordered her in march of 2007 and was given a call at the end of febuar and picked up her car on march 1st.

You pay $99 to register. They then send you info on customizing it. Finally they send one last email to make sure that the car is completely how you want it and make sure you still want to purchase it. From that last email there are about 3 months to wait before actually receiving the car.

If you are desperate, there is an orphan list you can be put on and as soon as a smart comes in that has been abonadoned you can go a see it and decide if you want to buy it.

These cars are all imported and made to order. They all randomly come in through Jacksonville and then disperse throughout the country the only thing that people do not know if which shipment will go where and when from Jacksonville.
 

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2013 C250
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$99 deposit sounds like a gimmick to me, IMHO. Such a small deposit means nobody will have any skin in it and they will be free to walk away from the deal. It will allow Smart to show an impressive "waiting list" and put people on the mailing list from hell.

I've seen 4 Smart cars cruising around Silicon Valley so far, and expect to see many more soon.
 

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Reservation system is legit.

There is a smart forum at..

Smart Car of America - Smart Car Fortwo Forums

You can make a reservation at a dealer location - or - you can do it on the internet.

They started selling the cars in the US in January, but the $99 reservation system has been in place for over a year. The wait is now between 12 - 24 months depending on your zip code. Once you make a reservation you get a reservation number. Your reservation is based on that number and your email address until you "confirm & configure". This is when you finalize the model choice, color & options. A day or so after that you receive an email with your confirmation ID and password. This is also when you are assigned a dealer location. Once you are configured you can use the DDE (Due date estimator) to check your time frame to expect delivery. When it gets close to delivery you get your VIN number and you can communicate (sometimes successfully) with the local dealer on the actual date.


I ordered in January 08, Configured in April and my DD Estimate is January - March 09.

The orphan list is for people who aren't particular about what model/color they get, so the wait can be as little as a few weeks (so I've heard on the above mentioned forum).
 

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The $99 deposit is 100% real, the reason you are getting different answers as to when you should expect your car is that people drop off the list, the projected number delivered change, dealers get red ones and people who want black ones take them anyway. I'd expect them to start importing many more Smarts now that they have been so well received. If you don't want to wait, just get your $99 back and buy one on eBay.
 
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