Press Kit: smart at the NAIAS 2008
Detroit
Jan 13, 2008
The smart fortwo market, marketing and dealer network in the United States: The right answer to a changing environment
The concept and the features of the smart fortwo are ideal for the automotive landscape in the United States that is currently in a stage of brand awareness. American consumers have become more accepting of smaller vehicles - they seek more fuel-efficient options and seek out vehicles that are better for the environment.
During 2007, smart USA executed various non-traditional, experiential marketing tactics. A $99 reservation program began in March that allowed smart enthusiasts to place a reservation on a vehicle that would go into production in the fall. A 50-city road show brought the smart fortwo to reservation holders and enthusiasts across the country. Test drive events were conducted at various venues such as shopping centers, city festivals, urban retailers like Whole Foods Markets, parks and other highly visible areas.
smart was also the exclusive automotive partner of Live Earth, a benefit concert series held in eight cities around the world to create awareness of global warming and its impact on the environment. New York City hosted the United States concert July 7. In 2008, smart USA will continue to explore non-traditional, experiential marketing opportunities.
Below are key facts and figures from smart USA’s 2007 marketing initiatives:
  • Number of www.smartusa.com website visits - nearly four million
  • Number of registered smart “insiders” - over 107,000
  • Average time spent on www.smartusa.com - 5 minutes, 30 seconds
  • Number of reservation holders to date - more than 30,000
  • Number of states registering reservations - 50
  • Number of cities visited on the smart USA “street smarts” road show - 50
  • Target marketing groups - four - first time buyers, urban dwellers, baby boomers and empty nesters
  • Number of consumer road show test drives - approximately 50,000
  • Number of road show “street team” intercepts - approximately 30,000
  • Percentage of road show attendees “that could see themselves driving a fortwo” - 92
  • Percentage of road show attendees “wanting dealership follow-up” - 71
  • Percentage of road show attendees “becoming insiders” - 77
  • Why road show attendees would consider a smart - its design, functionality, price, green attributes, fun to drive and solutions to urban issues
smart has its own house
As smart prepares for the launch of the smart fortwo, a unique “smart” environment has been created in Venice Beach, CA, to express the brand in unconventional ways. Between Oct. 11, 2007 and Jan.31, 2008, “smart house” is open to the public as a temporary showroom in Venice Beach. The town villa, furnished in the style of a typical smart driver or “thought leader,” is located in the trendy district of Los Angeles that is famous for its role as a trendsetter in culture, design, architecture and lifestyle.
smart house is open Tuesday through Sunday,11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors can experience the smart fortwo in a stylish atmosphere and take a test drive. The smart house regularly hosts special events such as private concerts, exhibitions, photo shoots and project presentations.
smart dealerships
smart USA will open about 70 dealerships in 2008. Approximately two thirds of the dealerships will be “store-in-store” concepts with existing Mercedes-Benz dealerships. These stores will have a wall separating the brands and will have a separate entrance, sales and service staffs. The balance of the stores will be stand-alone facilities.
smart USA will open dealerships in the following U.S. metropolitan areas:
Alabama:
Birmingham
Arizona:
Phoenix
California:
Los Angeles
Sacramento
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
Colorado:
Denver
Connecticut:
Hartford
Florida:
Jacksonville
Miami
Orlando
Tampa
Georgia:
Atlanta
Illinois:
Chicago
Indiana:
Indianapolis
Kansas:
Kansas City
Kentucky:
Louisville
Maryland:
Baltimore
Massachusetts:
Boston
Michigan:
Detroit
Minnesota:
Minneapolis
Mississippi:
Jackson
Missouri:
St. Louis
Nebraska:
Omaha
Nevada:
Las Vegas
New Mexico:
Albuquerque
New York:
Albany
Buffalo
New York
North Carolina:
Charlotte
Winston-Salem
Ohio:
Cleveland
Columbus
Oklahoma:
Tulsa
Oregon:
Portland
Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia
Pittsburg
Rhode Island:
Providence
South Carolina:
Charleston
Tennessee:
Knoxville
Texas:
Austin
Dallas
Houston
San Antonio
Utah:
Salt Lake City
Virginia:
Virginia Beach
Washington:
Seattle
Washington D.C.
Wisconsin:
Milwaukee
 
Your Media Contact
Wolfgang
Zanker
Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Series, Test Vehicles Management, Sports Communications
Phone: +49 711 17-75847
Fax: +49 711 17-91602
Dr. Josef
Ernst
Press and PR smart
Phone: +49 (0)711 17 76477
Fax: +49 (0)160 8619898
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