In the future, Smart would like to be even more integrated into Mercedes car dealerships than they are in many places today. For this purpose, the design of the in-house showrooms, which was last updated more than 15 years ago, was modernized and already has been tried out in Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Museum in the last few months. The photo above was also taken there when the Concept #1 study was on tour in Europe. Before and after that there are the smart fortwo and smart forfour, which I took a look at myself a few months ago and you can do that at any time as well.
In the associated press release, smart states that 34 partners selected by smart will equip a total of 95 sales locations throughout Germany in this way in the coming months.
"The smart showrooms are an important and fully integrated part of the innovative approach with which smart is redefining vehicle sales. Thanks to the complete integration of all sales channels into a central platform, the purchasing process is made easier for the customer. Whether at home on a laptop, on the move or in interaction with a smart expert in the showroom – Customers will find themselves at every touchpoint at all times and will be able to continue the process seamlessly from where they last exited. The additional integration of cooperation partners and beyond the vehicle services into the overall concept, makes it convenient for the customer and enables a quick, simple and transparent vehicle decision."
In the press release smart emphasizes that they are deliberately not relying on pure online sales. They are convinced that the customer in the future still would like to experience the vehicle personally and would like to have an salesman at their side. They want to focus entirely on the customer and therefore give them all the options that modern sales tech has to offer.
My personal opinion
I've never been a fan of selling the smart fortwo and forfour directly from a Mercedes dealership. My smarties have been for every service in a Mercedes car dealership for almost 10 years now, and you are not taken seriously by the salespeople, the service people and anyone who also does anything with Mercedes-Benz vehicles. But you still have to pay MercedesBenz prices. Only employees who are exclusively responsible for smart vehicles are also motivated and committed to taking care of their customers and vehicles. Unfortunately, not even all of them, many only do smart because that will be their chance for advancement to Mercedes and that is reflected in the interest in the smart. I deeply regret that practically all smart centers have now been closed and abandoned.
My hope is that smart is aware of their uninterested and unmotivated Mercedes-Benz employees and that they have thought of something to stop this. Otherwise the customer experience will be as bad as the feedback I am already getting from many readers since years.