Smart cuts of lease to just $99
Smart USA aims to boost sales and plans to achieve their goals by offering a $99 a month lease for their microcar. Previous rates were pegged at $159 thru $169 per month.
The lease for 36 months of $99 a month still requires a down of $999 just like the previous deals.
Mercedes-Benz, which is the parent company of Smart, is doing its best to give the brand a better profile in the market since they took control of the distributions held before by Penske Automotive. Lowering the lease is one way among many to try and give the brand a boost.
Smart launched two television campaigns last fall on cable and big national networks. The company also revamped its website and try to interact with their market thru social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The Penske Group which previously distributed Smart in the US had 75 dealers over the span of three years. Mercedes-Benz only retained only 54 of these dealers who also carries a Mercedes franchise. Thirty three new dealers were added to bring the network up to 87 dealers. They are still planning to six dealerships to the sales force.
The Smart dealers have devoted a space in their showroom for Mercedes to promote Smart vehicles. The dealers who opted for Smart stores may shift to being a Mercedes store and keeping a Smart Corner or they can keep the Smart dealership and they will paid an extra margin to keep it exclusive for the Smart brand.
The sales of Smart dropped by 12% or about 5,208 units. The brand though is expecting to get some boost once the next generation of electric vehicles roll out this coming fall. The Smart ForTwo has an engine supplied by Tesla. For the new vehicle, Mercedes Benz will be providing the powerplant.
The new Smart EV will have an improved range of 100 miles compared to the older sibling which can only go as far as 63 miles. The top speed will also improve a bit to around 75 miles per hour from 60 mph.