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Old 07-13-2011, 09:10 AM
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Lightbulb Mercedes will try to resuscitate Smart with new execs, ads, incentives

Filed under: Car Buying, Mercedes-Benz, Smart

2009 Smart ForTwo - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Smart brand has been in flux for the last few years. Sales have fallen off a cliff from the days when the Penske Group moved nearly 25,000 units in 2008. In 2010, just 5,927 Smart ForTwos went home with new owners. Mercedes-Benz had enough of watching sales submarine, and plucked back distribution rights, sales and marketing of the brand. Now, the German automaker is looking to inject new life into Smart.

How does Mercedes hope to revive the ailing subcompact brand? For starters, Smart has a new executive team in place, which forms a new group called Daimler Vehicle Innovations USA. This group reports directly to Mercedes-Benz USA sales leader Michael Slagter. The newly formed Smart team is lead by Tracey Matura, who was plucked from her role as general manager of MB's strategic retail development group.

Matura will work with Mercedes-Benz dealers to incorporate Smart vehicles into their showrooms. In the past, it was required of a Smart dealer to utilize a separate, or even standalone, showroom space. Now, Matura will simply ask for a corner of an existing Benz showroom, and, given the size of a Smart ForTwo, the corner doesn't need to be very big.

Right now, 75 Mercedes dealerships also sell Smart products, and Matura aims to get that number up to 100 by year's end. Read all about the new Smart plan after the break.Continue reading Mercedes will try to resuscitate Smart with new execs, ads, incentives

Mercedes will try to resuscitate Smart with new execs, ads, incentives originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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