Someone suggested a gathering of smart cars be called a brilliance. My little Blue/black passion joined over 65 other smarts cars (and owners) for an afternoon in Bloomfield Hills. It was a celebration of the first anniversary of the dealership.
Bottom line, the more I learn about this car and the longer I have it the happier I am.
I got lost getting there, I found my self the first time and had to call for help the second. Oh well. I walked in just before the raffle started, but had some not half bad cheese pizza and joined a crowd of about 140 people in the service bay. After the raffle (one number called was just 1 off from mine! So close!) we gathered the cars for a group photo. It was very fun to walk around and see the different colors and combinations and the owners. I didn’t see another Blue/black with a red interior. Got some compliments on my license plate, which I will not mention here, although I’m not hard to spot around town already I suppose.
Back in and most of the crowd left, so we had a small group for a seminar on the car. More info on how it works, what sort of maintenance problems they’ve seen, and an opportunity to talk to the mechanics and ask questions. They had cars up on teh lifts so we could see the underside which is also normally protected by heavy duty panels. They also took off the side panels, and gave a whole demo on how to find and deal with the battery. Towing was covered, and there was a demo transmission which was really cool to see how the computer activated clutch works.
The car is a manual, but can be driven in automatic mode. They did it for fuel economy but also I learned a manual transmission is smaller and easier to build. And cheaper. From the under side it is also more obvious the features designed to protect you in case of an accident. So impressive.
Mark was there, who had talked me down from my check engine light. it was amazing to have him offer to essentially be on call for us for any question, concern, breakdown, or problem. But he couldn’t offer any help for the missing tire on my tiny smart model – the less than one inch car. Oh well.
Throughout the day it felt like the people at smart wanted to be transparent, honest, helpful, and hear from the owners. Fascinating. The service seminar was followed by a green presentation. I learned a bit more about the factory and the lengths they went to to build it as energy efficient as possible, and the manufacturing processes that have been redesigned to use less energy, create less waste, and be recyclable. It is the number one care plant in the world as far as those features.
And the Bloomfield dealership (which is the US headquarters as well) just got their LEED Silver certification. Lots of waste water treatment, low flush toilets, lighting, insulation, and more. So cool. And the discussion about CAFE standards and how smart fits into the larger global picture was honest, real, and also very exciting.
It was far more informative than I expected, I enjoyed the people presenting, connected with a couple of other owners, and look forward to seeing the photo!