New Smart boss says marketing will stress brand’s quirky appeal
High top cleats soccer last month, expects little sales growth for the brand in the next two years high top cleats soccer despite the arrival high top cleats soccer of an electric vehicle and plans for four special edition models. distribution from Penske Automotive Group, stepped up marketing and ran TV commercials for the first time.
But Webster says volume will hover at about 10,000 cars annually until a redesigned ForTwo arrives in August 2015. He said the recent launch of the ForTwo Electric plug in battery electric will not have much impact this year because the vehicle won’t be available in all 50 states until fall. EV supplies will improve in 2014, but overall Smart sales will be affected by the run out of the current ForTwo.
New best football boots strategy
Still, the EV and special edition models arriving this year signify Smart’s new strategy, says Webster, who has been with Mercedes Benz for 12 years. best football boots He says Smart requires a unique marketing approach.
“It is different than Mercedes Benz, he said. “Smart is a fun brand, and we treat it differently. There is a different customer, sometimes quirky and passionate. We’re working on plans to bring that vision,
Smart’s ForJeremy concept, with its rear deck wings and fiery red lights, was on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show. A production version that goes on sale this fall is a bit more subdued.
The brand is in the middle of a 10 city tour that includes a fleet of cars available for test drives. Meanwhile, to prop up sales of the nonelectric coupe and convertible, Smart will introduce four limited editions in the second half of the year.
They include the BoConcept, a Brabus convertible performance version done in collaboration with the Danish interior design company. Brabus is a German tuner that specializes in Mercedes Benz and Smart cars.
One limited edition model, the ForJeremy, is being done in collaboration with designer Jeremy Scott. The white car has pointy rear wings accented with red. The concept, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall, had fiery red lights on the wing, but they were removed on the production model. It goes on sale in the fourth quarter.
Pricing wasn’t disclosed but Webster hinted the car would be the most expensive ForTwo sold in the United States.
The BoConcept was done in collaboration with a Danish interior design company.
Webster, 51, started his auto career in 1994 at Infiniti, where he rose through the sales organization. He was best football boots hired by Mercedes in 2001 as marketing manager of the San Francisco region, overseeing 10 dealers. He then moved to Mercedes’ New Jersey headquarters in 2004 as marketing manager for the Northeast. business. In 2009 he became the region’s area manager and in 2012 was promoted to general manager of used car and fleet operations.
Webster says his California background and feel for the state’s ecological mind set will be a plus in marketing the EV in that state.
In early May, Smart rolled out the ForTwo electric in California and seven Northeast states with the strictest emissions requirements. The EV will debut in the other 42 states this fall.
California ads will consist primarily of radio spots during commuting times, but a national campaign will be launched when the car is available in all 50 states, Webster said.
“Smart is known as a sustainable brand, so when you add on the electric component, it fits right in with those high top cleats soccer brand attributes, said Webster.
Although Webster declined to forecast sales for the EV, Smart is counting on the electric car to draw new customers.
An option to rent the battery is a key selling point. The price of the EV is $20,650, without the battery a savings of $5,100 from the $25,750 price with the battery.
Lease customers pay $199 a month, with a $2,000 down, with the battery rental included. The prices are before a federal tax credit of $7,500. California also offers a $2,500 tax credit high top cleats soccer.