smart hosts Canadian dealer meeting

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MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – Executives and Canadian smart car dealers gathered in Mississauga this week to talk about new product, urban mobility, smart electric drive and the future of the brand.

Annette Winkler, V-P of Daimler and head of smart globally, joined Tim Reuss, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada and other company executives at the Mercedes-Benz training facility in Mississauga, Ontario on Thursday.

“We're showing them [the dealers] what we have done, what we are doing and how these things fit together,” Reuss explained during a roundtable discussion before meeting with dealers.

Dealers will also be discussing new marketing initiatives and, as Winkler described, why it is “smart to continue to invest in smart.”

Elaborating on her point, she explained to Canadian AutoWorld that it is vital to demonstrate why smart is so important to Daimler and why Daimler is investing in smart, pointing out how the brand has enormous potential as societies demand more environmentally sensitive options for mobility.

The Mercedes-Benz sub-brand, like its luxury big brother, has been doing very well in Canada year-to-date. As of the end of September, smart sits 29.3 per cent ahead of the same time last year with more than 1,860 units sold. That tally sits ahead of the full year number from 2011.

Globally, the brand has been performing well in 2012 with pockets of decline in Europe largely attributed to the economic quagmire engulfing the European Union.

In Canada, smart has benefited from a renewed push for the brand over the last year and a half that has seen an increase in dedicated personnel on the corporate level, a higher concentration on the commercial fleet side of the business with car2go and an aggressive marketing campaign.

While hot topics in the closed-door sessions will no doubt concern volume targets and future product, dealers also had a chance to drive the third generation smart electric drive and ride the smart ebike, which has been available in Canadian smart dealerships since the summer.