You are right, finding proof is difficult, even on their media site.
The amalgamation occurred in the cost-cutting that followed the decision not to abandon the smart brand in 2005 after hideous losses due to the forfour debacle, the stillborn formore SUV and the unprofitable roadster.
The R&D, marketing and other administrative departments of smart in Boeblingen near Stuttgart were shut down and relocated under the wing of the Mercedes-Benz division. I read it in an official account somewhere, but of course I can't find it now....
A few months ago I found a link to a Daimler site that had AMG listed as a separate entity along with Smart. That was where I got the impression that Smart was its own company since I had always thought AMG WAS A MERCEDES - Duh! Of course now I can't find that link. I'll have to research it, I think it was a thread about people whining about Mercedes emblems being put on Smarts.
All that being said, I've got 5200 miles on my car now!!! No problems, a dirty air filter because I go on dirt roads a lot but that is nothing. So far - no regrets.
Double post...it's in another Smart thread too but belongs on this thread just as much.
F.Y.I.- Here's a link to the first American Smart to get totaled due to a bad crash. The link is here. There are more pictures of the car in the original poster's gallery.
IMO, he fared well. Some would say a bump from the side sent him flying but if you've ever been bumped from the side without ever even expecting it you know that it scares the heck out of you - reason to jerk the wheel a little too much.
there was a wreck in canada involving a smart that goes around a lot at work and they all seem to say the same thing. car is trashed "but I am fine" that is the part to me that is better than anything. kill the car but save me. most people argue that it doesn't take much to total a smart but if you think about it, now a-days, it doesn't take much to total a car period regardless of what kind it is.
a buddy of mine with a chavette (pictured earlier in the thread) had a guy back into his grill. $100 and a little paint later, he was fine. he saind himself that if it had been a newer car that it would have been at least a grand in damage. this happened while he was parked and inside at wal-mart one day.
for those who don't know, I have pre-registered for a smart and am on the orphan list. I can't wait
Be the change you wish to see in the world
a buddy of mine has a blue (and I mean blue) vette. it is his baby. he was getting 42mpg or so before he did some other stuff to it. he has a love for the chevettes that rivals my love for the metros. you gotta love your first car.
there is nothing like the look on someones face when they see a 25 year old car shine from a fresh coat of wax, it is truely an amazing thing. especially one that is not considered a "classic muscle car".
one of the old farts I used to work with said that he had the "hot rod chevette". Some of the factory cars came with a High Output engine. In his younger days he would come up on a Chevy or ford V-8 at a light and whoop their butts with his little chevette. I had never seen this HO engine myself just the regular cars.
I've seen about 4-5 smarts in the North Delaware area driving around and I don't think I would ride one without a helmet lol. One was at a stop light sitting right in front of a huge truck, all 3 of us (out to lunch) seen this car and we all said all together "thats a death trap". There is no cell phone law yet in Del so their is a lot of rear end collisions (around 2 each week that I see). I personally would like a bit more cushion in front and rear of the car. the sides look like they could take a good hit and I like the roll cage idea. Maybe if it did take a rear end hit it would fly like a ping pong ball vs a heavy car that would absorb the impact and maybe have the rear car just roll over it.
One was at a stop light sitting right in front of a huge truck, all 3 of us (out to lunch) seen this car and we all said all together "thats a death trap".
Well then, maybe you'd be interested to know that the old smart model was the only car to pass the then-proposed Transport Canada REAR impact test, way back in 2001-2. The new smart that you armchair engineers were pronouncing judgment on is safer. If hit from any side, it makes the other car deform, slicing through its crush zone.
Just turned over 8,000 miles this morning! Went ahead and did my 2nd oil change though it say oil changes are at 10,000 miles there is NO MX schedule in the owners manual - it also doesn't tell you what oil to use.
So....I guess I FINALLY have a few complaints.
NO ARMREST (Wah)
NO MX Schedule in the owners manual
That's my gripes after 8k miles of owning the car. I've been talking about how much I love it etc my parents decided to get one. Picked it up last Friday. They have leather interior and a few more niceties. Giving up their low mileage Accord for it. I've done 40mpg with the Accord on the highway before driving normal - no hypermiling extremes. They wanted a car with character but with options that make it livable. The Smart fit the bill.
On Friday I turned over 10k miles. Car has been great - acceptable mileage and I am averaging 43 and some change. I can tell you I DO NOT hold up the manics at lights so brisk acceleration is the way for me. I also normally travel in a 60mph zone and maintain 62-65mph. When I'm in the 55 I'll try to do 55 but normally drift up to 60+mph. Obviously from what I'm stating I'm not using extreme hypermiling measures and it is still returning 20% better EPA mileage combined . I do try to shut down at familiar stoplights where I know how long the wait will be BUT I have been running the A/C a lot lately.
I have confirmation my next Smart will be in next month. The one I'm driving will be getting custom paint and some other goodies to set it apart from the others.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the car. MX schedule doesn't call for oil changes but once every 10k miles and I've done 2 so far and plan to change every 6k miles. I've also had to change the air filter already as I live on a dirt road and it was filthy.
In the interior - I added an armrest. I also integrated my Scangauge to mount permanent. Only problem is it is a few years old and had been stuck to various dashes an had lots of stickiness to it. While cleaning it, it broke a little. I'll cover up the crack soon.