Glance up through the second-floor windows of the Mercedes-Benz dealership on Baum Boulevard and you may think you’re gazing into a playroom of oversized toys. But those cars are real. You’re looking into the showroom of Smart Center Pittsburgh, local home of Daimler’s Smart Fortwo, the littlest hot new thing on wheels.
According to general manager Gregg Szabatura, Pittsburgh’s allotment of just 200 fuel-efficient Smarts sold fast last year, in sync with rising gas prices. Despite the sagging economy, demand remains high for the 300 distinctive two-seaters earmarked for Pittsburgh this year, even though a growing number are finding their way onto the dealership’s orphan list. That’s a roster of folks eager to buy Smarts preordered by someone else who’s already made a $99 online deposit then had a change of heart.
“We don’t really do anything to drive demand for the vehicles,” says Gregg. “A lot of people who are buying these are commuting inner-city and in areas where you have condensed parking, like Oakland and Shadyside. We have a lot of baby boomers who are parking their big vehicles and using this out in the suburbs to run back and forth to the grocery store.”
Read full article here.