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Old 09-17-2018, 08:26 AM   #1
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Sprinter availability

I placed an order in March with Sportsmobile West, for a new van conversion. At the time, I was told it would probably be December before they even receive the van, and a couple of months after that before the conversion was finished. But matters seem to have gotten worse since then. My most recent update was that they *might* get the van in late spring.

The 2019 Sprinters are very late. They are a significant redesign vs. 2018. Most model years, the Dealer Ordering Guide is published in May; it's now mid September and the 2019 DOG still isn't even published. Also, each model year, the diesels have to get new EPA approval, and that reportedly takes longer each year (on the order of months). (I don't even really want a diesel, but that's the only option on the 4x4 Sprinter.) I'm starting to wonder if I'm ever going to see my van. :-(

One big change for 2019 is that the 2WD Sprinters are being built at a new factory in the US. However, I ordered a 4WD and I'm told they will still be built in Germany. So then you have the same tear-it-down, ship-it, reassemble it nonsense that they've been doing — but will the new US factory be set up for that? It can't be their highest priority. And of course you have to wonder what impact tariffs will have...

Does anyone out there know anything more that would shed some light on what's happening? It's all very murky and opaque. I'm starting to wonder if I should bail on it, sacrifice my deposit with Sportsmobile, and do something else.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:03 PM   #2
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I took advantage of the MB delay and bought a 2018 Ford Transit for SMB Fresno to convert, taking one of their September MB production slots.

You could do something similar. That way you’d get a gas 4x4 (what I am doing).
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:09 PM   #3
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If you stay with a Sprinter, I recommend that you work through a local Sprinter MB dealer. You will get better details on options and delivery compared to working through SMB. But be sure to coordinate with SMB on options such as DEF tank placement and sliding door window and need for second alternator and swivel seats, etc.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kreese View Post
I took advantage of the MB delay and bought a 2018 Ford Transit for SMB Fresno to convert, taking one of their September MB production slots.

You could do something similar. That way you’d get a gas 4x4 (what I am doing).
Yeah, I considered that. But the 4x4 for the Transit is aftermarket, and very new with no track record. That scared me off. And the Sprinter has some other advantages too, such as better safety features. Especially the 2019.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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I placed my order in December 2016. It's the whole dieselgate thing that messed up delivery timelines. VW opened a hornets' nest and the EPA decided to audit Mercedes as well. The 2018 models were not released until late spring 2018. I was informed in August of 2018 that my Sprinter had finished assembly in Germany and was about to be disassembled for shipment to SC for reassembly. The arrival in Fresno was then to be between the end of Sept. and end of Oct.

From what I understand, 2019 models will be released this fall. Some of the supposed new model benefits are more gears in the automatic tranny and full 360° camera field of view on the navigation screen. I think they are moving toward eliminating diesel in the US (possibly all of North America) due to EPA regulations.

As others have said, it may be easier to order the van from a MB dealer, then take it to SMB for upfitting.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:03 PM   #6
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I think they are moving toward eliminating diesel in the US (possibly all of North America) due to EPA regulations.
Moving toward it perhaps, but certainly not there. The 4x4 is still diesel only (and still made in Germany only). And the one gasoline model they are offering is gutless compared to the diesels.

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As others have said, it may be easier to order the van from a MB dealer, then take it to SMB for upfitting.
I don't understand this suggestion. The vans aren't being made yet; no MB dealer is going to be able to get their hands on one either. I'm told that SMB is early in the pipeline for 4x4s, and that I'm near the top of their list. What benefit would I gain from losing my place in line with SMB and buying from a dealer?
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothskeller View Post
Yeah, I considered that. But the 4x4 for the Transit is aftermarket, and very new with no track record. That scared me off. And the Sprinter has some other advantages too, such as better safety features. Especially the 2019.
I own a Transit (2wd) and if you've been here long you know I love and hate every van out there so this is not a Transit ad. The Transit 4x4 is not new with no track record. It's been built for 3-4 years now by the two biggest and arguably oldest 4wd van converters in America, Quigley and Quadvan. I wouldn't worry about the track record part. What I would worry about with EITHER or these is taking it far offroad and having an electronic nanny go haywire. Neither are immune. My Transit has been more trouble than it should've already. It has little to do with the 4wd system on either. If you want track record and reliability stick with a 4wd E-series.

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Old 09-17-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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Ordered van, 170 drw 4x4, February of '17. Arrived in June '18. Patience.

In full disclosure, the e350 monster 4x4 covered all our bases while waiting. But boy did it take awhile to get into the assembly line in Fresno.

We took the this as an opportunity to stock up more loot for Aluminess and Agile products!
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothskeller View Post
I don't understand this suggestion. The vans aren't being made yet; no MB dealer is going to be able to get their hands on one either. I'm told that SMB is early in the pipeline for 4x4s, and that I'm near the top of their list. What benefit would I gain from losing my place in line with SMB and buying from a dealer?
Have patience. SMB is between you and a dealer and I think you will more likely get what you want working directly with a knowledgeable salesman at a good dealer. After the sale you will have a friend at MB to help with problems. There are so many options and you will have to live with your choices for a long time. Don't take the first one off the assembly line after big changes. If you don't already have one, get a used SMB now to use for a couple of years until you have the new one.

Just my opinion. David
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:46 AM   #10
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Echoing what @llamadave said. I ordered my 2018 Transit from a Ford dealer so that I could get the exact options I wanted. I did work with SMB on what these options should be, took their input and made adjustments based on their expertise, but ordered the van from a Ford dealer myself and had it delivered to SMB. Remember that the whole point of an SMB conversion is to customize it exactly the way you want it.

For me I wanted a Ford Transit HR EL with an EcoBoost gas engine and a QuadVan 4x4 conversion with the Eaton Detroit Truetrac Front Locker, Bilstein front and rear struts, an air lift, shortened rear shock mounts and wheel well cutbacks for the exact tires I wanted. Totally custom. I could have chosen any van and manufacturer that I wanted - and I did.
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