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Old 02-25-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
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Sportsmobile Delays

I put down a deposit on a new Sportsmobile a year ago today (with SMWest). At the time, they told me it would be 12Ė14 months to get my van ó mostly waiting for the van itself to be manufactured (a Sprinter 4x4). Then they had the model year 2019 changeover, with some pretty significant design changes. And while the 4x4 is still to be manufactured in Germany, the 2WD model manufacturing moved to a new factory in the US, and all of their focus seems to be on getting that running. Today the SMB folks told me that Mercedes hasn't even started manufacturing the 2019 4x4s; they're "hearing things are going to be picking up in Q3 & Q4 of this year." If that's right ó and none of their previous predictions have been, so I have no reason to be confident in this one ó it'll be essentially two years from deposit to delivery. That's kind of hard to stomach.

To make matters worse, they're doing an awful job of keeping their customers informed. I never hear from my salesman unless I reach out to him. And even then, he doesn't have any trustworthy information to give me; it's all rumor and hearsay. The lack of information isn't his fault personally, but it's a hell of a poor way to run a business.

Pardon my rant, but this is pretty exasperating. Maybe these notes will be helpful to someone who's thinking of putting in an order ó my advice would be to hold off until they have a pipeline flowing.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:12 PM   #2
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From everything i have heard and read, the best thing to do is source your own van first, then get on the list. Smb has their hands tied because they canít get vans, but they shouldnít be taking customer money without a more defined timeline in my opinion. But hey, having a 2-3 year pipeline of work is great for business.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:48 AM   #3
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Lack of good communication isnít good, to be sure. But itís not really Sportsmobileís fault that MB isnít delivering. Iím sure this is impacting SMBís business and cash flow too.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:19 AM   #4
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I think there's a couple factors at play, completely out of SMBs control.

1) MB also got caught fudging come diesel emissions certifications. The 4-cyl got pulled because it isn't actually compliant. The 6-cyl only passed with a waiver.... Basicially MB pre-paid for dirtier emissions. As long as they disclose it, and but the offset credits, that's legal. But the more they sell the more it costs, hence why that supply is limited.

2) To pass emissions they introduced the 2.0L 4-cyl gas turbo motor. This is new for a heavy application. I suspect the sweetheart deal leasing the first large allocation to Amazon was actually a deal to let MB use that fleet for field testing, otherwise it would have taken years more to get it to market doing closed-track testing. So new motor inside a new van built inside a a new manufacturing plant.... kinda a recipe for disaster. As least they bring prudent and holding retail builds until they figure it out.

In the meantime.... have you considered switching a Transit? Powertrains are superior, and they're in stock at every Ford dealer now.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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^^ A Transit doesn't have the sexy #vanlife appeal of a 4WD Sprinter, but get a Transit Quigley conversion and you're rolling a lot sooner, and with a lot wider dealer network.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:54 AM   #6
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I'm team transit because of all the horror stories I have heard about reliability and servicing. However, I do think the Sprinter is a much better looking van and the interior is much nicer.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #7
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Transit Quigley MED Roof with CCV pop top


Winner winner chicken dinner.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
Transit Quigley MED Roof with CCV pop top


Winner winner chicken dinner.


Agreed! Need that powerball!
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