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Old 09-08-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets...

I don't think I've seen this topic posted, but forgive me if it has.

I've overseen buildout on a couple of 4x4 SMB diesels and a couple of badass VW Syncro campers. I've owned two Syncro Westy's too. The market for Syncros and used 4wd SMB diesels is obviously pretty hot right now. A solid Syncro camper (Westy generally) well built out will set you back $40-$50K. A diesel SMB even more so. I'm just wondering - when the 4wd Sprinter conversions become widely available, how many will question paying $65K for an Econoline that gets 1/2 to 3/4 the fuel mileage when you're not gonna be rock climbing but just want something to take you into the Sierras? Or paying $40K for a Syncro (that still gets crappy mileage) that you can't finance like an RV when you can outfit a Sprinter 4wd and pay for it over 15 years?

Anyone care to pontificate on what the 4wd Sprinter will do to the market - or whether it will have any effect at all? I honestly have no idea, but my assumption is that it's going to knock down the value of the higher end rigs.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

Personally, I think they are two different market bases, and I don't think there will be a dramatic affect. Not to say a significant portion of the 4x4 Econoline market couldn't be content with the capabilities of a 4x4 Sprinter, but I think for a lot of people, it's an emotional and not rational decision to buy a 4x4 Econoline.

As the 4x4 Econoline supplies dries up though, there may only be one choice for most people.

Two assumptions I would challenge though. It's not just the off-roading advantage the Econoline has, it also has a substantial towing advantage. I think your assumption of the fuel advantage of the Sprinter is a little overstated. I could get 16-18mpg with my 6.0L Econoline, and I think a 4x4 Sprinter will be lucky to break 20mpg.


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Old 09-09-2014, 05:59 AM   #3
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

I would have to agree with Herb. Not only towing capacity but also aftermarket parts support, and general ease of repair. I know the 6.0 diesels aren't easy or cheap to repair, but from what the fleet mechanics at work tell me the newer Sprinters (V6 diesels) are an absolute nightmare. The trusty Econoline platform has been tried and tested forever and is well known to be unbeatably durable, but I'm not suggesting that the world isn't moving on. Something will replace it eventually.

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Old 09-09-2014, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

It will be an off the shelf option so it'll be used. That being said, I expect we'll see "improvement kits" becoming available from conversion shops that decide to use them. Probably not from the big class B players but maybe SMB or similar. I'm sure the first year everyone will be watching it.

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Old 09-09-2014, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

The 4x4 sprinter is a still a soft reader. It'll be good for the foul weather drivers, but no way would I trust one to actual off-road duty.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
The trusty Econoline platform has been tried and tested forever and is well known to be unbeatably durable
So durable that neither of the two Diesel engines offered is available.

So durable that we have pages of multi thousand dollar repair stories on this forum.

So durable that we have postings about class action lawsuits.

So durable that people are less than confident taking their diesel vans to the boonies for fear of needing a satellite phone to ensure a safe return.

I gotta get me some of that durability. Does it come in grape flavour?

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Old 09-10-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

I've always wondered how many people have died in the bazillion Ford ambulances with 6.0's that were and still are in service that broke down? It would just be my luck... Tell em his injuries aren't that bad, "hang in there Dave, our engine broke down but there is another 6.0 coming our way".
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
I've always wondered how many people have died in the bazillion Ford ambulances with 6.0's that were and still are in service that broke down? It would just be my luck... Tell em his injuries aren't that bad, "hang in there Dave, our engine broke down but there is another 6.0 coming our way".
Most 6.0's never have problems, just think how many are out there, if they were all bad...
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

Bingo! Kind of my point. Talk about lawsuits! Still, it would just be my luck
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:21 PM   #10
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Re: 4wd Sprinter effect on SMB/Econoline +VW Syncro markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Bingo! Kind of my point. Talk about lawsuits! Still, it would just be my luck
Be sorta poetic really.

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