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vehicles languishing on dealers lots has to do with the interst of the sales folks just as much if not more than the product. I think this from the idea that it doesn't matter how cool an idea an engineer has if it doesn't get marketed and sold. Considering somebody here was just telling a story how the dealer was trying to sell him the new M class which hadn't arrived yet and he had a G sitting languish on the lot, and a customer who was asking questions about the G... sounds to me like the dealer can't even see a potential customer which is staring him in the face. To buy the G on that guys lot you'd have to nearly be rude to the sales guy, which seems easy but i think it's hard to buy something so expensive when someone is trying to give you reasons not to look at it.

I don't think it'd ever be a Range Rover in terms of volume, but if it was marketed for what it is, rather than what they said, i think sales might have been better than they are. You can't put a bow tie on a pitbul and sell it as i nice fuzzy kitty, and even if you do sell it they're gonna drop it after it eats the other cat in the house... and if someone comes into a pet shop looking for a pitbull and you try and sell them i nice poodle they're probably going to leave the shop even if there is a pitbull in the house.

just some thoughts...
 

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Oh trust me, my dealer tried their best to get rid of the G's...remember, the longer these high-priced SUVs are on the lot, the more $$ these dealers lose every month! They may be ignorant to the G's virtues, but they are not financially stupid. It's a business...they will push people to buy the leftovers that nobody want on their lot.

IMO, to the public eye, the G offers too little for the price of admission, as compared to Range Rovers, Touaregs, and Lexus SUVs. The only buyers for the G's are famous/wealthy people looking for an "original" toy (among their other toys). Or a rapper looking to pimp out the ride. Or one of us fanatics, which i can count on my fingers and toes. Not enough demand.

I am hoping that you optimistic guys are right. But, i am pretty sure that MB will let the current G die by '06. It's a done and sure thing. Competition has surpassed the G by a long shot in terms of all the things that "regular" folks care about, such as roominess, quiet highway comfort, 3 row seating, low to the ground for ease of entry, car-SUV crash compatibility, nooks-and-crannies for storage, etc..

The G is HANDMADE (aka high cost) in small numbers outside of major MB factories, high price, low demand from the general public, etc. do not bode well for a complany struggling with profits and quality control. The old days of MB manufacturing are over. Everything is about cost cutting. MB is no longer making a vehicle and THEN pricing it. MB is pricing the vehicle before making it and then build it to cost.

Not to be the pessimist, but i can see the writing on the wall....[:(]
 

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I feel horribly cheated by Mercedes-Benz. My father and I have been Mercedes-Benz customers since the seventies. My son's 1999 ML320 made him a Mercedes-Benz customer.

Either the dealer I spoke to today was lying or completely uninformed as to what was going on with Mercedes-Benz USA and the G-class. He said that the current G-class didn't say the right things about Mercedes-Benz.

I say this whole politics scheme that MBUSA is pulling off about the number of G's is destroying enormous amounts of potential profit and angering loyal customers. The stunt alone (as you have described it) Harald proves that MBUSA doesn't care about the buyer.

We've all spent our money on these vehicles, I would expect that Mercedes-Benz USA and international would care enough and treat us better.

I wouldn't take an extremely capable mountain goat, put him in a dress with make-up and a big wig, and then try to pass him off as a person and expect people to like him. That's ridiculous! But this is what Mercedes-Benz has done. They've taken the G, sugarcoated it and powdered it, and are now trying to pass it off as this capable, luxurious vehicle that allows you to go anywhere (which it does). But it doesn't sell because it's still a goat underneath. And then the dealers wonder why there is no demand for the vehicle.

I say get rid of the sugar and makeup! What you're left with is an extremely capable vehicle that can withstand pretty much everything for thousands less. Hey MBUSA, LET PEOPLE WHO WANT CUSHY SUVS go buy the RangeRovers, Lexus's and whatnot.

Jeep's Wrangler in standard form and Unlimited form can't compare to anything else. Never once have the people at Jeep apologized for their vehicle which manages to rack up huge profits, loyal and happy customers, and smiling Jeep Execs. Can you imagine what would happen if Jeep sugarcoated/powdered the Wrangler and sold it for $80K? Sales would go straight down the toilet and into the gutter. On the other hand, the used car sales would probably skyrocket.

If anyone at MBUSA or MB International reads this, I'm not asking for a beauty queen in the G; a civilian W461 worker will be JUST FINE. Just leave it on the table and make it available and affordable. Or give the vehicle to freightliner so those who want a barebones G can still have one.
 

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BrentG500 - 4/8/2005 12:13 AM
Can you imagine what would happen if Jeep sugarcoated/powdered the Wrangler and sold it for $80K? Sales would go straight down the toilet and into the gutter. On the other hand, the used car sales would probably skyrocket.
Well, the Jeep Wrangler is production (not handmade) vehicle and production cost is low (parts are not as high quality). It also has a sticker of $15-23k (Rubicons cost a bit more). I doubt that any strip down G-wagen model will cost that low. Wrangler is very popular with highschool and college crowd...because it is fun AND inexpensive to own. The last part ("inexpensive") does not apply to any G models. If the Rubicon costs $40-50K, then i doubt that anyone would buy it, even if it has G-wagen parts! No market demand (no demographics) if it costs that much.

Remember, what WE are willing to pay for a G-wagen does NOT mean that 98.9% of society is willing to do it also. And 98.9% of society is where MB makes money. They don't give a crap about 1.1% of society who are crazy about the G.
 

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My suggestion to MB is simple - bring on the new Pacifica, errrr "G" , but dont call it a "G". Save that model designation for down the road when you have something truly deserving of the rich tradition of our trucks.
 

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Smuggler, that's exactly what I'm talking about! IF MBUSA decided to offer a stripped down version, they could sell it for possibly $45K-$50K. Seeing that it is handmade (very costly) and production takes a while, that would be enough to justify the $45K-$50K price for those who want and understand what this vehicle is (it is a Mercedes after all). Besides, most Mercedes Benz owners are used to paying that price for a Mercedes.

And 2000Beast, Mercedes has registered GLK, MLG, MLX, G and GL as some possible names (what is with the G being in the name?). I agree and say call this 'Bama built "new G" an MLG or MLX. Save the name G for a newer model that is worthy of the title.

Mercedes swears that the "new G" (X164) will have a very capable off road package that makes it equivalent to the current one. I don't see this happening. They've already launched the new ML that supposedly offers this great offroad package, but at present it's unavailable (much like the "delayed" availability of the panaramic sunroof option for the W163 ML).
 

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" MLX " - I LIKE IT ! A new class for a new customer. Save "G" for when you come up with something REALLY interesting in a few years - imagine that splash.

Again - their is something about the current model that fascinates the Hollywood crowd. Perhaps it is the exclusivity, maybe it's quirky good looks, who knows but there is almost a cult following. How hard is that to attain ?

Although the new model will surely attract the Escalade crowd, MB is wasting an opportunity here if they simply lose the panache that the "G" has developed by tagging this new car a "G".

Don't expect Hollywood to write any checks. Although I'm sure it is finely engineered, it is not a "see and be seen" automobile by any means.
 

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brentg500...

you bring up again what i'm starting to think, and it's not that the G isn't popular enough as a vehicle (even with a luxy interior and 75k sticker) ... instead it's abandoned by it's marketing and sales people. If you didn't know much about the G and were in the dealership and a sales guy says to you as you point to it that it's not giving the right image of mercedes would you bother asking more questions?... Plenty of really rich people own Jeeps and grand cherokee's because there simply aren't a lot of other options. Consider that alot of the richest people buy cars cars somewhere between twice a year and every other year... if you had sales people asking customers walking onto the lot and say... "hey, do you have a jeep? Or a 4x4?... really?... then you gotta check this out..." The fact that they already own a jeep wont matter if they're buying cars every year anyway. People always comment on how solid the G feels.

And if they really went into production with the G, it's would have to cost so much. The reason it cost so much is because there are more than 10? different body style in total and 5 different motors. You can't automate that. Offer 1 body style and 2 motors and you can work down a lot of the production costs.
 

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RE: brentg500...

ewalberg - 4/9/2005 9:13 PM

instead it's abandoned by it's marketing and sales people... Offer 1 body style and 2 motors and you can work down a lot of the production costs.
Erik, you're 110% correct. [:)] Who does Mercedes-Benz USA have working for them in the marketing and upper-level management? [:(!] Jeep prides itself over the military history of the Wrangler; they sell it for what it is any make no apologies for what it does. And it has never been made into something that it's not.

The marketing people at MB are most likely ashamed of the G because they've tried to market it into a niche where it doesn't belong; they abandoned any trace of it's military heritage and lineage; just take a look at the sales brochures. [xx(] The Gelaendewagen is what it is and there is no shame in it being that.

This poor marketing makes it exceptionally tough for MB sales people to sell; they must be embarrased by the G because customers mistake it for competing against an Escalade, Navigator, Denali, Lexus, H2, etc. When pitted against these competitors, the G falls short because of price and style. But what MB doesn't get is that people shopping for those competitor's vehicles are the ones who want the bubbly SUVs. [}:)]

The marketing crew factored us, true offroad people who appreciate the G's history and self, out of the equation. [:(!] To them, we just don't exist. [xx(] They're not interested in winning our business and they don't care about us as customers. [:(!]

Nevermind that the G is the most solid, "go anywhere, throw anything at it" vehicle out there. IMHO nothing can out match the G. [:p]

And I agree with you that simplifying production with a LWB and two motors (a diesel and V12) would work down tons of production costs. [:D] Also offering simpler standard equipment on the vehicle would make assembly less complicated and faster. [:)] [:D]

Instead of axing the G, they should axe some of their fresh out of college marketing people and replace them with those who understand the meaning/virtues that a vehicle's history plays in selling the vehicle itself. [}:)]

I'm writing and calling DC's headquarters at least twice a week to make sure they understand that we won't let the G go without kicking, screaming, and a fair fight!

If back in 1985 I had even known of the G's existence, I would have definetly looked into it.
 

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RE: brentg500...

It's certainly mismarketed, but I'm not sure they've totally abandoned the military heritage... more i see it that they haven't focused enough on it. It's really not military heritage... it's a reality of what it is now, the heart of the vehicle is virtually the same as what gets used in the military, and test driving it versus a Range Rover makes that all to evident. Granted a military truck with totally luxury interior is a little odd, but look at the new full size trucks being offered by Lincoln. It's a fully lux'd truck and marketed as such... i would be a bit surprise if some of the G owners are a similar market because some people just want a truck even if they want luxury.

But your right, MB's marketing requires excuses... so the customer drives this luxury SUV and then notices and askes why it doesn't ride soft like an escalade, but if you start off telling them it rides more solid than anything on the road because it's shares a platform with a military truck, they'll know why it's so solid feeling, and then not doubt so much why it does't feel all bouncy soft. Ask them to crouch down and take a look at the frame the bumper bolts to so they might take a glance at the competition and notice it's half the thickness of steel and wonder about those vehicles safety a little more.

And it may fall short on price, often size, and ride quality as it's marketed, but it's definitely not lacking in style. These things get nearly as many looks as a ferrari. I'm approached relatively regularly about it. YOu may get attention in an H2, but that's a different story. I'm not sure the G would have sold for 130k if they didn't have style.
 

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I find mine exceptionally stylish. I get honks, waves and looks of wonder. Occassionally though, someone mistakes it for an old Isuzu Trooper.

I really love how unique the G is. There are too many H2's out there that no one really bothers to be impressed by them. If Mercedes can find a way to get their act together, make all the numbers work they could be sitting on a cash cow.

But the way they are abusing the G with unfair ordering practices, illiterate marketing and selling will only continue to lead them into massive amounts of loss. [:(]
 

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does anyone know exactly how close the military and civilian versions of the G really are for the newer models?

the reason i ask is because that may be the answer everyone is looking for, just transplant the 'brain' from the military version into the civilian version. I am almost positive that military version doesnt have the esp in it, as it would more than likely interfear with any number of things they do with it on a daily basis.

just a thought anyway, i know i would do it to get rid of the esp.
 

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Funny - Last time I dropped my "G" off at the dealership here in Walnut Creek for an "A Service" the guy ahead of me had a CL65 - outrageous automobile. As I got out to look at his car - he was crossing paths with me to get a look at my "G".

MB - good luck approaching that with the new model.

Call the new SUV an "MLX" and dazzle everyone with something REALLY special in acouple of years to properly replace the "G". I'll buy one ...
 

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Belosch:

Here's a picture of the military G-class that will be in production until 2025. It's called the Military G and it's based on the W461 platform. Do a search if you want to see more.



Thomas:

The retrocruiser was built by Rod Millen. The outside body panels were just like the 1967 FJ-45, while the interior was a current generation Toyota Landcruiser.




For $350K, he'll build you one. [:D]

Please note that this one of a kind concept is not the same thing that Toyota is releasing for their production vehicle. It's 360 degrees different. Toyota is calling their new vehicle the Toyota FJ Cruiser which will be in showrooms by 2007/2008. Here are some pics:





 

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" FJ Cruiser was developed as a basic, capable and affordable off-roader"

"The FJ is designed to be affordable, in a position that will be between the RAV4 and 4Runner. It is built on the same platform as the 4Runner, but 11 inches shorter with only a 4-inch shorter wheelbase, which means most of the loss came from the front and rear overhangs."

"Utility features include a two-part rear hatch with flip-up glass, black overfenders with mudguards, and silver painted bumper extenders, mirrors, door handles and skid plate. Easy rear passenger entry into the two-door SUV is achieved with rear access doors."

"Power is supplied by a 4.0-liter V6 engine, generating 245 horsepower and 282 lb-ft. of torque. Available six-speed manual on 4x4 models."

"The five-passenger FJ Cruiser rides on a modified 4Runner platform and features 17-inch steel wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. "

" FJ Cruiser will be equipped with the Star Safety System which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist as standard."

Additional optional equipment includes 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, rear differential lock, electronic four-wheel traction control (on 4WD models only), running boards, rear sonar backup assist, front seat-mounted side airbags and front- and rear-side curtain airbags, daytime running lights, power outside mirror with image lights, cruise control, AM/FM CD audio with a six-disc changer, equalizer and eight speakers, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, multi-information display, exterior color door insert panels, privacy glass, and rear wiper."
 

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Here are pics of prototype:

http://macleans.auto123.com/en/info/news/photos,photogal,news.spy?artid=35803

Article with specs:

http://www.autofan.com/newsdetail.asp?id=1347&mn=2&yr=2005
 

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What about CKD???

Just a crazy idea -

LandRover in the past has considered selling Defenders to the US as CKD (Complete Knock Down). Back in the 60s (at least) Mercedes sold cars to Australia in CKD format.

Ship the G over in boxes to an authorized "assembler" and provide a basic dealer supported warranty on the engine and drive train.

I think they could get around a lot of the safety/emissions regulations and still offer the car to those that really want one while making a few bucks.
 

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RE: What about CKD???

G 270 CDIs are available in the US to government agencies. As such, they must surely be federalized. See http://www.mbnz.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1206392&posts=10&fid=30.

I reckon there's a hope that DC is gearing up for a limted worldwide sale of the Mil/Gov 270 CDI to civilians once the new ML-based "G" has been introduced and the noise has died down. Maybe they're alos waiting in order to launch it with the new 280 engine. Makes sense as it seems the 270 engine is being phased out. This new 3 litre V6 CDI engine, avaalbe as a 280 and a 320 (different management module) will be able to fulfil all US and Euro emissions.
 

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RE: What about CKD???

mb230s - 4/12/2005 8:32 PM

Just a crazy idea -

LandRover in the past has considered selling Defenders to the US as CKD (Complete Knock Down). Back in the 60s (at least) Mercedes sold cars to Australia in CKD format.
And Gs are currently being sold CKD to Greece... but for military purposes only.
 
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