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Discussion Starter #1
I just received an email from a top end executive at DCAG (who asked I not reveal his name) stating the reason Mercedes will not offer a W461 to civilians.

Yes a W461 Mercedes is available to governments and their organizations. Unfortunately Mercedes does not want to offer a civilain W461 because the Mercedes Benz sales dealerships in the USA would have a hard time servicing the car.
[:O] What kind of an excuse is this???? I'm sure there are plenty of people on this forum who have 460's and don't have problems getting them serviced.

The contact also said that, "at this time Mercedes has no intention of offering a W461 civilian to the USA. That does not mean it cannot change. Their decision on this matter will be announced to the press later this year."
 

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Think again

BrentG500 - 5/13/2005 5:27 PM

.....Mercedes does not want to offer a civilain W461 because the Mercedes Benz sales dealerships in the USA would have a hard time servicing the car.
[:O]....I'm sure there are plenty of people on this forum who have 460's and don't have problems getting them serviced....
At dealerships? Get real. "Mercedes Benz Sales Dealerships" won't even LOOK at a 460 G wagen. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has posted "I can't find a mechanic who knows anything about working on this truck" to this forum as regards their 460 G. And that's ANY mechanic, not just the dealers.

He's right that selling 461s through MB dealers would require a large scale training effort at the service level. It's one of the reasons car makers can't afford to offer specialty vehicles to niche markets. If you can't sell 10,000+ of them a year, you can't make money.

The people on this list who don't have problems getting their 460s serviced in the USA are for the most part taking care of the work themselves, or are lucky enough to live local to one of maybe a dozen really competent G mechanics in this country....or drive to New Mexico for service.

-Dave G.
 

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When I wrote to DCAG about the 461 issue, I suggested they sell the 461 through Freightliner, since they have the Unimog already, and the Sprinter...with the 270 diesel. MBNA dealers have zero interest in anything but selling cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I've just about given up on my quest to convince MB to offer a civilian W461 for those of you who want one. The closest thing to it would be the one offered for sale only to the government and government agencies.

I can't use my credentials to distribute one to you guys so if you really want one then you'll have to either join a government organization, import a 460 from Europe, build one yourself, find one already here in the USA or just keep trying to convince MB.

And if Mercedes, by some chance, listens to you guys and imports a W461 through Freightliner then that's absolutly fantastic. If not, then life moves on.

I guess you could say I'm all gassed out. [^]
 

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It appears, unfortunatley that what we have in the states currently is all we are ever going to have. It is sad that if you can't sell 10,000, you won't sell any! I believe selling through Freightliner is a good idea. I would order one from them tomorrow if it were available. Oh well.
 

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Interesting e-mail response..Not very believable, but whatever. Just an FYI, MB is pulling the Sprinter vans from Freightliner stores..? SOOOOO, why not keep encouraging MBUSA to sell the G as a replacement for the Sprinter..? Just a thought..

500
 

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Discussion Starter #8
500 - 5/13/2005 10:10 PM

Not very believable, but whatever. Just an FYI, MB is pulling the Sprinter vans from Freightliner stores..? SOOOOO, why not keep encouraging MBUSA to sell the G as a replacement for the Sprinter..?
I'm sorry that you feel the email is not believable but there's not anything I can do for you about that. I can tell you to write them and see what response you get.

The Sprinter Vans are not in the same class as the G. I had no idea that MB was pulling them from Freightliner. While I do think it's a nice idea to try to save our G, nothing changes the fact that Mercedes seems bent on not selling the G in the USA after the W463 model production terminates.
 

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OK! Maybe this is the key. DCAG does not want to sell the "Worker" 461 for lots of reasons - from electical systems and military specs, to reluctant dealers. But, DCAG is still building the civilan 463 today. With that fact in mind, the next best, perhaps the only, logical option might be for DCAG to offer the 463 in a more basic version with a modern diesel engine. No blue lights on the door sills, no twinky mirrors with turn signals and hand warmers, and sounds systems that cost as much as a TC case - just plain MB tex seating surfaces, rubber floor mats, bumbers that allow a winch and hitch. In short - a durable and well made Gwagen. Something that will appeal to lots of people who actually need a strong vehicle in their work, or folks like some of us who want each vehicle in the stable to offer unique abilities, yet could be driven on the freeway if needed - with good fuel economy for a vehicle of this size and weight.

From what I am hearing here and from DCAG, it may be time to ask the leadership to consider building a vehicle using the 463 platform with less junk and a solid diesel engine. They will know the best combination for modest performance, fuel economy, and off road work. As for who will sell them. Perhaps MBNA dealers could get a clue about this. If they would just pick out 10 or 15 dealers in the country to become centers for the "Uberland" version of the Gwagen.
 

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Future 463's

I've heard from a pretty knowledgeable source that there is some consideration currently being given to continuing the 463 in Graz. Apparently, the projected volumes for the BMW 4WD are not happening, and they now have projected capacity they didn't think they'd have.

That same source says the decision requires a committment from MBUSA for 1,000 trucks per year. If they continue, it will be in the 5 door LWB only with a V8 gasoline engine.

Just a rumor at this point, but the source is pretty good.
 

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I've also heard the 463 G in G500 form will still be available in 2006 on this side of the pond. Not sure about G55K in 06 yet, but I suspect if they keep the 500 the 55 will be around also.
 

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Thomas,

that is a brilliant idea - when Stuttgart created local "Geländewagen Center" = "G headquarter" at selected German Mercedes dealerships with specially trained sales staff (plus a higher sales comission to motivate them) - G sales really took off. Maybe the concept could be adopted in the US.
This concept does not keep other dealerships from selling the G, but a "G headquarter" will have a strong appeal to folks interested in buying, selling or repair of a G.

Harald
 

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500

since Dodge is marketing the Sprinter in the US under the Dodge badge - it only makes sense that Freightliner does not sell the Sprinter as an MB Sprinter.

Harald
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Something to ask

Harald and Thomas, that doesn't seem like a such a bad idea after at all. Maybe when you guys go to Graz in September, you could present the people with this idea of yours. [:)]

Do you guys know if it's actually cheaper for MB to make one unit in the W461 guise versus making one unit in the W463 guise? The obvious answer seems to me that the W461 would be cheaper, but governments buy them as armoured station wagens from $60K+ here.

Also from what I read recently (see Thread: G replacement, Gross misrepresentation), Cordes said that the newer diesel engines would have a difficult time fitting in the current G model body. He, however, didn't say much about if the G was going to cease production. Needless to say, there might still be some hope left.

Slightly OT: Something to stir the heart to fight again. [:D]

 

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RE: Something to ask

Brent,

There is nothing to be presented in Graz - they are not the decision makers.

Cool picture. Clean 460. Must be a planned community where you can only own a house when you own at least one G (noticed a second G parked in the background).

What are the 3 holes in the headlight mask for? Easier adjustment without taking the mask off?

The wipers need some attention.

Harald
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Harald,

The picture is from ORC's website. Very nice attention to detail! The three holes on each side of the headlamp surroundings belong to headlamp protectors that were most likely once there:



And yes, the wipers look like they need to be fixed or replaced. [:p]
 

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Eagle eyes...Harald.

Harald,

Very impressive. You spotted the back side of that G parked down the street. I think you could get work for the government reading high altitude photos.

Regarding the headlight protectors, how are they held in place once the holes are made in the mask? Threaded section comes through the mask and nuts used on the inside?

I have always wondered why these protectors are only vertical bars. Seems to me that flying stone damage could be better prevented if the covers were more of a mesh design.
 

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The rubber headlight housings have metal tab inserts moulded into them ....Phillips screws are then tapped into those tabs and the holders on the protectors enable the screens to move up and away from the single bottom tab for ease of cleaning(like an awning type window). They are useful and eliminate most debris from cracking the headlamp. Problem is those holders can crack in very cold weather....If anyone knows if those guard holder parts are available individually let me know..
Cheers
 

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