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Old 01-09-2015, 01:39 AM   #21
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

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Originally Posted by markopolo
Correct me if mistaken - but the Fiat Ducato seems to be the choice for B van builders in Europe. Online, I don't see many new Ford Transit campervans.

Will we see that trend here? Anyone know why the Ducato (think ProMaster) seems to be the popular choice? Is it price of the van?

Also, the Sprinter as a campervan seems way more popular here in North America than Europe. Again, why? Is it length?

Sprinters are popular because they were the first readily available hi-top van. No other reason. The Transit is/will be number one in sales, followed by the Promaster, followed by the Sprinter. I wouldn't doubt that when Chevy comes out with one the Sprinter will be last in Sales but who knows.
Europe's version of the Promaster the Ducato is the number one RV model in all of Europe for many reasons such as fuel Economy, size, turning radius, and price.

One thing I hate about Sprinters is the rust problem. In Vermont I see loads of them with holes rusted clear through. Some of these are 2007 and 2008 models! I haven't seen a car that rusts as bad as a Sprinter since the 1970s! Is this QUALITY
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:01 AM   #22
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I suggest we revisit this in a year. I might remind you all, this is not Europe.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:15 AM   #23
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I think the full length sprinter will still be considered the 'premium' van. it may not get the most sales in units but in dollars it will be head a shoulders ahead of anything else.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:01 AM   #24
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

The idea that the "market has spoken" and small Class B's won't sell makes no sense. The company with the most small Class B offerings and the most diverse offerings (Roadtrek) has by far the biggest market share and a proven record of surviving multiple economic cycles.

There is a lot of diversity in Class B buyers (young and old, couples and singles, black-toppers and boondockers, etc. etc.). It seems foolish to try to be successful in the relatively small Class B market without trying to capture multiple segments of the market. Companies like Advanced RV that only sell large and expensive B's have dropped like flies every time there is an economic downturn. I wish them well but I wouldn't invest a nickel in a company like that.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:09 AM   #25
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

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The idea that the "market has spoken" and small Class B's won't sell makes no sense. The company with the most small Class B offerings and the most diverse offerings (Roadtrek) has by far the biggest market share and a proven record of surviving multiple economic cycles.

There is a lot of diversity in Class B buyers (young and old, couples and singles, black-toppers and boondockers, etc. etc.). It seems foolish to try to be successful in the relatively small Class B market without trying to capture multiple segments of the market. Companies like Advanced RV that only sell large and expensive B's have dropped like flies every time there is an economic downturn. I wish them well but I wouldn't invest a nickel in a company like that.

the man whoowns advanced rv already owns successful businesses. i actually think advanced rv is more of a hobby for him. i would not be surprised if his business model is just to break even.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

More than a hobby I suspect. More like a business challenge and businesses must remain healthy, and now that there are more than 20 employees I doubt one can any longer call it a hobby. You do have to look at the track record. Neundorfer has been independently in business since 1973. I don't think failure is in the dictionary.

But who is investing in any company? I'm buying a B, and I am buying what I clearly believe to be the best available on the market at this time by any stretch of measurement. A warranty is only as good as the product. The van itself is Mercedes Benz. Every product that goes into a van for the most part comes from another source. I have investigated and intimately know the product and the care that goes into putting it all together. I know that everything that has gone into the B was made with the decision of whether it was the best product available. I just checked my email in basket. Since I placed my order for an Advanced RV I have 77 saved (there were more) emails from Advanced RV and it various employees covering every subject in detail. I've probably got near as many phone calls with not only Mike Neundorfer but at least a half dozen employees responsible for their work on the B. I've created in excess of 20 CAD drawings to convey my ideas but not all were sent to ARV. The cost might surprise you. It is not 3X as one surmised in this forum. But true, this B will cost double what my custom built timber frame home cost me (32 years ago. ) so it is my biggest purchase ever. I think it deserves the attention. So, contrast that with dickering with a fast talking salesman at a dealer who knows no more than you about the B telling you what you can and cannot get. I might be more of an exception in what I have done. Others have pretty much expressed their desires and let ARV deliver on those desires. But every ARV customer gets the kind of treatment, say Mike Wendland gets at Roadtrek.

Jrobe, You wouldn't invest a nickel in that situation if you could afford it?
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:31 AM   #27
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
More than a hobby I suspect. More like a business challenge and businesses must remain healthy, and now that there are more than 20 employees I doubt one can any longer call it a hobby. You do have to look at the track record. Neundorfer has been independently in business since 1973. I don't think failure is in the dictionary.

But who is investing in any company? I'm buying a B, and I am buying what I clearly believe to be the best available on the market at this time by any stretch of measurement. A warranty is only as good as the product. The van itself is Mercedes Benz. Every product that goes into a van for the most part comes from another source. I have investigated and intimately know the product and the care that goes into putting it all together. I know that everything that has gone into the B was made with the decision of whether it was the best product available. I just checked my email in basket. Since I placed my order for an Advanced RV I have 77 saved (there were more) emails from Advanced RV and it various employees covering every subject in detail. I've probably got near as many phone calls with not only Mike Neundorfer but at least a half dozen employees responsible for their work on the B. I've created in excess of 20 CAD drawings to convey my ideas but not all were sent to ARV. The cost might surprise you. It is not 3X as one surmised in this forum. But true, this B will cost double what my custom built timber frame home cost me (32 years ago. ) so it is my biggest purchase ever. I think it deserves the attention. So, contrast that with dickering with a fast talking salesman at a dealer who knows no more than you about the B telling you what you can and cannot get. I might be more of an exception in what I have done. Others have pretty much expressed their desires and let ARV deliver on those desires. But every ARV customer gets the kind of treatment, say Mike Wendland gets at Roadtrek.

Jrobe, You wouldn't invest a nickel in that situation if you could afford it?
What DavyDD says.

Also, Roadtrek didn't survive the last downturn. It was shut down, closed for a time, until an investment group took it over. It's not family owned anymore
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:56 PM   #28
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

2008 was a tough year for the whole Class B industry. The market was already small, the MB Sprinter upgraded its model which would require retooling, gasoline leaped ahead of diesel in cost the previous year just as the market started gravitating to the diesel Euro van, fuel in general was going up in price and the recession was in full bloom. That was a lot of whammies in one year. The only saving grace on the horizon was the baby boomer generation reached retirement age.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:09 PM   #29
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
2008 was a tough year for the whole Class B industry. The market was already small, the MB Sprinter upgraded its model which would require retooling, gasoline leaped ahead of diesel in cost the previous year just as the market started gravitating to the diesel Euro van, fuel in general was going up in price and the recession was in full bloom. That was a lot of whammies in one year. The only saving grace on the horizon was the baby boomer generation reached retirement age.
I'd agree. Considering the depth of the financial crisis, you can't really fault anyone for closing up shop for a bit or reorganizing. When orders dry up, what are you supposed to do?

My hat is off though, to those that found a way to get back to business. Considering how the banks were, and the investment community, that is no small feat.

Don't forget, there were MANY millions that were forced into early retirement. So they are still chasing their dreams, but on a more modest budget.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:03 AM   #30
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I removed a few posts that were off topic. Lets get this topic back on track
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:10 AM   #31
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I am a bit surprised that as many RV places made it though 2008-2012 as they did. However, a lot of them ended up becoming brands under Thor or Forest River (Airstream comes to mind), and I've read a number of gripes about quality level on the boards. Even Winnebago nearly fell to a firm wanting to take it over and dismantle it.

One of the hardest parts was the banks. Once they got their bailout and their execs got their bonus checks, all that cash fled the US like no tomorrow, and getting any type of business loan was difficult. Now that other markets are starting to tank, the banks are finally offering to lend again domestically.

I'm hoping the "B"s like the Travato and others re-ignite the spark that campervans (especially Westies) once had, bringing another generation out of the cities. I think I actually got a co-worker wanting to buy a "B" just because of the small form factor, and the fact that it is a van, not a large motorhome which couldn't be stored in Austin or some surrounding towns. I do wonder though if the generation gap is greater than I thought. A number of people I meet in their 20-somethings don't even want a car... they prefer a bicycle for their preferred mode of transportation.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:39 PM   #32
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Default Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I wonder if Airstream might also consider the new Ford Transit as an alternative if MB does not bring back their V-6 gas engine. BTW Airstream was owned by Thor long before the 2008 downturn - it happened in 1980.


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Old 01-12-2015, 04:40 PM   #33
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Gen gap is a real thing as far as vehicles are concerned. The wife has 2 nieces that are early 20 somethings and don't even have drivers licenses. Don't want them either.
We have a granddaughter that's 15 that doesn't want a drivers license either. Says she doesn't "need" one. (Actually we're happy about this one)
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:37 PM   #34
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I don't think the current generation doesn't want drivers licenses but they just don't want the hassle or are afraid of failing. My 16 year old daughter just failed her behind-the-wheel test and was almost in tears. I know she's a good driver so I'm confident she'll get it next time but she was really demoralised.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:42 PM   #35
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Well, we long ago made it known that when our son graduated from college, we would buy him a car as a graduation gift. He did so five years ago and has shown zero interest in taking us up on the offer.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:46 PM   #36
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

if your in areas with good mass transit you don't need a car. but i can't see how that would work in most areas
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