Why is it taking so long for my Sprinter to arrive?
Has your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van pickup been delayed? Are you finding a difficult time trying to acquire a new Sprinter van? You’re not alone, as this is a nationwide problem Mercedes-Benz has faced consistently the last few years. Whether it’s emissions testing delays, parts shortages, or logistical backlogs, Mercedes-Benz has certainly had their hands full getting Sprinter vans out into the wild. The stackup of delays have truly hit a head, with deliveries being more impacted than ever these last few months. Here are the questions we’ll be shedding some light on.
- What are the main reasons for the Sprinter van delays?
- When will the 2021 Sprinters be available?
- How can I order a NEW Sprinter van?
Because we’re a Mercedes-Benz Master Up-Fitter, we can get the inside scoop on Mercedes-Benz production queues and current limitations. One thing we’re for sure of is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis delay is not an isolated incident and here are the reasons why.
The Sprinter Van Emissions Problem
You thought adding DEF into your van was inconvenient, well here is another issue. Ever since the diesel gate scandal, the EPA testing on the Mercedes diesel engines has become much more rigorous and frequent. The main delay is due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that Mercedes-Benz, and all other diesel manufacturers for that matter, recertify all diesel models to make sure they meet EPA emission control standards. Furthermore, Mercedes didn’t get their testing approval on the 3.0l 6 cylinder diesel used for most vans, and all 4×4 Sprinters, until July. In order to keep the factory up and running, vans were still produced during this no-sale period. Mercedes-Benz was not legally allowed to ship units to dealerships, causing them to acquire massive parking lots to store completed vans. This isn’t an uncommon method, as seen by Ford with thousands of F-150’s in Kentucky. Once Mercedes-Benz got their engine certification taken care of, one might say that the floodgates have opened for getting them delivered wherever they need to go.
With the huge demand for new 2020 Sprinter vans and the majority of them not being shipped out, the next issue includes trucking logistics and delivering these vans. Not unlike most other industries, the trucking industry is also facing a labor shortage nationwide. With the limited number of truckers available, we believe Mercedes-Benz will prioritize van deliveries based on large fleet orders then pre-sold units. Don’t be surprised if you see your local Amazon drivers sporting their 2022 model Sprinters long before you see one hit the showroom floor. We enjoy optimism though, so hopefully these delays on Mercedes-Benz end give you the proper time to order all the goodies needed for your build.
The Part and Accessory Delay
Similar to the emissions and trucking issues, there is a multi-layered problem revolving around the availability of the parts and materials we use on a day to day basis. During the heat of the pandemic, supply stores and warehouses were wiped clean by high customer demand for the products and materials needed to build their vans. Closed manufacturing plants caused the restocking effort of these warehouses to take its sweet time. Fortunately the factories have since reopened and are somewhat up to speed. Unfortunately, this worldwide delay resembles that of a heavy traffic jam, with Covid related factory closures and labor shortages acting as a major pileup at the head of the traffic. Imagine that the manufacturers who make the basic essentials that are universal to many different assembly plants are the first cars in this traffic jam. These companies are the foundation of all supply chains that produce raw materials like steel sheets or paint pigment. Just like an actual traffic jam, it takes a good amount of time to slowly creep along. Companies along the supply chain are creeping along simply waiting their turn to pass the wreck. Generally speaking, the farther back in the supply chain a company is, the longer their delays will tend to be.
While companies are under huge pressure to produce and ship products as soon as possible, it’s also important to factor in the logistics of the products each step of the way. Covid labor shortages and safety regulations have led to backups in the major shipping container ports. So even if your warehouse says their cargo container has shipped, it may be a while before it finally hits the shelves.
In addition to a delay in vans and products, there is another cause for the Sprinter van delays. Amazon has been buying up Sprinters, Transits, and Promaster vans to use as last mile delivery vehicles. These are the same vehicles often used for camper van conversions, making it more difficult for custom van conversion companies and customers to source their vehicles during this time.
What Can You Do About It
If you’ve already ordered a NEW Sprinter the only thing you can do is wait. However, if you are currently looking for a van, we can assist in that search! Like we mentioned, we have a direct connection with Mercedes-Benz dealerships and generally have a handful of orders in process at all times.
Another way to get your van is to simply be aggressive and ready to put down money. It’s not uncommon for people’s situations to change, making their van dream no longer a reality. Others may even put orders in at multiple dealerships, hoping to get one earlier than another. This creates duplicates that are then available to the next person on the list. Once these sprinter vans start to land at dealerships, more inventory will become available. Our dealer partners have already started to receive 2022 models! We anticipate that dealer parking lots will start to fill back up by the end of the year.
On the other hand, have you thought about a used Sprinter van for a conversion? We detailed the pros and cons of buying a New Sprinter vs a Used Sprinter For A Van Conversion.