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I HOPE the following tale will maybe make those buyers of foreign trucks, stop and think before they part with their hard-won cash.
Two weeks ago we had a top, together with linkage, stolen from a gearbox, out of a Mercedes-Benz 1617 parked in our yard. We telephoned Kingsthorpe Garage in Northampton, who are our nearest Mercedes dealers even though 30 miles away (commercial dealers, I mean).
They ordered the parts, and there our troubles began. "They don't make the eightspeed boxes like yours now, Sir," says they. It's only a 1979 model, not 20 years old, thought I.
To date, they have received bits (a total of 38 bits are requ red to make up the complete assembly) a few at a time, and are currently waiting for one shaft, as the main Mercedes parts place in Milton Keynes doesn't have one. Neither does the main factory in Germany, and they have had to send elsewhere for it — another couple of days they say.
If I was an owner-driver I would be bankrupt, if I had a permanent driver for the vehicle I would have had to f,nish him.
If I had a Bedford TK, or a Ford D Series (eve have one of each) that was 15 years old, not five or six, we could still get parts for it, virtually off-shelf.
I think when a foreign manufacturer brings his products into this country he should be forced to ensure that all parts are available at all times within the country in which they are sold.
I have yet to work out the cost in lost revenue and, dare I say, profits, but they must be considerable. And I can say now, I won't ever buy another Mercedes product — once bitten twice shy, they say! A. H. GOSS Sandy Bedfordshire • MERCEDES-BENZ (UK) has advised us that, with the exception of one item, all the parts have been obtained. The missing part is the gearbox cover, which M-B says is extremely slow moving — only one has been requested in the past 12 months. One has now been made specially for Mr Goss and it should be with him shortly. — Editor.