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I was passing through Detroit yesterday morning and decided to stop off at the North American International Auto Show. I thought it would be a good chance to compare the Promaster to the Transit and the Sprinter and be able to gi back and forth to compare things quickly. I have been to this show several times, but not for several years now. It has certainly gotten smaller.

FCA had one Promaster, a 2500 159" with the driver/passenger 6 way seats, heated, in vinyl. It also had a shelving and divider package showing the utility aspect of the PM. Unfortunately the seats would hit the cab divider and it wasn't possible to move the seat all the way back, and the backrest had to be completely vertical to even get it back for someone my height. I inquired about the possibility of a late availability reintroduction of the diesel, but was told the Promaster was never available in the US with a diesel. Sad that they don't know the product they are pitching.

Ford had two Transit mid roofs. They could have had a high roof or low roof to at least show variety, but they had two identical roof height/wheelbase and both were passenger wagons. Also, one of them was set to Autolock so every time someone got out and closed the door, the doors would all lock. They had the drivers window down so you could at least reach in and unlock it.

I then went over to the Mercedes booth to check out the Sprinter, and they didn't have one at all. When I asked, thinking maybe the trucks were in another hall somewhere, I was told that they didn't have enough room to bring one of everything, so the Sprinter was left out. They did, however, have 7 G class Gelandewagens, including a left over new 2013 model. If you aren't familiar with the G class, it's a square box 4wd SUV that starts at $125,000 and can be optioned out to be over $250,000. Ya.. they had 7 of those on display but no room for a Sprinter.

I've been a car/truck/motorcycle buff all of my adult life and most of my childhood, and shows like this just make me leave disappointed these days. It's like they aren't even trying. They had the wheels turned in a lot of the cars to show of the tire pattern I guess, but that meant when you sat in the car and grabbed the wheel to see the ergonomics the steering wheel was sideways or upside down and blocking the view of the instrument cluster. Most of the cars had limited power turned on so you could play with the stereo, lights, seats, see the dash it up, etc. but some were not. Mercedes had a GLA sitting there with the power seat in the farthest position forward, and the battery disconnected. I watched a young lady who was 5'2" at the most struggle to get in. Even she wanted to move the seat back.

So if you are thinking of going, save the $14 admission and $15+ parking fees and just go to a dealer. They will have a better selection.
 

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I can understand Mercedes not wanting to show an old Sprinter design since their "all-new" (their claim) Sprinter will be introduced next month in Europe (reportedly).
 

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With the Stock Market peaking there is some serious profit-taking Automakers are aiming to fleece... and not from Joe Paycheck.
 
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