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Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Canadian Dealership Allegedly Imposing Ridiculously Strict Restrictions on G-wagen Leases

Want a G-wagen? Maybe head to a different dealership

  • OpenRoad Mercedes-Benz Surrey, a dealership in Canada, has allegedly taken markups to a whole new level.
  • Leaked document appears to show a frankly unbelievable set of restrictions on buyers who want a new G-wagen.
  • The dealership declines to confirm authenticity of document.

Anyone who's tried to buy a car recently will know dealer markups have reached exceptional highs in the last 12 months. Blame supply chain issues, chip shortages, or anything else really — the reality is that buying a new vehicle can be a challenge right now. But even when you take all of that into account, one Vancouver-area Mercedes-Benz dealership — OpenRoad Mercedes-Benz Surrey — is pushing the limits of what's reasonable with the restrictions it's allegedly imposing on potential buyers of a new G-Class.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Twitter user Sebastiaan de With recently tweeted a photo of what reads like a ransom note, but actually appears to be the strictest set of requirements to buy a car we've ever seen. The list laid out in OpenRoad's alleged "G Wagon Purchase Requirements" is posted below. As a side note: Though this document refers to the "G Wagon," we refer to this vehicle as the G-Class, and others call it the G-wagen (or Geländewagen if you're fancy). The following list, grammatical errors and all, is laid out verbatim from the document.  

  1. Must have a G Wagon for Trade
  2. G Wagon must be leased through in house only
  3. Customer must provide security deposit to the dealership ($25,000) to hold, this security deposit will be refunded back to the customer, if customer brings back the car for inspection after one year to prove it is being used locally.
  4. If the customer has no G wagon to trade in because they are first time buyer of G wagon. Customer must have an extensive Purchase and Servicing History with the dealership for high value vehicles. One of these high value late model vehicles must be traded in on the G Wagon purchase. This will only apply for first time G wagon purchaser and moving forward for this customer see Rule 1.
  5. Customer needs to be aware once they pick up their G Wagon an order for another G Wagon will be take on that day. $10,000 deposit will be required for this.
  6. On all qualified G wagon customer, $10,000 deposit will be required at the time order is taken. This deposit is non refundable if G wagon allocation is provided within 3 years.
  7. OpenRoad Mercedes Benz Surrey has first right to purchase the vehicle when lease is terminated.

The list above was difficult to believe, so we called the dealership to try to confirm that the list was real. After multiple attempts to reach out, we got a hold of a salesperson and learned their sales staff isn't allowed to answer any questions about the G-wagen purchase policy. We were also told that a sales manager would reach out to help answer our questions. We have yet to receive a call but will update this story when we do.

In the past, we've seen unusual demands from dealers selling their allotment of some ultra-exotic vehicles (including limited-production Ferraris, Porsche, Bugattis and the like). We probably don't need to explain just how unbelievable these terms and conditions are for something a little more typical like a G-wagen. Sure, the G has enjoyed a small but fervent fan base for decades now, and there's plenty of pent-up demand for them since Mercedes temporarily paused production for a few months during the 2022 model year. But putting aside its unique look and feel, compared to other SUVs in its class, the G-wagen has ponderous handling and an outdated infotainment system, and it suffers from numerous ergonomic challenges. In short, it's cool, but the G-Class is nowhere near perfect.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Then we come to this dealership's exceptional requirements. Demands like this, if met, represent a slippery slope. If one dealer can impose restrictions like this and get away with it, there's little to stop other dealers from adopting similarly draconian policies. In a market that's already topsy-turvy, this is nothing but bad news for consumers of all types, not just the extra-wealthy clientele that shop for G-wagens. No one should be forced to stoop so low just to buy a car, even if it is a status symbol as prominent as the G-Class. Frankly, we suggest taking your business elsewhere if you want a G and live in the Vancouver area.

Edmunds says

As much as we like the G-wagen, it isn't anywhere near special enough to make this kind of agreement worth it.