Originally Posted 2017
What is the story on the Swiss Puch GE230?
The Swiss Military has been using the G's as their basic people transport since the late 1980's. They are currently being sold as they are replaced with the new G's. The trucks we are importing are coming out of active service from the bases when the new G's are being swapped in. With the volume that we are purchasing, it does not make sense to bring in trucks that are in poor condition. The fact that these trucks are active service trucks is also a big plus.
Will there be more and at what price?
There are no guarantees of anything in todays world. All it takes is an export/import rule to change "guaranteed" to no longer acceptable. That being said, our best estimate is that we will see quite a few additional trucks as the Swiss are just getting into the swing of things with their surplus cycle on these.
Pricing.....definitely there are no guarantees on that. Purchase price, importation, duties, fees, taxes, inspections, all play a role in the end price. If we look at previous Swiss surplus cycles, (Unimogs and Pinzgauers) generally the price goes up the later into the cycle we get. Not to mention with a stroke of a pen, and intensive exam at customs can add $1000 per truck to the price tag. We do our best to hold down prices on these, but there are no guarantees.
Are these legal for my state?
With a few exceptions YES. EI is importing these vehicles following the Federal EPA and DOT rules. If your state follows the Federal EPA/DOT rules, then the truck should be legal for title and registration in your state.
California - Currently these vehicles ARE NOT being sold for road use in CA. We are working with a specialist and looking at the certification options for CA, but at this point that is still in process. It is completely legal to own one of these vehicles for use on your own private property within CA, and there are mechanisms available to move the vehicle on road in CA for events, service, etc. (See California Vehicle Code 4003, California One Trip Permit Reg402T)
Is EI a CA Vehicle Dealer?
Yes, and we have been for about 17 years. We are licensed and bonded in the State of CA in good standing.
WHY Does EI Not Issue a CA Title on these?
Trust me we wish that we could! A number of years ago CA DMV made a policy change and will only issue a title on a vehicle that can be titled and registered for road use in CA. A vast majority of the vehicles we import are not CARB Certified, and therefore are not eligible for Title in CA.
What are my title options?
We have customers that usually go one of 3 routes.
#1 - Foreign Documentation, Invoice - These customers are using their vehicles on private property (Vineyards/Winery's/Ranches/Movie Studios/ etc.) and do not require a U.S. based title and registration. Much like someone that buys a tractor for their own property. You still get the full ownership documentation
#2 - Title and Registration thru your State. EI will provide all of the importation documentation that would normally be required to title an imported vehicle in most states. Please see our list of documentation provided and or may be needed. This process will require a little legwork on your behalf, but usually is not that difficult.
#3 - U.S. Based Title and Registration. Expedition Imports has an LLC in Montana. We can convert the foreign title documentation into a Montana Vehicle title and Registration with plates and tags. We then sign over the Montana Title and you will process that title and registration in your state as you would another out of state vehicle. There is a cost associated with this, running in the $400 range.
How does the Title and Registration Process Work?
EI does NOT know the title and registration process in your state. Over the years we have sold hundreds of vehicles to most states, but we cannot and will not try and stay on top of the rules and regs of every State in the U.S. Just trying to stay compliant as a vehicle dealer selling gray market vehicles in CA is hard enough!
Each vehicle comes with the following documentation:
- Certified Entry Summary - Original Wet Stamped 7501 from U.S. Customs showing the vehicle was legally imported into the United States.
- Mercedes/Puch Data Card that shows date of Manufacture
- The Original EPA and DOT forms used at importation
- Foreign Title (in the form of a Swiss Military Release Document)
- Bill of Lading
- Invoice/Bill of Sale from Expedition Import to buyer (Notarized if Needed)
DOES EI WORK ON G's?
Not usually. We are importing these vehicles and selling them at a bare bones price. It is full disclosure. We are doing light and safety checks, function checks, drive checks. We are documenting the vehicles the best that we can, but the name of the game on these is VOLUME. If you are looking for a warm and fuzzy feel good sales job as you get fleeced by the local dealership.......well the G500 is calling.
EI has extensive experience customizing, and creating turn- key vehicles. In previous surplus cycles it was not uncommon for us to spend 30-40 labor hours preparing a single vehicle for sale. That was reflected in the price. We are going after the value market on the G's. Your expectation should be you are purchasing a functional, used, good condition G.
Customization? - Not at this time.
The GE230 is well supported for what it is. If you are familiar with Unimog or Pinzgauer parts you will be happy with the G. If you are expecting wallmart pricing, with amazon prime delivery....... it will be a rude awakening. EI happens to be the largest stocking independent G parts operation in the United States. We purchased Eurotruck Importers in 2019 primarily to bring on the G parts line along with our other specialty vehicle parts lines. We should be able to take care of you or point you in the right direction.
What does EI do to the vehicle when it comes in?
Please see the attached vehicle work sheet. When the trucks come in this worksheet will be completed. Additionally, a road test with comments will be done. Light and Safety completed. Each truck gets 1/2 tank of fresh fuel. A detailed photo file is created on each G. The G is then priced and ready for sale.
Should we do an inspection?
In today's world, I would be re-miss in NOT telling you to do an inspection! These are 25 year old military surplus vehicles. With that being said, we try and document them as best as we can and most trucks will have considerable photo documentation. Over the last 24 years you would be amazed at the number of vehicles that ship based upon photo documentation. We have had customers spend $3000 to fly in and inspect a 15K truck, and customers take delivery of a 100k truck without ever seeing it in person.
Are your prices negotiable?
Not usually. We are not the typical used car dealer. Our prices are based on our costs plus our profit. When we are doing large batches of surplus vehicles, our goal is a modest margin. Many "pro's" tell me I should raise the price 4K knowing the customer is going to ask for a 2K discount. People are watching too much reality TV! Honestly, we think we are pricing these trucks reasonably. If you are intending on flying in and negotiating a discount, don't waste the airfare. If the trucks are not selling...well then we have mis-calculated the market and we will have to adjust. With the current demand, we think we are right in that sweat spot.
What do you pay for these trucks?
Is your wife smoking hot? What is your net worth? There are some things that just are none of your business! The real answer to this question is quite simple......I pay as little as possible to get the best quality of vehicles that I can sell to respectful customers who appreciate what we do.
5/7/2017 - Does the Swiss G have a Front Locker? Can I upgrade it?
The Swiss G's only came with a rear locker. The actual axle housing is completely different between locker equipped axles and non locker equipped axles. If your truck does not have an axle housing that will accept the locker, then you would have to replace the complete front axle. Some of the Swiss GE230's DO HAVE the axle housing that will accept the front locker. However, all of the other associated parts would be required to retrofit the locker. It is an available and readily doable option, but it WILL BE EXPENSIVE.
5/7/2017 - What additional equipment is included with these trucks?
One of my pet peeves has always been the dealers that strip out the trucks of all of their "kit." I cannot count the number of wholesalers in Europe who will strip every vehicle of all kit, and then offer to sell you the kit.... Amazingly even the Austrian auction houses are stripping their Pinzgauers prior to sale!
Our policy is quite simple. Trucks leave here exactly as they come in, with as much of the "kit" as possible. That is not to say every truck has their full kit, as they do not, but many have quite a few extra's. What is on each truck should be listed on the inspection sheet.