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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, gals and Doug,

Wondering if you could answer something for me.

As you know i wanna setup shop in the US but before that i would not mind going on modding trips same sorta thing people like Steve at MBenzNL and the others do just to get a feel of the whole thing.

Basically i am just trying to get a feel of how much interest there is on having parts retrofitted things like adding phone's or the COMAND stuff like that to the cars because i am trying to convince my boss its a good idea to buy some of the tools i would need now, some of them small like torx bit screwdrivers but some while not much bigger carry a large price tag things like the StarDiagnose at $20k purchase plus $7k a year updates and i would need my own one because i cant be taking one of the shops units out since that would put a station out of action and basically i am trying to convince him that buying them sooner will help with the return on investment.

So all of you out there in the US or the EU if there was something you wanted fitting to your car and i was able to do it for you would you be interested? I already know that there are some of you who are but i am looking for a wider picture if possible here.

Cheers,
Dan
 

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Don - Founding Member #4
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:tu:GREAT IDEA. I think it would work. Steve from MBenzNL has done west coast trips, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing east coast or mid west. If nothing else, everyone would like to meet you and you could sell autographs. Seriously, if you could provide a list of potential services with parts, I think there would be interest. Give us an idea of what services you could provide.
 
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Cool sounds good so far,

Basically once i have a permanent base setup i can do anything a dealer can because i will be able to get lifts installed and all the right tools sorted but until i can sort that mod trips will be kinda limited by what can be done in somebody's drive-way for obvious reasons I'm not going to be able to fit suspension parts or whatever but basically cosmetic mods on the exterior should be fine.

With the interior of the car retrofitting things like COMAND/Audio 50 or upgrading to the HK sound system, adding phones or CD changers, installing TV tuners and NAV or smaller stuff like the interior motion sensors and enabling the tire pressure monitor or adding rain/light sensors, shifter paddle steering wheels just about anything you can think of for the inside of the car.

Once i have a shop i could even install things like the parktronic stuff thats not available in the US from factory.
 

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Dan:
I like the idea and that eventually a complete shop would happen.
AS to trips to do minor tuning and installs as you mentioned this would probably work -- is tuning the engine setting up the trans shift points and input sensors etc something that you could do in the driveway. I think there are enough of us out here that would like to have a shop that we could have confidence in.
Thing is time --- takes time to build the rep -- I know we would all help in that regard -- but still could be a couple of lean years before a large enough client base could be estabilshed -- if you can get through that time The west coast is full of the right type of cars and car nuts with money to support a company like you are talking about.
I know that I would drive a couple hundred miles to get my car tuned up right --- but I can't speak for anybody else
 

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Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
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It's a good idea. Perhaps one trip to the left coast (a la 412driver or west coast) lasting 7-10 days and another on the right coast (east coast) for the same duration, maybe every 6-12 months or as demand permits.

I wonder how one can measure the demand? Perhaps some posting also in other forums and not limited to any specific model but perhaps the more popular models whose owners fit the profile of Mod enthusiasts - like the different AMG's, e.g., CLK, SL, etc.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Dan:
I like the idea and that eventually a complete shop would happen.
AS to trips to do minor tuning and installs as you mentioned this would probably work -- is tuning the engine setting up the trans shift points and input sensors etc something that you could do in the driveway. I think there are enough of us out here that would like to have a shop that we could have confidence in.
Thing is time --- takes time to build the rep -- I know we would all help in that regard -- but still could be a couple of lean years before a large enough client base could be estabilshed -- if you can get through that time The west coast is full of the right type of cars and car nuts with money to support a company like you are talking about.
I know that I would drive a couple hundred miles to get my car tuned up right --- but I can't speak for anybody else
Yeah certainly calibrating shifter points and to a certain extent the engine mapping is possible without any special tools other then the DAS.

As you correctly point out i wont be stepping into a gold mine from day one and the people who own my current shop would be its owners so they would be able to support it while its growing so the quiet time thats bound to happen would not be a problem.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
It's a good idea. Perhaps one trip to the left coast (a la 412driver or west coast) lasting 7-10 days and another on the right coast (east coast) for the same duration, maybe every 6-12 months or as demand permits.

I wonder how one can measure the demand? Perhaps some posting also in other forums and not limited to any specific model but perhaps the more popular models whose owners fit the profile of Mod enthusiasts - like the different AMG's, e.g., CLK, SL, etc.
Yeah your right about speaking to a wider audience and i would post up in more places but i guess i get the feeling from reading posts on the other sites that every other poster is nothing short of a rocket scientist or so they think and i would not be given the time of day.

I guess the plan would be wait until enough requests stack up and then go for a trip
 

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Would you be bring one of your cars that SLK of yours showing up at a couple track events and some of the multi-car show and tells around the state might do wonders for word of mouth and let the right crowd see what you can do there are a couple of people that track their cars if it got know that you tweaked them and I think the steering on the "other side" ( of your car)would certainly add to your rep. and mystic
remember good showmanship is right up there in the promotion department
 

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Interesting concept. I wouldn't mind getting just about all of that done to my car but don't know that I could afford any of it.
 

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Hi Dan,

good idea. There are still some "holes" in the possibilty of upgrading the SLK.

Comand/APS50 - update/upgrades of "flashing boxes", linguatronic, TV
steering wheel - new paddles to old wheels
vmax - opening for 280/350/55 without higher torque
speedometer - design change
comfort seats - the new SLK does not move the seats back automaticly
lights - LED daylights
camera - a fixation for it to make films
antenna - a simple short version
 

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Sounds like a great adventure. Should be enough work and as word spreads and your rep grows, who knows, you may open the "DAN'SAMGWORLD" forum just for appointments.:tu::tu::tu:((((((wonder ifn that boy knows tractors an Chebys an uther such toys))))):biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:
 

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sounds good Dan.
however it is a brave risk your taking, will you set up permanently in the US?
the cost effectiveness might not be great to start, but as already stated after a good few years of hard graft and relation building, you could acquire a good rep and get a good customer base.
we all know that it is very clear that you know exactly what your talking about when it comes to MB's, but the general public in US might take a wheil to appreciate your expertise.
whatever you choose to do, im sure it is a well thought out decision, and good luck to you! i 100% respect entrepreneurship and this is a great example of it!
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Would you be bring one of your cars that SLK of yours showing up at a couple track events and some of the multi-car show and tells around the state might do wonders for word of mouth and let the right crowd see what you can do there are a couple of people that track their cars if it got know that you tweaked them and I think the steering on the "other side" ( of your car)would certainly add to your rep. and mystic
remember good showmanship is right up there in the promotion department
Certainly if i where to be based in the US for most of the year i would bring the SLK over there is no way i could live without it so it would be going in a big ass box and taking a little trip.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Dan --- you do work on more than MB is this correct --- I also go to euro-car meets are other brand of cars a possibilty?
Other brands are a possibility yeah i work with BMW, Porsche and Aston Martin.

I would consider maybe adding BMW M to the list of cars if i opened a shop but i don't know if i would be able to justify the cost of the BMW stuff for things like mod trips.
 
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sounds good Dan.
however it is a brave risk your taking, will you set up permanently in the US?
the cost effectiveness might not be great to start, but as already stated after a good few years of hard graft and relation building, you could acquire a good rep and get a good customer base.
we all know that it is very clear that you know exactly what your talking about when it comes to MB's, but the general public in US might take a wheil to appreciate your expertise.
whatever you choose to do, im sure it is a well thought out decision, and good luck to you! i 100% respect entrepreneurship and this is a great example of it!
Thanks mate.

Basically i was talking with easty a while back and decided then that i would like to setup a shop out there and i had a chat with my boss who agreed that there would probably be enough demand so i won't be setting up my totally own place where i am going to get hit by all the costs it will just be another "branch" of the shop i currently work for.
 
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