Urban Land Cruisers Bankrupt - DD is a POS - Page 5 - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #81  
Old June 8th, 2015, 08:23 AM
1of40's Avatar
1of40
Status: Offline
1of40
NAS 97SW & 83 One Ten Tdi
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Potomac Falls & Wintergreen, Virginia
Posts: 6,084
Registry
It would be interesting to me if there was an opportunity here for Safari HP in the future.

Seems that SHP crew is strong and has proven themselves nicely. Our community can really benefit from a strong shop with a solid management team that can keep our dreams alive without loosing an arm and a leg.

I helped a friend buy an engine, trans and tcase for a conversion he wanted to do 2 years ago. There were significant delays which were very disappointing but I think in hindsight all was due to he setting expectations too high from the start.

Simple business on paper but a much tougher one to execute consistently. Hopefully some good can be harvested from this and the community benefits from it.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #82  
Old June 8th, 2015, 08:56 AM
Jonesy's Avatar
Jonesy
Status: Offline
Craig
87 D110 (Ruby)
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 4,447
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
our community can really benefit from a strong shop with a solid management team that can keep our dreams alive without loosing an arm and a leg.
^^^^this^^^^
__________________
"The difference between stupidity and genius, is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old June 8th, 2015, 09:53 AM
Wilboro's Avatar
Wilboro
Status: Offline
William Ficner
1997 110 csw
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 688
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
Ok here goes:

I believe that a lot of folks get hurt from bad practices, there is, and should be a place to advise others of things/people/businesses to be aware of.

I also believe. And have seen, too many businesses fail for one reason or another. Without ALL the details I don't think anyone knows but the person/s involved.
I agree that it would great service to the rover community to have some sort of forum to voice experiences with businesses.

I lost a lot of money to shady business even after doing some digging (admittedly not deep enough). In the months that followed things going so wrong many people came forward and told me they knew and told me if I had asked they would have warned me. Even the police in the area admitted to knowing about the practices. How was I supposed to know who to ask though? On the surface it looked like a legit business who had been involved in the community and had what appeared to be a running shop.

On the flip side I understand why a forum would be cautious to have something like this. There is the risk of a liable suit, and perhaps pressure from a vendor who might pay to be on the site etc etc

From the business side (I run a small business) I could understand how an online reputation could be seriously damaged by either a misunderstanding or just someone with an axe to grind. Unfortunately that's the reality of this age and you need to find ways to either satisfy the client or at least attempt to publicly to save your reputation.

Certainly if something like this could emerge, which I think would be good, it would have to be based on facts, no speculation no calling names. Commenting would somehow have to be tightly controlled so slander and damaging speculation was kept out of it. It would have to be pure reporting of the facts and let people draw their own conclusions.

This is what I tried to do in my failed build thread, just lay out the facts. I've had numerous people contact me and thank me for saving them from trouble, so it can work.

My two cents anyway.

Will
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #84  
Old June 8th, 2015, 11:30 AM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Offline
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,537
Registry
There's two kinds of shops that we are conflating but are really totally different businesses:

1. Car Parts Sales
2. Car Repair/Modification

I think that the risk, lack of manageability, and labor cost associated with #2 is significantly higher than #1.

IMHO, what we really need is the continuation of rock-bottom pricing on Rover parts. Having a shop that does car repair/mods at reasonable prices is a pipe dream in today's world. Or maybe my definition of reasonable needs to change. But when shops charge per-hour billable rates higher than I charge (and I know how much I get paid), I start to think that the business is flawed.

My big opinion: Having a shop that uses profits from #1 to try and reduce the cost of #2 in the same venue is the worst of both worlds. I really hate to see shops who are good at #1 attempt #2, fail, and then go out of business. But it seems to happen a lot in the rover community.
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old June 8th, 2015, 12:40 PM
chris snell's Avatar
chris snell
Status: Offline
Chris Snell
87 Ex-MOD 110
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,439
SafariHP on the east coast and Defenders Northwest on the west. Both are well-run businesses that don't over-promise, have good pricing, ship fast, and build fast. I've never met Stephen in person but I can vouch for Bryan (DNW) as a stand-up guy, encyclopedia of Defender knowledge, and--most importantly in this context--a great businessman.
__________________
1987 Ex-MOD 110 Tithonus LHD
2013 LR4


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
/
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
/
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
/
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
/
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old June 8th, 2015, 01:02 PM
down_shift's Avatar
down_shift
Status: Offline
Russell
94' D90 ST & 06' LR3
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 4,118
Registry
A contributing factor is the growth (explosion) of the Defender market over the last few years. Consumers want in and businesses spawn to satisfy this itch. Basic supply and demand.
How many fall into the trap of stretching their budget on the typical $12-15k Defender then are disappointed in the truck's overall condition? There is a new post on this topic most every week. Then farming out the repairs (cosmetic or mechanical) and working to another budget can create more situations of disappointment, for all parties involved.
These shops are dealing with >25 yr old trucks. Most are rusty with an unknown maintenance history (and are gladly schlepped off by the PO or yard). A basic "I think it just needs pads/rotors" brake job can in quickly turn into new calipers, lines, and master cylinder as well. The shop will probably find bad/leaking swivels, tie rods, bushings, wheel bearings, etc. while the truck is on the lift. "Bubbled" paint can yield a prior bonded and cancerous mess with nothing left to salvage. Is that always the shops fault when false expectations are set by the truck's new owner?
I don't see how any repair could be performed on a fixed price or a ROM without caveats. Thinking the shops that survive will be the ones who are proficient at understanding the client's expectations and being clear upfront of the potential pitfalls (rust, new vs. used mechanicals, etc.). Communication prior to the work and regular communication during the work are key. Everything in writing is a must.
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old June 8th, 2015, 01:09 PM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Offline
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,537
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by down_shift View Post
I don't see how any repair could be performed on a fixed price or a ROM without caveats.
Thinking the shops that survive will be the ones who are proficient at understanding the client's expectations and being clear upfront of the potential pitfalls (rust, new vs. used mechanicals, etc.). Communication prior to the work and regular communication during the work are key. Everything in writing is a must.
Excellent points.

I wouldn't be surprised if the business model of most Defender shops look something like this:

1. Every used Defender is worth about $85,000 in repair costs.
2. Get that $85,000 out of the owner of the Defender all at once, or one hour at a time.

It's shipfitters for profit.
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old June 8th, 2015, 01:44 PM
down_shift's Avatar
down_shift
Status: Offline
Russell
94' D90 ST & 06' LR3
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 4,118
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Excellent points.

I wouldn't be surprised if the business model of most Defender shops look something like this:

1. Every used Defender is worth about $85,000 in repair costs.
2. Get that $85,000 out of the owner of the Defender all at once, or one hour at a time.

It's shipfitters for profit.
I asked Keith a similar question. Still waiting for his response.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...tml#post611182
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old June 8th, 2015, 02:13 PM
1of40's Avatar
1of40
Status: Offline
1of40
NAS 97SW & 83 One Ten Tdi
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Potomac Falls & Wintergreen, Virginia
Posts: 6,084
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Excellent points. I wouldn't be surprised if the business model of most Defender shops look something like this: 1. Every used Defender is worth about $85,000 in repair costs. 2. Get that $85,000 out of the owner of the Defender all at once, or one hour at a time. It's shipfitters for profit.
Based on my experience I disagree. I bet dealing with Defender owners is a PITA. Can you imagine trying to answer phones, order parts and deal with customers, especially the ones that have enough spare time at work to hang out on chat boards and then second guessing from the cheap seats every move they make? That sounds like a nightmare.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old June 8th, 2015, 02:26 PM
bjf's Avatar
bjf
Status: Offline
barry f
94 ST #395
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,967
I would probably say the biggest issue with this place and most restoration shops is lack of capital. To run a shop successfully you need lots of cash. Cash to buy parts, pay employees, keep the lights on, etc, etc. If one customer must pay you before you can order parts for another customer, you don't have enough working capital.

Margins need to be high and you always need to be prepared for the worst.
__________________
Quote:
Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
Reply With Quote
  #91  
Old June 8th, 2015, 02:40 PM
bjf's Avatar
bjf
Status: Offline
barry f
94 ST #395
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,967
Also should note the obvious it helps as a shop to know what you are doing and sell good products.
__________________
Quote:
Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old June 8th, 2015, 02:49 PM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Offline
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,537
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
Based on my experience I disagree. I bet dealing with Defender owners is a PITA.
I agree it's a nightmare and PITA.

However, I'm just not sure how else a business owner would have a business plan except by assigning fixed or minimum dollar values for each vehicle that comes in. There has to be a revenue basis...something used for an estimate. The most convenient thing I can think of is to think of each vehicle as a bank that contains a finite, fixed amount of money that you can draw from - either all at once, or one hour at a time.

I'm sure there are other methods. I mean, I did the same thing at my startup. Create a business plan, snap a CAGR for growth on the proposed strategy over a 3 year or 5 year LRP. I have done the same thing for a $1M/yr revenue company and a $333M/yr revenue company. I don't mean to sound jaded, but at the end of the day, these business have to be businesses.

I could be wrong, of course.
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old June 8th, 2015, 03:02 PM
sonoronos's Avatar
sonoronos
Status: Offline
Ed
None
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 5,537
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
That almost sounds like job costing.
Yeah, my head is in work too much!
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old June 8th, 2015, 04:03 PM
down_shift's Avatar
down_shift
Status: Offline
Russell
94' D90 ST & 06' LR3
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 4,118
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Russell I think you are oversimplifying it a bit. Its not the shops fault when a customer bring is a POS to be 'restored', but their expertise should be able give a good idea of what is involved, best/worst case scenarios and not just the rosy picture. Being too sales hungry and optimistic doesn't do any one any good. When the shop is the one that sold the POS in the firstplace, with the upsale of the restoration on the back end, the shop is either ignorant/incompetent or nefarious.

-Jeff
Agree. But with so many of these examples, it sounds like the shop didn't have a chance to physically see truck prior to it being dropped off. So the rosy picture could be one's wishful speculation at times. Perhaps thorny ones were also mixed in yet the green light was given to proceed regardless. I am not defending Urban or any other shop, especially if communication by the shop was little to nonexistent.
Reply With Quote
  #95  
Old June 14th, 2015, 03:18 PM
FirstTithonus's Avatar
FirstTithonus
Status: Offline
Dustin
1994 NAS 90 #313
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Philadelphia Area, PA
Posts: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstTithonus View Post
Just bought some parts from them today. Will let you guys know when/if I get them.
For what's it's worth, the parts order did finally arrive. Slow shipping was fine with me however I am not sure if they are really all "new" parts.
Reply With Quote
  #96  
Old June 14th, 2015, 07:01 PM
Roverenvy's Avatar
Roverenvy
Status: Offline
Michael
1994 Defender 90
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 384
Registry
I got my official notification of ULC bankruptcy in the mail last week while I was home between business trips. Rightly so, I'm listed as an additional creditor. The question is whether I should even try to squeeze the stone to see if I can get any of my missing parts back?!?

Thank god I filed my dispute and got my resolution just before all of this went down. Yes, I'd still of gotten my money, but it may have been more complicated. Still sorting issues out from the build, but I guess I'll return to the happy confines of just sorting issues out because it's a defender! Haha
Reply With Quote
  #97  
Old November 1st, 2015, 09:52 PM
fireball
Status: Offline
Ben
Shopping!
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 59
Any updates on this? Just curious.
Reply With Quote
  #98  
Old November 1st, 2015, 10:00 PM
DailyDrivenDefende
Status: Offline
Michael
1989 110, 1985 90 200TDI
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 353
Hmmm. Their website is still up and they are still selling parts on eBay... Maybe I shouldn't buy any through their eBay store.
Reply With Quote
  #99  
Old March 1st, 2016, 06:55 PM
tmoussis
Status: Offline
tony moussis
1989 land rover 110
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: montrose
Posts: 2
A David Slater buyer review nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soonerdefender View Post
Just spoke to him, and he sounded sincere in trying to make me whole. Still don't trust him or the process in ever being made whole, but he didn't have to talk to me today and chose to. I guess that says something.... I am hopeful that my truck and the parts that I paid for are still there and allocated as being mine throughout this process. I am very bummed about the whole thing, and was really looking forward to getting my double cab.

My defender 110 bought from String along Slater was nothing like the defender he described and the one i received, on a scale of 1 through 10 i rate this man a zero. Who paints over rust and dirt for starters, the 2.5td lasted but three fule tanks full, the replacement 200tdi now almost installed the invoices are coming in. See the common thread from others on my website Reviews of David Clark Slater aka stationwagons4export quite shocking. I can go go on for ever you name it i rate Mr Slater a zero , my experience is that he is not an honest man - period.
Soon i will be filing a law suit to recover my damages not to mention the pain, the grief and the time, my life wasted , 9 months i waited now over a year since the order was placed i don't have a defender to drive. Did i mention unsafe to drive exhaust fumes inside the passenger compartment, thank goodness the A/C did not work as i might very well be dead to day. The list is endless.


enough said .

tony Moussis
Reply With Quote
  #100  
Old March 1st, 2016, 06:58 PM
vasily's Avatar
vasily
Status: Offline
Vasily
97 D90 SW
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 732
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmoussis View Post
My defender 110 bought from String along Slater was nothing like the defender he described and the one i received, on a scale of 1 through 10 i rate this man a zero. Who paints over rust and dirt for starters, the 2.5td lasted but three fule tanks full, the replacement 200tdi now almost installed the invoices are coming in. See the common thread from others on my website Reviews of David Clark Slater aka stationwagons4export quite shocking. I can go go on for ever you name it i rate Mr Slater a zero , my experience is that he is not an honest man - period.
Soon i will be filing a law suit to recover my damages not to mention the pain, the grief and the time, my life wasted , 9 months i waited now over a year since the order was placed i don't have a defender to drive. Did i mention unsafe to drive exhaust fumes inside the passenger compartment, thank goodness the A/C did not work as i might very well be dead to day. The list is endless.


enough said .

tony Moussis

Welcome to the forum.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Urban Land Cruisers romrok Misc. Chit-Chat 21 May 3rd, 2015 09:38 PM
I'm at Urban Land Cruisers right now Roverenvy Misc. Chit-Chat 33 February 7th, 2015 10:39 AM
Experience with Urban Land Cruisers? CircuitTested Misc. Chit-Chat 9 May 25th, 2014 05:45 PM
Urban Land Cruisers forum sales ulculrsales Misc. Chit-Chat 22 April 24th, 2014 01:54 PM
Urban Land Cruisers Sandt Misc. Chit-Chat 7 February 28th, 2014 06:55 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:59 AM.


Copyright