They are indeed brand new cars ie they are out of the factory and unused and unregistered, there is no sell by date on cars than moves them into a different category when the time has expired only whether they have been regsitered and until that happens they are deemed brand new.
I do not agree with your cynicism. There is a global shortage of semi conductors well documented affecting all manufacturers of anything using semi conductors and particuarly the motor industry. I read yesterday about Opel who are closing one of their factories until 2022 yes 22, Germany: Opel plant to shut over global chip shortage | DW | 30.09.2021
so it is not an issue of mercedes selling cars and then deliberately reducing specifications to pocket the money as you suggest. The amount of goodwill they are loosing with individual customers is enourmous and even though all manufacturers are struggling and all will be loosing goodwill in individual cases no manufacturer wishes to alienate a customer who if satisfied may return to buy another car or become like me a regular reliable source of income (I am on my 4th car). There is lost opportunity cost in that customer not returning and then finding an alternative manufacturer with whom they become the perfect customer.
Am I disappointed with my car on delivery yes of course I am, I am not happy it will need to go back and have probably not much more than a connector replaced, both for the time it will take going there and comng back but also the fact it will need some dismantling but that is based on irrational emotional obsession about having an untouched “new” car so many of us on these type of forums suffer from. Do I fear the car will be full of squeaks and rattles after no. I am aware of how well the car is engineered and is designed to be capable of being dismantled and rebuilt. My concern is more about small marks made by a less than careful technician but every time my cars have gone in for something they have never been returned than in less than a perfect state (acc damage to the side of one incl the replacement of the rear door neccisitating the stripping of the original door card etc and swapping over to the new and replacement of the wing mirror to the front exisiting door and a bumper repair to another). The camera for MBUX augmented reality is in situ so it is merely the connection and I wonder if it really is a simple bus type connector between the camera and the wiring harness feeding into the main computer harness, but I will research.
I am happy that the 200 was put on the table with no prompting from me simply as the car does not have all that was specified on delivery we wish to give you some compensation. Once MBUX augmented reality is working all I have lost is the automated parallel parking (it still identifies spaces and guides you) which I have never used in my previous cars and the automatic lane change which was ok but I can live without it.
Clearly Mercedes needs to have retail as well as fleet customers and it is not unreasonable that they well share out supply between them as they feel they need to. Mercedes lease too so it is possible for a customer who may use a lease company to approach Mercedes direct and see if they can offer a deal which meets the customers needs from the on line showroom stock.
So the situation at the moment is a mess but to say Mercedes are keeping their share price high and deliberately charging for things they are not delivering is not true. On the french and UK sites there are clear statements that not all options are now available. Did they got caught out yes and it is that mess they are trying to sort out with differing levels of success plus delivery times are now getting longer and longer. But the things not working in my car are just part of several items in a package not expensive one off like apple car play is here in france - if that had not worked I would have just asked for my 450 euro back!
I hope you enjoy the mach 2. It is a shame that this time it has not worked with mercedes maybe once all this mess is sorted and a normality returns you can try again. Re the dealership it does seem to be a big issue all round in the UK and not just mercedes go over to Speak EV and look up the view of people with Hyundai’s and their dealer issues - plus cars being taken to a site in Tilbury to wait for new batteries with waiting times of months!