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NASA43
03-04-2007, 11:15 AM
I know this is long but it was such an incredible experience that I have to share it.
I just got back from my Performance Center Delivery and all I can say is ďwowĒ. Everyone close enough to Greenville should take advantage of this. It was a 6 hour drive for us from Alabama and definitely worth it.

Our trip started on Feb 28th as we left home in my wifeís Lexus RX-330 at 9:15 am. We drove south on I-65 to Birmingham then took I-20 to Atlanta. We had lunch in Anniston. No travel problems until we got to Atlanta. I couldnít get on the bypass because it was backed up with 18-wheelers so I stayed on I-20 through downtown. I managed to get through downtown without too much trouble since it was mid-afternoon. We arrived at the Greenville Marriott at 4:30 pm EST.

At check-in, we received an envelope with information for us on our meals and identifying that the hotel shuttle would leave for the Performance Center the next morning at 7:45 am. Also during check-in we made our dinner reservations for the Marriottís restaurant, Giatu for 6:30 pm.

At dinner, you get a menu that is specific for Performance Center delivery participants. It is three courses with a choice of two salads, four entrees (Filet Mignon, Chicken, Catch of the Day, or Vegetable dish), and two desserts (Pecan/Caramel/Chocolate Pie or Fruit Tart). You also get coffee, tea, or soft drinks and rolls. Everything is paid for except for alcoholic beverages. BMW even takes care of the tip. The meal was really very good. I got the Filet Mignon and my wife got the chicken dish. Both came with mashed potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables.

On the day of delivery, we went down for the breakfast buffet at 6:45 am. It consisted of bacon, eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, fresh fruit, danishes, juices, and coffee. They also have a chef who will whip you up any type of omelet you desire. It was excellent and the entire check covered by BMW including the tip.

Let me say here that the folks at the Marriott really cater to you. I donít know that I have ever been treated better at a motel than I was there. As most of you may know, we had some really bad weather coming through the southeast on Thursday, March 1st. My original plans were to drive back after delivery that afternoon. However, to do that meant we would be driving directly into all the storms so I asked on the morning of delivery if we could extend our stay by 1 night. They said yes and that the rate would be the same as what BMW was paying ($114). Kudos to the Marriott.

Back to delivery, the Marriott shuttle left promptly at 7:45 am and headed north up I-85 for about 5 miles. Once we arrived, we were greeted inside by the delivery specialists as well as the driving instructors. We received a brief orientation to our day (driverís school, factory tour (just recently started back up), and car delivery) and then we all went to a room where we received a briefing from Donnie Isley on what we would be doing during the driverís school. Because of the rain that was going to arrive around 11:00 am, everyone did the driverís school first. They then split us up and half of us did the BMW Factory Tour and the other half took delivery. I believe there were seven deliveries on this day. We all then had lunch together and then after lunch swapped around. I got to do the Factory tour in the morning and took delivery of my 530i after lunch. The other cars being delivered on this day were three X5s, two 530i, one Z4, and one 335i sedan.

The driverís school was a blast. They put each of us in a car similar to what we were taking delivery of. I got to drive a 550i. The first training I did involved learning first-hand how good ABS works. One at a time, each participant did a run up to 40 mph, then as we passed some orange cones, Donnie told us to slam on the brakes and stay on them and try to steer the car through another set of cones. After 40 mph, we went to 45 mph, then 50 mph. Itís not something you would want to do with your own car but it was fun as hell doing it in someone elseís car! They let each participant do this, including the spouses.

After that, we went over to a small road course that was setup with cones identifying the path. The object here was to get around the course as fast as you could. This was also a lot of fun. The final driving session we got to do involved demonstrating how the DSC/DTC can save your butt on wet roads. For this, we had two driving instructors in the car with us, one being in the front passenger seat (so he could grab the emergency brake!) and the other in the backseat. From a complete stop, they disabled DSC/DTC then told me to press the gas pedal to the floor, hold it down, and try to steer around the circular paved road. This was an exercise in futility. Obviously, with a 360 hp V8, it didnít take long before the rear of the car decided to be in front. We ended up doing a complete 360 and wound up in the grass. I got to do this 4 times because the wife wasnít interested in this type of fun. After that, they re-enabled DSC/DTC and we did the same thing again. This time, I was able to keep the car on the pavement going in the right direction, even with the pedal floored on a wet road going in a circle. Amazing.

With the driverís school complete at about 9:45 am, my group went on the BMW factory tour. We each got to drive there and had different cars this time. I got to drive a 760Li. The factory tour was really great also. I think we were there almost 2 hours. You wear a headset so you can hear the tour guideís explanations of what was going on in each of the areas. It was a blast watching X5s and Z4s progress through the different phases of production. I was really glad they restarted the factory tours and we got to do this. The tours had been stopped for over a year due to construction activities as well as keeping the lid on the new X5. They said they were just re-started a couple of weeks earlier.

After the factory tour, we drove back to the Performance Center and had lunch together. This included all the folks taking delivery as well as Donnie Isley and the Delivery Specialists. Lunch was also paid for by BMW and you had your choice of chicken, sandwiches, hamburgers, etcÖ During lunch, Donnie mentioned that if anyone was interested, he and one of the other instructors would take us on a couple of hot laps in an M5. Of course I went, who in his right mind wouldnít? Let me tell you, Donnie can flat out drive a car. The track was wet because of the steady rain but it didnít affect him at all. I felt like a rag doll in the front seat getting whipped back and forth with a sh** eating grin on my face the entire time. He finished it off by doing some drifting maneuvers around that circular track we were on earlier and completed it by doing a 360 and ending up going in the right direction and under control.

Now it was about 1:00 pm and time for me to finally see my new car. It was parked in one of the individual, glass-walled, delivery rooms. I had worried over colors for months and even recently was having second thoughts on the Titanium Gray because I never actually saw it on a sport package equipped 530i. When I saw it though, all those worries disappeared. The car is absolutely beautiful. Titanium Gray on Black Leather is amazing. I really love the Anthracite Headliner also. It is the same felt-type fabric as came with my 330i Performance Package. I also got the Anthracite Maple Trim and it blends really well with the black leather.

My delivery specialist was Jonathan Stribble. He was fantastic to my wife and I. He went over all the different aspects of the car and spent a lot of time with me on operating iDrive and the Navigation system. We were with him for about 2 hours. He never hurried us and I got the feeling if we needed another hour he would have accommodated us. Everything on the car was perfect. He activated my Sirius satellite radio, installed my temporary license plate, and would have paired my Bluetooth phone but I havenít gotten one yet. Jonathan was much more knowledgable of the car and features than the CA who delivered my 330i in Huntsville in 2004.

The only damper on the day was the weather. I had to drive my brand new, washed and waxed car back to the motel in the rain. I also didnít get a chance to take pictures outside the PC delivery center since it was raining. It was nice to return to the motel though and not have to drive home in the rain and storms. We had dinner at the Giatu that night and they charged it to BMW again (I donít know if they were supposed to but I wasnít about to argue).

The next morning, we got up and the skies were blue and the roads were dry. I decided I wanted to drive back on more scenic roads than I-65 and I-20 so I planned our return trip via Asheville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The Nav system sent us north on I-85 towards Spartanburg. We then took I-26 to Asheville. That was a beautiful drive through the mountains. Then we took I-40 towards Knoxville and got to drive through the Smokey Mountains. The Nav system worked perfectly and the directions were in the HUD as well as announced by the voice system. I love the HUD. You even see the cruise control set speed in the HUD. When it is engaged, the cruise control icon/mph turns green.

The 530i is amazing on the highway. It is very quiet and smooth. It is not as quick as my 330i but it is quick enough. Of course, I kept it below 4k rpms so I havenít had a chance to wind it out yet. The shifter is a little more ďrubberyĒ than the short shifter that was a part of my Performance Package but still very good. One thing I was surprised about is the clutch felt lighter than the clutch in my 3 year old 330i. I thought it would be tight since it is new but it isnít at all. Also, I donít feel the CDV in the 530i. Does it not have one like the 330i?

I love the creature comforts in the 530i. Thatís where it really surpasses my 330i. Comfort access is too cool. Hopefully, it will become a standard feature because it really doesnít make sense to have a Start/Stop button and still have to insert the key fob. Also, the Navigation and HUD have exceeded my expectations. I wore sunglasses and could see the HUD just fine. It was also centered perfectly in my field of view. One thing I would like to see added to the HUD though is RPMs. The exhaust is so much more quiet than in my 330i that it is difficult to know when to shift.

I used the Nav system to get me home and it worked great. I also listened to Sirius a good part of the time and the sound quality, though not as good as CD, is good. The Logic 7 sound system is fantastic and the Comfort Seats are incredible.

Other options I got include PDC (worked great pulling into my garage), Cold Weather Pkg and Rear Heated Seats.

Iím really glad I did the Performance Center delivery because it gave me 7 hours to learn/enjoy my new car, especially with being able to drive the scenic route through North Carolina and Tennessee. The Sport package is fantastic. The ride is quiet, smooth, and stable.

This car has exceeded my expectations and so did the Performance Center Delivery. My wife drives a Lexus RX-330 and she said she is getting an X5 next time and wants to do the PC Delivery again. She was VERY impressed with how we were treated, not only at the PC, but also at the Greenville Marriott. A big thanks to Jonathan Stribble and Donnie Isley for a fantastic experience. Also, a big thanks to Adrian for setting it all up and answering my endless questions, even after he left Nalley.

I have attached a few pictures. I will take more of my car in the next week or so once I wash it.
1. View from motel room day before delivery
2. Motel room
3. Car
4. Car
5. Car
6. Car
7. Jonathan activating Sirius
8. Me in my new car
9. Car parked by itself in the rain after delivery

Bimmer4life
03-04-2007, 11:34 AM
Hey, thanks for taking the time to write up your experience, enjoyed reading it. I've always wondered what it would be like to pick your car at the SC Performance Center. I am seriously considering upgrading to the 535i from my E46. This seems like the way to go to get the complete experience.

Enjoy...your color combo looks great, I also plan to get black interior too.

kevinp
03-04-2007, 11:36 AM
Thanks for sharing your story.

I had never considered this option when I ordered my car but will for the next one.

Love the 530!;)

adrian's bmw
03-04-2007, 01:02 PM
NASA43,

That was an awesome PCD write up, bud! Makes us feel like we were there with ya with all the details. I'm glad you got to do a hot lap with Donnie. We did one with him in an M3 and it was a blast.

Thanks for hangin' in there and I wish I was there to technically earn the sale although you made me feel like I earned it in spirit since I left Nalley.

Oh, I had my delivery in the same spot you did! Way cool.

Again, thanks for the awesome write up and I'm glad the delivery went well.:thumbup:

TCB
03-04-2007, 01:16 PM
NASA43, Thanks for the great review! We're going on 3/16 to pick up our smilarly equipped 530 and I can't wait!

I'm really excited that factory tours were available last week. Our confirmation letter (dated Feb 21) said that tours were "temporarily cancelled", but that we would get to see a video about the production process. Did your letter say the same thing? I had resigned myself to not being able to do that part of the PCD, but now I'm hopeful again. :D

NASA43
03-04-2007, 01:32 PM
NASA43, Thanks for the great review! We're going on 3/16 to pick up our smilarly equipped 530 and I can't wait!

I'm really excited that factory tours were available last week. Our confirmation letter (dated Feb 21) said that tours were "temporarily cancelled", but that we would get to see a video about the production process. Did your letter say the same thing? I had resigned myself to not being able to do that part of the PCD, but now I'm hopeful again. :D

Yes, mine said the same thing. They apparently just restarted the tours in the last week or two. You'll have a great time. :thumbup:

skippy_ps
03-04-2007, 01:37 PM
Thanks for taking the time to post your experience! Great looking car too. :thumbup:

NASA43
03-04-2007, 01:50 PM
NASA43,

That was an awesome PCD write up, bud! Makes us feel like we were there with ya with all the details. I'm glad you got to do a hot lap with Donnie. We did one with him in an M3 and it was a blast.

Thanks for hangin' in there and I wish I was there to technically earn the sale although you made me feel like I earned it in spirit since I left Nalley.

Oh, I had my delivery in the same spot you did! Way cool.

Again, thanks for the awesome write up and I'm glad the delivery went well.:thumbup:

Adrian, I did have a great time. Everyone should take advantage of this if they live anywhere close. Most of the other folks taking delivery were from North Carolina and South Carolina. There might have been one guy from Maryland. Everything worked out and there were no problems whatsoever at the PC. Those folks at the PC really seem to enjoy what they do and it shows.

I'm going to sign up for that free 1 day driver control training class at the PC that BMWNA sent me as incentive to buy another BMW. All I have to do is send in the incentive certificate along with a copy of my lease agreement and they are supposed to call me to schedule a day. I have until June 30th to do it. BMWFS is going to pay for 2 nights stay at the Greenville Marriott also since I am leasing with them. I also get breakfast and lunch at the PC. Not a bad deal. The driving course is $600 and the room is $125 a night. All courtesy of BMW. I don't know why I got picked but I'm glad I did. :)

Rubber Ducky
03-04-2007, 01:56 PM
Splendid write-up. Matches our experience with 550i delivery last year and hope will be as good when we pick up our E93 in April.

Had also heard plant tours were shutdown, so is good to find they are back on. Were shifting to new X5 line last year and so not available for visitors.

Again, tks for report.

BTW, is piece of cake to fly in to Greenville-Spartanburg. BMW picks you up at airport. One of the Delta Connections flies in from all over SE US.

jcatral14
03-04-2007, 07:50 PM
Congrats on the car and thanks for the writeup.
I remember, I think both our cars were on the same boat coming over no? :rofl:

NASA43
03-04-2007, 08:15 PM
Congrats on the car and thanks for the writeup.
I remember, I think both our cars were on the same boat coming over no? :rofl:

I believe you are correct. My car sat at the VPC for about 6 weeks. I could have taken delivery in early February but since my current lease isn't up until March 17th, I requested it be delayed to March 1. :)

bargamon
03-04-2007, 09:14 PM
Did mine two weeks ago.

I had the fish for dinner. It was excellent.

Performance track was about an hour and it was a little disappointing, but the plant tour was amazing.

The staff that you meet with are all excellent. The guys that deliver the car to you also work with the press and are well educated on the car and how to communicate the benefits and features of the cars. I appreciated the level of professionalism.

The factory is huge and was a real treat for me. I could have spent a full day at that.

The Ride in the M5 after lunch was exilerationg to say the least.

There were only 5 of us getting cars that day and coincidence will have it I knew another person receiving his car and was in my group! We had no idea at all prior!

After a fine german beer in the Zentrum and a few souvenirs I also had a wonderful trip back home. Only 3 hours, and it went quick!

I plan on taking my son to the teen school and perhaps will also attend a school as well at the same time. I was very impressed with the instructors and the facility!

I-Won-Today
03-05-2007, 06:14 AM
Congrats NASA43,

Thanks for the write up and sharing your experience. Glad to hear you had a great trip back and decided to take the scenic route!

Enthusiasts like yourself really make my job that much more enjoyable! It was a pleasure meeting both you and your wife. Take care and enjoy your new BMW!

bargamon
03-05-2007, 07:10 AM
And Getting a new BMW to break in every month for hte performence center also makes the job even easier!

All those M's needing 1200 miles! They even pay you guys?

Just kidding, IM sure there are aspects like everything that gets old. Spending a few hours with new customers whom are usually in just a great mood must be lots of fun!

ANd a nice cafeterial!

bhavi_jp
03-05-2007, 07:25 AM
Awesome writing!!

:thumbup:

ExGMan
03-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Not to be too greedy (well, maybe a little), does anyone know if you can combine an ED with a PC Delivery? That description makes it sound like a remarkable and unique experience. Thanks for the great writeup.:thumbup:

NASA43
03-05-2007, 03:27 PM
Not to be too greedy (well, maybe a little), does anyone know if you can combine an ED with a PC Delivery? That description makes it sound like a remarkable and unique experience. Thanks for the great writeup.:thumbup:

Yes you can. There is a thread in the European Delivery area where Donnie Isley talks about it. They actually just started allowing it. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185524

adrian's bmw
03-05-2007, 03:29 PM
Not to be too greedy (well, maybe a little), does anyone know if you can combine an ED with a PC Delivery? That description makes it sound like a remarkable and unique experience. Thanks for the great writeup.:thumbup:

Now you can. They just recently made that available. ;)

mullman
03-06-2007, 04:16 AM
Thanks for the writeup - car looks great.

I have had the pleasure of touring Munich, Dingolfing, & Spartanburg (several times as I am only 80 mi away). The facilities in South Carolina are as "BMW" as any of the others and I am suprised how many local enthusiasts I know that have never taken the short drive to this local BMW mecca.

dencoop
03-09-2007, 10:36 AM
Congrats on the new Toy:thumbup:

Moderato
05-26-2007, 10:21 PM
Congratulations NASA43! :thumbup: I didn't realize you got your 5 until just now....it seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting our 330's! The 5 must seem so roomy compared to the 3, huh? I'm going to enjoy the M3 for a while but when the time comes to replace it, a 5 series diesel will be at the top of my list. Keep us posted with updates on how you like the car as you get to know it better. Have fun!

NASA43
05-28-2007, 09:41 PM
Congratulations NASA43! :thumbup: I didn't realize you got your 5 until just now....it seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting our 330's! The 5 must seem so roomy compared to the 3, huh? I'm going to enjoy the M3 for a while but when the time comes to replace it, a 5 series diesel will be at the top of my list. Keep us posted with updates on how you like the car as you get to know it better. Have fun!

Thanks Moderato. It was tough getting rid of the 330i. That was my first BMW and it was a dream to drive and virtually problem-free. I came close to buying it at the end of the lease but the December lease rates on the 530i were too good to pass up.

The 5 is aLOT roomier, especially the head room both in front and back. It also has a much larger trunk. I love the additional options I was able to get on the 5 such as the HUD, the heated steering wheel, and the heated rear seats.

The 5 rides alot smoother on rough roads, even with the Sport package. For some reason, the clutch is much easier for me to operate on the 530i than on my 330i. Takeoffs and 1st-to-second shifts in the 330i were not always real smooth but the 530i is a piece of cake to drive.

The only complaint I can offer on the 530i is the steering is not as firm and tight. When going over a rough patch of road, the steering wheel will react poorly by vibrating back and forth. The 330i suspension would soak up the same bad patches in the road and the steering wheel would barely move.

I have been in the 530i for 4 months now and haven't had a single problem or issue with the car. Gas mileage averages 22-23 mpg, city driving.

I have a buddy at work who bought an 02 M3 convertible off ebay a few weeks ago. He wanted me to drive it so who was I to say no? It was a blast. It's a six speed too. I thought my 330i ZHP had good acceleration, the M3 is a beast. I'm sure you are loving yours. :thumbup:

Moderato
05-29-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks Moderato. It was tough getting rid of the 330i. That was my first BMW and it was a dream to drive and virtually problem-free. I came close to buying it at the end of the lease but the December lease rates on the 530i were too good to pass up.

The 5 is aLOT roomier, especially the head room both in front and back. It also has a much larger trunk. I love the additional options I was able to get on the 5 such as the HUD, the heated steering wheel, and the heated rear seats.

The 5 rides alot smoother on rough roads, even with the Sport package. For some reason, the clutch is much easier for me to operate on the 530i than on my 330i. Takeoffs and 1st-to-second shifts in the 330i were not always real smooth but the 530i is a piece of cake to drive.

The only complaint I can offer on the 530i is the steering is not as firm and tight. When going over a rough patch of road, the steering wheel will react poorly by vibrating back and forth. The 330i suspension would soak up the same bad patches in the road and the steering wheel would barely move.

I have been in the 530i for 4 months now and haven't had a single problem or issue with the car. Gas mileage averages 22-23 mpg, city driving.

I have a buddy at work who bought an 02 M3 convertible off ebay a few weeks ago. He wanted me to drive it so who was I to say no? It was a blast. It's a six speed too. I thought my 330i ZHP had good acceleration, the M3 is a beast. I'm sure you are loving yours. :thumbup:Yeah, I'm loving the M3. Especially the LSD, the solid trans, the never ending redline, Nappa leather, 2 door classic E46 "look", and illuminated ///M shift knob! :rofl: Much respect for getting the 5 series with a clutch......I would've done the same! :beerchug: So what next for us? Perhaps we should both do PCD together for the next BMW! :thumbup:

NASA43
05-29-2007, 09:01 PM
Yeah, I'm loving the M3. Especially the LSD, the solid trans, the never ending redline, Nappa leather, 2 door classic E46 "look", and illuminated ///M shift knob! :rofl: Much respect for getting the 5 series with a clutch......I would've done the same! :beerchug: So what next for us? Perhaps we should both do PCD together for the next BMW! :thumbup:

I only did a 2 year lease this time so I'll be heading back to Spartanburg in early 2009. I may even do a Euro delivery this time if I can get it coordinated with my wife's schedule (she's a school teacher). You should do PC delivery for your next one. You'll have a great time. When do you think you will order your next one?

I'll be heading back to Spartanburg this summer for my free one day driving school. BMWNA apparently picked some number of people whose lease was ending this year and offered a 1 day driving school if we purchased BMW again. I even get 2 free nights at the Marriott since I financed with BMWFS. I'm waiting for them to call and then I get to pick which day to attend. I'm looking forward to going back.

Moderato
05-30-2007, 06:09 AM
I only did a 2 year lease this time so I'll be heading back to Spartanburg in early 2009. I may even do a Euro delivery this time if I can get it coordinated with my wife's schedule (she's a school teacher). You should do PC delivery for your next one. You'll have a great time. When do you think you will order your next one?

I'll be heading back to Spartanburg this summer for my free one day driving school. BMWNA apparently picked some number of people whose lease was ending this year and offered a 1 day driving school if we purchased BMW again. I even get 2 free nights at the Marriott since I financed with BMWFS. I'm waiting for them to call and then I get to pick which day to attend. I'm looking forward to going back.I've thought about Euro delivery but two things make me wonder 1) I'm not sure how I feel about doing the car's first 1200 break in miles, in Germany and 2) I think I'd go crazy for the two months I'm waiting for the car to get shipped back to me. :eeps: But still, Euro delivery does have it's positive aspects as well, OTOH I've been to Europe so that's not a huge draw for me there.

I'm not sure when I'll be ordering my next BMW but I'm pretty sure it won't be in 2 years from now. I'm planing to keep the M3 for at least 3.5 more years and at that point I'll look into how much extended warranty and maintence will cost. I wouldn't mind paying for that upfront so I can drive the M3 for a couple more years and not worry about any huge repair bills but I have to think about all that.

2 years will come up quick for you though, do you have any idea what you're going to do then? I know it's probably a bit to early to think about it but do you think you might keep the 5 or go for something else?

NASA43
06-01-2007, 09:07 PM
I've thought about Euro delivery but two things make me wonder 1) I'm not sure how I feel about doing the car's first 1200 break in miles, in Germany and 2) I think I'd go crazy for the two months I'm waiting for the car to get shipped back to me. :eeps: But still, Euro delivery does have it's positive aspects as well, OTOH I've been to Europe so that's not a huge draw for me there.

I'm not sure when I'll be ordering my next BMW but I'm pretty sure it won't be in 2 years from now. I'm planing to keep the M3 for at least 3.5 more years and at that point I'll look into how much extended warranty and maintence will cost. I wouldn't mind paying for that upfront so I can drive the M3 for a couple more years and not worry about any huge repair bills but I have to think about all that.

2 years will come up quick for you though, do you have any idea what you're going to do then? I know it's probably a bit to early to think about it but do you think you might keep the 5 or go for something else?

Right now, the models I would be interested in are the 535i, 550i, or the 335i coupe. 09 should be the last, or next to last, model year for the E60 so there should be some killer lease rates on the 5 series. I would really like to get a 550i with the Sport package since it comes with the M-body kit, short shifter, M-wheels, and Carbon Black is offered. This would be similar to the Performance Package I got with my 330i. Of course, the 360 hp V8 adds a little incentive as well. :)

Moderato
06-02-2007, 06:35 AM
Right now, the models I would be interested in are the 535i, 550i, or the 335i coupe. 09 should be the last, or next to last, model year for the E60 so there should be some killer lease rates on the 5 series. I would really like to get a 550i with the Sport package since it comes with the M-body kit, short shifter, M-wheels, and Carbon Black is offered. This would be similar to the Performance Package I got with my 330i. Of course, the 360 hp V8 adds a little incentive as well. :)Sounds like a good plan. Enjoy your 5! :thumbup: