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Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems
Have you had an exceptionally great experience with a particular BMW Center? Have you had a bad experience at your BMW Center? Frustrated by problems or defects with your vehicle? Post your stories or comments here.

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:39 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Question Please recommend dealership/CA in San Francisco bay area

A friend of mine is asking for recommendation. I bought my E90 from Peter Pan, and I would rate my experience just okay, not terrific. I am sure with so many BMW centers in the bay area, some excellent CAs must exist.

Which BMW center you would recommend/not recommend?

1. Sonnen BMW
2. BMW of Concord
3. BMW of San Francisco
4. Weatherford BMW
5. Peter Pan BMW
6. East Bay BMW
7. BMW of Fremont
8. BMW of Mountainview
9. Stevens Creek BMW
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2012, 04:15 PM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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I bought my car over the Internet from Michael Borbet at BMW of Mountain View. He described the car accurately over the phone, had the paperwork done right the first time, picked me up at the airport when I flew in (I live in Los Angeles), and basically made the purchase process the most painless I have ever experienced. I would highly recommend him.

Feel free to PM me if you want more information.

Keith
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:00 PM
Stevej2001 Stevej2001 is offline
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If you want to go a bit farther afield, you could check out Valley BMW in Modesto. Ask for Anthony. Very professional, reasonable deal. I gather he's the best CA there.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:03 PM
Azmike Azmike is offline
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Concord is first class all the way!!
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:03 PM
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Jon Shafer Jon Shafer is offline
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Many Bay Area buyers have made the short trek to Santa Barbara for their new BMWs over the years.
The trip home on Hwy 101 is perfect for getting acquainted with your new BMW.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2012, 12:38 AM
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enigma enigma is offline
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I second Jon S!

My first bimmer was a 2001 e46 purchased from Jon S @ BMW SB (back then it was called Cutter Motors). It was also my first ED to complicate the deal, but the buying experience was superb!

There must be a dozen BMW centers between San Diego and Santa Barbara, but it's absolutely worth the extra drive (for me it's 200+ miles) along 101 to deal with Jon. You won't find anyone who's more knowledgeable and passionate about BMWs he sells, and customer service is second to none.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:50 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I second Jon is Santa Barbara. Great place for a trip and a killer deal! If you don't want to spend the time on the road (your loss) then I have had great luck with Stevens Creek BMW, terrible luck with Mtn View BMW, and so so luck with Peter Pan. I use SC for maintentance/repair but have shifted to Dinan in Mtn View now that all the warranties are gone.
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2012, 09:08 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Thanks everyone for their input. I shall compile the information and pass along to my friend.

I completely agree that contacting one of the reputed CAs (Jon Shafer and Greg Poland comes to mind) is the way to go if one is sure about what exact vehicle to buy. I have heard nothing but stellar recommendations about them . However, sometime one might be undecided between two similar models (e.g. 528i vs 535i) and need one/more test drives to make up his or her mind. It seems unethical to test drive in one BMW center and give your business to another. In those cases being acquainted with an honest CA in the neighborhood comes handy.
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Last edited by neilsarkar; 03-08-2012 at 12:27 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2012, 09:13 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Shafer View Post
Many Bay Area buyers have made the short trek to Santa Barbara for their new BMWs over the years.
The trip home on Hwy 101 is perfect for getting acquainted with your new BMW.
I completely agree, Jon. Unfortunately, I came to know about wonderful Bimmerfest and legendary Jon Shafer after buying my E90. I won't repeat my mistake next time .
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2012, 09:14 AM
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jmfan jmfan is offline
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I have had two great buying experiences with Weatherford BMW and recommend working with Chris Phan or Andy Lukaszewski. I recently took delivery of my ’12 535i which I special ordered from them in December. I knew what I wanted, built the car 100’s of times on the BMWUSA site, did my homework, read the forums, researched invoice pricing and got a really great deal. BMW was offering all kinds of end of the year incentives when I ordered. Weatherford actually applied an additional incentive that I did not know I qualified for making me very happy.

I tried to work the exact same deal with BMW Concord on the ’12 535i I ordered from Weatherford. The first CA I dealt with seemed uninterested in selling me a car and when my wife and I asked to test drive a car we were made to feel like it was a major inconvenience for him. His lack of help forced me to contact another CA several days later that agreed to my offer of $750 over invoice plus rebates. She then bored me to death with stories and played number games with the paperwork until I finally walked. Others seem to have had positive experiences here but I was not impressed with the CA’s I dealt with. BMW Concord has serviced my last two BMW’s and I have no complaints there. Not sure I will go back.

After reading all of the great reviews about the sponsors on this forum, it would be hard not consider one of them for my next purchase. The CA definitely makes or breaks the whole buying experience and overall satisfaction with the BMW brand.
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2012, 09:17 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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neil, I would not think twice about going into a BMW store and asking to drive a particular car -- even if I had absolutely no intention of buying it there. I like to drive different cars or models of the same line, to see what they have to offer. I have found the "perfect car" this way even though at the time I had no intention of ever getting that marque. Everyone has their own way of doing this I suppose. To me is is not a question of "ethics" as long as I was up front with the salesperson (and that's really what they are, in spite of calling them something else) and told them I want to drive the car to see how it handles before I make any kind of decision.
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:51 PM
ard ard is offline
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I bought my 2010 from Easy Bay, Jason Burger. Decent guy. I am a really easy customer: here is what I want, here is what I pay, dont lie, here's the check...see you next time.

Any Client Advisor is only as good as his sales manager and the deals HE is allowing....
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2012, 09:27 AM
Sanjaygb Sanjaygb is offline
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I'd stay away from BMW of Fremont. They just want to sell you the car and get you out of the door. Aggressive Sales Managers will call you asking you to come in and discussing pricing, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
A friend of mine is asking for recommendation. I bought my E90 from Peter Pan, and I would rate my experience just okay, not terrific. I am sure with so many BMW centers in the bay area, some excellent CAs must exist.

Which BMW center you would recommend/not recommend?

1. Sonnen BMW
2. BMW of Concord
3. BMW of San Francisco
4. Weatherford BMW
5. Peter Pan BMW
6. East Bay BMW
7. BMW of Fremont
8. BMW of Mountainview
9. Stevens Creek BMW
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2012, 10:32 AM
harkirath harkirath is online now
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I got my CPO from Weatherford. Wasn't too pleased with the service during the test drive, and nearly walked out during negotiations as BMW SF had the same exact car.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Lance Alot Lance Alot is offline
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I think the key to get the best pricing is to deal with the Internet sales people. I had an advisor who got me a great deal as an internet rep, but when he changed dealers as a "regular" advisor - he would barely move on price.

More recently, Roger Thurman at Fremont BMW got me a GREAT deal, but I went through Zagg for my referral. PM me if you want more details.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2012, 01:48 PM
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Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
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I concur that all West Coast Bimmerfesters consider using Jon Shafer! Your local dealer sucks and you know it. Santa Barbara is a fantastic place to visit so coordinate your pickup with a few days off and make it even more worth it. I'll add that there are a few others now offering exceptional service but he was the first to do it at such a personal level over the internet and without any bs.

In mid 2000 I lived in the Bay Area and wanted to order a new 330 coupe and EVERY Bay Area dealer was extremely douchy and asking me crap like "oh you want a coupe AND a manual transmission?, will you be paying cash? excuse me while I talk to this newly minted overpaid moron from Pets.com that wants to pay cash for a loaded 750iL" (I'm looking at you Peter Pan in San Mateo). Jon was active on the old Roadfly boards and had already taken care of multitudes of Bay Area/LA/SD folks so it was an easy decision once you also consider his price was the best as well!

In July 2012 (yes 12 years!) I went through the same thing (but from Sacramento) in ordering a 535 and Jon was extremely helpful throughout the entire process and I got the best price possible. I had some quotes from a local dealer and they weren't even close even after negotiations. You won't be dissappointed in working with his team in Santa Barbara.

I will also chime for Steve Thomas in Camarillo, In 2005 I was looking for a CPO 330 sport or ZHP with MT in black and found one at Weatherford that was a rusted out lease return from Boston, and they wouldn't budge. Found another at Steve Thomas and they crushed their price for the same car but not rusted and local, and had it delivered to my house free of charge.

Basically, Bay Area dealers suck and are just waiting for some chump to walk in and buy off the lot with what's left of their Facebook stock. You'll need to make an appointment weeks ahead of time to get a BMW loaner in most cases anyway, so just rent a Ford Focus and stfu about that being an excuse for supporting your local. The new Ford Focus is quite nice and peppy, I might add.
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Last edited by Keyser Soze; 09-25-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:48 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The new Ford Focus is beyond peppy in the ST version! Those however you won't find at Enterprise.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:45 PM
krispykreme krispykreme is offline
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Other than Jon (great person, and great dealer)

If one wants to buy in bay area, I would recommend weatherford as well. We bought two cars from John Meiger. A328i and my M. John was very pleasant to deal with and offered good price. Not pushy at all.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:51 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I doubt that Weatherford would meet Jon's deal. Worth a try, but remember it is a nice drive down to SB and the Autumn is beautiful there, as it is most of the year. Our beloved Gov Moonbeam has decreed we can now have winter blend gas -- allowing import of everyone else's gas to lower the price from $5.99 a gallon in SoCal ($4.99 up north) to a "reasonable" level -- just in time for the upcoming election. Makes one wonder if those draconian gas regulations are so vital to us they can be waived with the stroke of a pen -- why we have them in the first place? Oh well, put your hands together for Moonbeam and the Carb (with apologies to Huey Lewis)!
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2012, 08:25 AM
xofruitcake xofruitcake is offline
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I vote for Jake Ekstrum of the East Bay BMW.. I just took a delivery of a 535 last night and I posted my experience under a new thread on East Bay BMW.. Thumb up for Jake.
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2013, 07:08 PM
alink alink is offline
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Great experience with Ioan Cotors @ BMW San Francisco! He works with both ED and local delivery, very knowledgeable and easy to work with. kudos!!
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