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Performance Center Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-01-2012, 03:35 PM
plegard plegard is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 Black 50i M-Sport
My PDC experience today. I was only customer! Extremely long recap

First I just want to thank everyone involved in this program; from the driver at the Marriott who picked me up at the airport, to the man who drove me to the plant this morning, to Donnie and Arnold who taught me to drive, to Bill who gave me the plant tour and to Jonathan Stribble who answers all of our questions on this message board. *Each of them made today one of the single greatest days of my life. *I will never forget any of them and I feel fortunate to have spent time with each of them.

Now, here's the excruciatingly long recap of my "101 Experience".

7:30am: go to lobby and notice a lot of BMW people milling around who all seemed to know each other. *Went to board the shuttle bus to the performance center and they told me that I was the ONLY person going to the delivery program today and they would be driving me to the facility in their X5.

7:45am: Get to Performance Center and am introduced to Donnie, one of their driving instructors. *He told me that it would be just him and me out there and that we were going to have a blast.

Walked me through their body shop and maintenance facility run by a man whose name I think was Dakkar (sp?). Dakkar explained their training program for young mechanics and how difficult it is to become a BMW service employee. *It sounded like Top Gun where the top mechanics from schools across the country send only their most elite technicians to this facility for a 1 year internship before being given a job at any BMW dealership of their choosing in the world. *

Dakkar added that 3000 people were recommended for the program and he chose 7!

8:00am: Talked with Donnie for about 15 minutes about driving techniques, safety measures in each BMW and what we would be doing on the various courses. He also talked about the DSC having three settings and that if your car got stuck in mud that you might actually have to turn off DSC to get some wheel spin to help get the car rocking back and forth so it can be dislodged. Very interesting.

8:15am: Donnie put me in a 50i X5 and he took out an M5 and we headed out to do some panic braking. He went first and showed how fast these cars could stop under ABS and how you could control them even when panic stopping. *After his first run he backed up at full speed and did a 180 spin backwards in the M5! Got it on video and it was crazy; like something out of a stunt movie.

Then it was my turn. First he had me get up to 40mph before stomping the brakes. Then we went to 45 and then several runs with me doing 50mph into the panic stop to show how I can not only stop but also keep control enough to steer away from trouble. Fascinating. *Donnie explained that ABS brakes don't help you stop more quickly, rather they allow you to steer while you are stopping. Very important.

8:40am: On to the track. We were able to go on the M School track since no one else was using it and it was awesome. First he had me follow him around the track to get a feel for where to brake, turn and accelerate, and then he got in the passenger seat with me in the X5 and we started jamming. *

He gave me one of the best driving tips I have ever been given; that is to look where you want the car to go, not where you are going presently. *It sounds so simple but makes all the difference in the world, particularly when cornering aggressively. *You try to look as far ahead as you can and where you intend to go, not on your current path.

We did several laps in the X5 and then we switched into the M5 for a lap by him and then two by me! Unreal. V10 engine was crazy powerful and when shifting to third gear in the straightaway the tires would chirp a little. Incredible experience!

As an aside, the BMW test track is right next door and I saw a white, non-camouflaged X5 (maybe a 2014?) going down one of their straightaways two different times. *It was somewhat far off and behind fencing with barbed wire on top but it was definitely an X5. Didn't look much different from the current one so it might not be the next-gen, but the back half of the car looked slightly different, like it sloped upward a little more than the current one. I'm probably wrong but just wanted to pass it along in case anyone else has heard of/seen it.

9:15am: Onto the skid pad in an M5! He went first and explained under steer and oversteer and how to correct both. *Then he "drifted" around the skid pad a few times. That was insanely cool. *Back-end was almost perpendicular to the turn as it swung around and he held it there.

Then we switched and he Sat next to me, pulling on the ebrake to create under steer and then teaching me to pause (let off the gas), and react (turn the wheel away from the direction you were traveling) to get the grip back to the front tires, then turn the wheel back toward your original direction.

Then we did oversteer and he had me turn off the DSC and had me go faster and faster around the tight circle until the car was about to spin out. Again, he had me take the foot off the gas, steer away from the turn until the rear tires caught grip, and then turn the wheel back toward my original direction. Was fortunate to do it right the first time and we never spun all the way out.

I can not stress how awesome it was to have a professional driver sitting next to me and giving me instructions while driving these amazing vehicles. I learned more about driving in 2 hours this morning than I have learned in my previous 25 years of driving. Absolutely priceless.


9:45am Donnie handed me off to Arnold, who escorted me over to the Plant tour.

10:00am: Met Bill who was my tour guide through the plant. Again, it was just me! It was unreal to be having a personal tour of the BMW factory.

Bill was fantastic. He handled all of my questions with ease and couldn't have been nicer. *

We started off in the body shop and watched the orchestra of robots welding the body together. The technology and engineering behind the manufacturing of these cars is simply amazing. We were so close I almost got hit with hot weld sparks several times.

Then we headed to the assembly hall and watched the cars go up and back the seemingly endless rows of steps as they completed production. *Bill said that the factory is completely "just-in-time" and has inventory for only 2-3 hours of production on hand at any one time! That is incredible.

The employees can call for supervisory help by playing a song loudly that is specific to each supervisor. *I heard "Help!" from the Beatles and some other famous songs that I can't remember now but that, when played, called a specific supervisor to that production pod.

The number of steps to assemble one of these cars is incredible. *The videos on BMW's Spartanburg Plant website do not do it justice. *

http://www.bmwusfactory.com/manufact...cess/assembly/

11:30am: Snapped some quick picks in the Zentrum and then followed Arnold onto the X5 offroad course. *First up was bringing the car through 22" of still water. *We entered slowly and the car went through it with ease. Importantly, Arnold stressed that no one should try to drive through moving water. He said that less than 12" of moving water can overpower a car. Scary, but a good reminder that these cars aren't invincible.

Next up was a couple of bumps that, when stopped at the proper time, put the car completely on 2 wheels such that Arnold hopped out of his car, and with one hand, lifted the left side of the car completely off the ground so that only the right side's two wheels were touching the ground. *He looked like Superman lifting a car with ease. Very cool visual that I also captured on video.

We then went up a very steep hill where he had me hold the car in a position such that my body was almost hanging out of the car. Not sure what the angle was but my guess is it was like a 25 degree slant. I felt suspended as I held the car with the brakes, Arnold took pictures of me, and I tried not to crap my pants. It was unreal how much it felt like I was going to completely tip over.

Then we did the hill descent control. I think HDC is one of the coolest features that I have seen and I had never pushed the button before today. *Arnold had me come over the crest of a pretty steep hill with momentum and then take my foot off the brake and the gas and just let the HDC control the car's speed down the hill. It is a strange sensation because right after you crest the hill you start to accelerate down the slope for just a second before the HDC kicks in. *You have to just trust that it will work. Was scary at first but I will be using this feature in the future more frequently down slippery driveways or hills.

12:00 Lunch with Donnie. They have a separate table set for the PDC customers with a black tablecloth on it. Everything they do makes you feel like a VIP. Btw, you can order anything you want and it is all paid for. Awesome!

12:30pm Donnie says, hey, you wanna drive the M3, it's my favorite. I say "of course". So we head outside and hop into an M3 with the competition package and DCT for some hot laps. *He had me shifting at 8,000 RPMs and it was intoxicating! To hear the engine rev-match my downshifts for me like a formula 1 car does as professionals enter corners was incredible. The power is crazy smooth and the handling was even better than the M5. I thought I would hate shifting with a DCT shifter instead of a real clutch, but I am sold. Donnie likes the paddles, I prefer the feel of a stick shift, and in the M3 with DCT you get the best of both worlds.

1:00pm Donnie drives me to the airport in an X5M. Day is over but the memories will last a lifetime.

I am still smiling from ear to ear as I type this on my plane ride home.

Outside of getting married and the birth of my two children I think this was the best day of my life.

Sorry for the length but I just had to share how awesome the PDC is. Please respond if anyone has questions.




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  #2  
Old 05-01-2012, 03:58 PM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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A private tour, that's nice.

There must have been a scheduling problem, since I was under the impression PCD is very popular.

I requested PCD for early June, but was only offered May 29. It was a "take it" or "leave it" situation, and no alternate dates would be offered.

Last edited by Nonsuch; 05-01-2012 at 04:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2012, 04:02 PM
328xiDave 328xiDave is offline
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Great writeup! You just made me extremely jealous and wanting to sign up for my own experience.

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  #4  
Old 05-02-2012, 02:10 AM
extremeromance extremeromance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
A private tour, that's nice.

There must have been a scheduling problem, since I was under the impression PCD is very popular.

I requested PCD for early June, but was only offered May 29. It was a "take it" or "leave it" situation, and no alternate dates would be offered.
He went to the BMW 101 experience not the PCD if I read correctly, I was dumbfounded myself at first since PCD for me the other day was packed.
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2012, 04:19 AM
plegard plegard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeromance View Post
He went to the BMW 101 experience not the PCD if I read correctly, I was dumbfounded myself at first since PCD for me the other day was packed.

Actually there were NO other customers getting deliveries yesterday at all, regardless of 101 Experience or the full Performance Center Delivery Program. Donnie said "this has never happened. We've never had it just be one person."

Just got lucky that I was the only person going through the PDC program. They said they had 6 people on Monday and were expecting 12 people today (Wednesday), but, for whatever reason, there were no other customers taking delivery yesterday. Just a total fluke.

I believe the 101 Experience is exactly the same program as the Performance Delivery program except for taking delivery of your car. But Jonathan might chime in here to explain any discrepancies.

Anyway, it wasn't that I was the only person going through the 101 Experience, it was that I was the only person period. Just totally lucky.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2012, 06:48 AM
I-Won-Today I-Won-Today is offline
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Thanks for the great post I'm glad you had a great time and hopefully will remember all the tips you learned. It was great to meet you and say hello.

Yes, the BMW 101 program mimics the delivery program exactly. I don't know exactly why no one wanted to come yesterday. The rest of this month is completely booked.

Our calendar shows we moved/canceled 11 vehicles off of that date . The EPA/CARB holds we've been dealing with the last month may be partly to blame as the X5M, X6M and some other models are currently still on hold.
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2012, 08:18 AM
Scooter 645 Scooter 645 is offline
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Jonathan:
My 750i AH arrived at the Port of New York last Wednesday after ED. I'm anxiously awaiting its release and would like to do PCD again, but don't want to wait too long to get my car. Do you have any idea the wait for a date for PCD? I am very flexible and could get there on 48 hours notice.
Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:03 PM
OrthoPT OrthoPT is offline
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I went for PCD last year with my son. I picked up my 535. Donnie was great and made the experience special for my son and I. I can still hear him saying to my son over the walkie talkie "drive it like you stole it Miguel" I will always do PCD. Its the only way to go.

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  #9  
Old 05-03-2012, 06:10 AM
I-Won-Today I-Won-Today is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter 645 View Post
Jonathan:
My 750i AH arrived at the Port of New York last Wednesday after ED. I'm anxiously awaiting its release and would like to do PCD again, but don't want to wait too long to get my car. Do you have any idea the wait for a date for PCD? I am very flexible and could get there on 48 hours notice.
Thanks.
Your CA will receive an email with the first available date as soon as it clears Customs and the BMW VDC. Re-delviery will usually be around 2-3 weeks after the vehicle is released from the VDC. It takes about that long for the vehicle to be assigned to a truck and shipped to us once we request it to be sent to us.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:46 PM
Scooter 645 Scooter 645 is offline
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Thanks, Jonathan. I received the email today confirming PCD on the 23rd. Looking forward to it again!
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2012, 07:15 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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Great write up than you!

May25 th for me! Man the days are dragging!
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:36 AM
Wine-O Wine-O is offline
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Do they have Performance Center "Delivery" when you didn't take delivery of a car as I see you were driven to the airport?
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2012, 07:28 AM
plegard plegard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wine-O View Post
Do they have Performance Center "Delivery" when you didn't take delivery of a car as I see you were driven to the airport?
Yes, what I did was called the "101 Experience" and you do everything as if you were going to take delivery, including the option of having one of their delivery specialists walk you through a "mock delivery" on a car similar to yours, except driving your car home, which for me would have been 1,000 miles.

The 101 Experience is set up by the dealer and I believe that it costs $495. You can either pay it yourself or see if the dealer will cover it. Either way, try to get to the PDC; the people are phenomenal and you will remember it for a lifetime.

Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2012, 05:25 AM
Wine-O Wine-O is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plegard View Post
Yes, what I did was called the "101 Experience" and you do everything as if you were going to take delivery, including the option of having one of their delivery specialists walk you through a "mock delivery" on a car similar to yours, except driving your car home, which for me would have been 1,000 miles.

The 101 Experience is set up by the dealer and I believe that it costs $495. You can either pay it yourself or see if the dealer will cover it. Either way, try to get to the PDC; the people are phenomenal and you will remember it for a lifetime.

Good luck.
We did ED then redelivery after PCD last July. I agree, PCD was the best.
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2012, 12:36 PM
BenF12400 BenF12400 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plegard View Post
First I just want to thank everyone involved in this program; from the driver at the Marriott who picked me up at the airport, to the man who drove me to the plant this morning, to Donnie and Arnold who taught me to drive, to Bill who gave me the plant tour and to Jonathan Stribble who answers all of our questions on this message board. *Each of them made today one of the single greatest days of my life. *I will never forget any of them and I feel fortunate to have spent time with each of them.

Now, here's the excruciatingly long recap of my "101 Experience".

7:30am: go to lobby and notice a lot of BMW people milling around who all seemed to know each other. *Went to board the shuttle bus to the performance center and they told me that I was the ONLY person going to the delivery program today and they would be driving me to the facility in their X5.

7:45am: Get to Performance Center and am introduced to Donnie, one of their driving instructors. *He told me that it would be just him and me out there and that we were going to have a blast.

Walked me through their body shop and maintenance facility run by a man whose name I think was Dakkar (sp?). Dakkar explained their training program for young mechanics and how difficult it is to become a BMW service employee. *It sounded like Top Gun where the top mechanics from schools across the country send only their most elite technicians to this facility for a 1 year internship before being given a job at any BMW dealership of their choosing in the world. *

Dakkar added that 3000 people were recommended for the program and he chose 7!

8:00am: Talked with Donnie for about 15 minutes about driving techniques, safety measures in each BMW and what we would be doing on the various courses. He also talked about the DSC having three settings and that if your car got stuck in mud that you might actually have to turn off DSC to get some wheel spin to help get the car rocking back and forth so it can be dislodged. Very interesting.

8:15am: Donnie put me in a 50i X5 and he took out an M5 and we headed out to do some panic braking. He went first and showed how fast these cars could stop under ABS and how you could control them even when panic stopping. *After his first run he backed up at full speed and did a 180 spin backwards in the M5! Got it on video and it was crazy; like something out of a stunt movie.

Then it was my turn. First he had me get up to 40mph before stomping the brakes. Then we went to 45 and then several runs with me doing 50mph into the panic stop to show how I can not only stop but also keep control enough to steer away from trouble. Fascinating. *Donnie explained that ABS brakes don't help you stop more quickly, rather they allow you to steer while you are stopping. Very important.

8:40am: On to the track. We were able to go on the M School track since no one else was using it and it was awesome. First he had me follow him around the track to get a feel for where to brake, turn and accelerate, and then he got in the passenger seat with me in the X5 and we started jamming. *

He gave me one of the best driving tips I have ever been given; that is to look where you want the car to go, not where you are going presently. *It sounds so simple but makes all the difference in the world, particularly when cornering aggressively. *You try to look as far ahead as you can and where you intend to go, not on your current path.

We did several laps in the X5 and then we switched into the M5 for a lap by him and then two by me! Unreal. V10 engine was crazy powerful and when shifting to third gear in the straightaway the tires would chirp a little. Incredible experience!

As an aside, the BMW test track is right next door and I saw a white, non-camouflaged X5 (maybe a 2014?) going down one of their straightaways two different times. *It was somewhat far off and behind fencing with barbed wire on top but it was definitely an X5. Didn't look much different from the current one so it might not be the next-gen, but the back half of the car looked slightly different, like it sloped upward a little more than the current one. I'm probably wrong but just wanted to pass it along in case anyone else has heard of/seen it.

9:15am: Onto the skid pad in an M5! He went first and explained under steer and oversteer and how to correct both. *Then he "drifted" around the skid pad a few times. That was insanely cool. *Back-end was almost perpendicular to the turn as it swung around and he held it there.

Then we switched and he Sat next to me, pulling on the ebrake to create under steer and then teaching me to pause (let off the gas), and react (turn the wheel away from the direction you were traveling) to get the grip back to the front tires, then turn the wheel back toward your original direction.

Then we did oversteer and he had me turn off the DSC and had me go faster and faster around the tight circle until the car was about to spin out. Again, he had me take the foot off the gas, steer away from the turn until the rear tires caught grip, and then turn the wheel back toward my original direction. Was fortunate to do it right the first time and we never spun all the way out.

I can not stress how awesome it was to have a professional driver sitting next to me and giving me instructions while driving these amazing vehicles. I learned more about driving in 2 hours this morning than I have learned in my previous 25 years of driving. Absolutely priceless.


9:45am Donnie handed me off to Arnold, who escorted me over to the Plant tour.

10:00am: Met Bill who was my tour guide through the plant. Again, it was just me! It was unreal to be having a personal tour of the BMW factory.

Bill was fantastic. He handled all of my questions with ease and couldn't have been nicer. *

We started off in the body shop and watched the orchestra of robots welding the body together. The technology and engineering behind the manufacturing of these cars is simply amazing. We were so close I almost got hit with hot weld sparks several times.

Then we headed to the assembly hall and watched the cars go up and back the seemingly endless rows of steps as they completed production. *Bill said that the factory is completely "just-in-time" and has inventory for only 2-3 hours of production on hand at any one time! That is incredible.

The employees can call for supervisory help by playing a song loudly that is specific to each supervisor. *I heard "Help!" from the Beatles and some other famous songs that I can't remember now but that, when played, called a specific supervisor to that production pod.

The number of steps to assemble one of these cars is incredible. *The videos on BMW's Spartanburg Plant website do not do it justice. *

http://www.bmwusfactory.com/manufact...cess/assembly/

11:30am: Snapped some quick picks in the Zentrum and then followed Arnold onto the X5 offroad course. *First up was bringing the car through 22" of still water. *We entered slowly and the car went through it with ease. Importantly, Arnold stressed that no one should try to drive through moving water. He said that less than 12" of moving water can overpower a car. Scary, but a good reminder that these cars aren't invincible.

Next up was a couple of bumps that, when stopped at the proper time, put the car completely on 2 wheels such that Arnold hopped out of his car, and with one hand, lifted the left side of the car completely off the ground so that only the right side's two wheels were touching the ground. *He looked like Superman lifting a car with ease. Very cool visual that I also captured on video.

We then went up a very steep hill where he had me hold the car in a position such that my body was almost hanging out of the car. Not sure what the angle was but my guess is it was like a 25 degree slant. I felt suspended as I held the car with the brakes, Arnold took pictures of me, and I tried not to crap my pants. It was unreal how much it felt like I was going to completely tip over.

Then we did the hill descent control. I think HDC is one of the coolest features that I have seen and I had never pushed the button before today. *Arnold had me come over the crest of a pretty steep hill with momentum and then take my foot off the brake and the gas and just let the HDC control the car's speed down the hill. It is a strange sensation because right after you crest the hill you start to accelerate down the slope for just a second before the HDC kicks in. *You have to just trust that it will work. Was scary at first but I will be using this feature in the future more frequently down slippery driveways or hills.

12:00 Lunch with Donnie. They have a separate table set for the PDC customers with a black tablecloth on it. Everything they do makes you feel like a VIP. Btw, you can order anything you want and it is all paid for. Awesome!

12:30pm Donnie says, hey, you wanna drive the M3, it's my favorite. I say "of course". So we head outside and hop into an M3 with the competition package and DCT for some hot laps. *He had me shifting at 8,000 RPMs and it was intoxicating! To hear the engine rev-match my downshifts for me like a formula 1 car does as professionals enter corners was incredible. The power is crazy smooth and the handling was even better than the M5. I thought I would hate shifting with a DCT shifter instead of a real clutch, but I am sold. Donnie likes the paddles, I prefer the feel of a stick shift, and in the M3 with DCT you get the best of both worlds.

1:00pm Donnie drives me to the airport in an X5M. Day is over but the memories will last a lifetime.

I am still smiling from ear to ear as I type this on my plane ride home.

Outside of getting married and the birth of my two children I think this was the best day of my life.

Sorry for the length but I just had to share how awesome the PDC is. Please respond if anyone has questions.




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I certainly agree with you that the PCD (May 8 - 2013 X5 premium) was really worth the trip. My son met me at the Center, I stayed at the Marriott and everything and everyone was first rate at the hotel and the PC. I opted not to drive with my son on the skid pad (although he drove with me when I drove) - I knew what I was in for - I thiink he did a 540 or a 720 spin. I could not believe the angle we were on on the hills. It was great.
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