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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2005, 03:38 PM
bmills313 bmills313 is offline
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 330Ci | ED 3/17/05
My 3/17 ED Experience (long)

Here’s blow by blow of my ED experience from 3/17-3/21, and it’s long so consider yourself warned…

Pre-Europe:
Flew from Orange County to Tampa to pick up my dad (thank you for the free ticket, Lufthansa!)

Day 1 (3/17):
Picked up the car late in the day as our bags missed getting on the connecting flight from Frankfort (about 20 mins from landing to connection as we were a bit delayed) so we didn’t arrive at the ED center until about 2:30. Waited maybe 15 minutes, and then they said I was all set to go. OMG is the car gorgeous!! Imola Red is such a great color and really looks fantastic with those ZHP wheels especially on a coupe. Saw a new M5 in the lot, which looked totally awesome…I envy that guy! Entered Harms into the Navigation (get the nav….) and went straight over to fill out the paperwork with Herr Behrends who truly made the drop-off smooth as silk; what a good guy. After that, we took a quick drive up to the sobering Dachau prison camp. Finally, we drove back to the hotel (Holiday Inn, which was a great hotel…for a big chain) and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went to bed a bit early. We were going to try and make it over to the Marriott with the other 3/17’ers but the timing was off and we were pretty tired. Sorry guys.

Day 2:
Drove down to Oberammergau, Linderhof, Weiskirche and a couple other little towns. The weather was gorgeous and the roads were fine, albeit a bit wet at times from the melting snow. Traffic on the autobahn was moving and once about 5 miles out of the city it was wide open. Got a chance to get really familiar with the car and the controls in all sorts of situations from flying down the autobahn to navigating some tight spaces in the towns; what a champ!!

Day 3:

Kind of a loss. We drove down toward Salzburg and stopped in some little towns like Anger and Berchtesgaden. It was raining the whole day and it was cold. My dad was sick from something he ate the night before so he wanted to go back to the hotel to get some rest in the early afternoon. After he was feeling better we went to Hofbrauhaus at night and had a good time with some Germans celebrating a friend’s birthday. I didn’t find HB to be too touristy as it seemed that the # of non-Germans was outdone by the # of Germans; maybe because it was a Saturday night. Good times and good beer, accentuated by a fun little band. Unfortunately we left one of our bags with a couple steins in it at the table and it appears they are lost forever; didn’t realize they were gone until we got back.

Day 4:

Sunday and NOTHING was open to shop at so we decided to just drive around and get lost with the Nav. We ended up in Landshut and we were really glad we stopped. Great stuff at this little café and the town was just like a postcard. The main street was really neat and the buildings were all different pastel colors. The church was impressive and the church tower HUGE. If you’re gonna do ED, I highly recommend this town; you’ll love it. At night I took the liberty of using Holiday Inn’s hose and rinsed the sand and salt off the car and dirtied a couple hotel towels in the process. Really glad I did because after seeing the towels when finished, I shudder to think that I would have sent my car home with that stuff on there for 2 months! Our evening ended at Lowenbrau. I recommend them over HB as the beer-hall was huge and everyone could see the band, which made the evening something else. Great party atmosphere and well worth the trip.

Day 5 (3/21):
Dropped the car off at Harms at about 7:30 and Behrends had the cab waiting there when we arrived. Gave him my key and he wished us a safe trip home; simple as that! On the way out of Harms we saw a new M6 Hopped on the plane, had a couple drinks and we were back home! Well, to Florida, and then I had to take a flight back to Orange County…damn was I tired!

Overall, it was an experience of a lifetime. I’ll certainly be doing it again and judging by the # of people I spoke to on the way over and back, BMW will be having a few more deliveries after my rave review of the ED process! Thank you all who helped me here and also a big thanks to Tina Swistak @ Newport BMW for her assistance in the process. Now the waiting begins…

------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes on the car:
- I was pleasantly surprised that my car (a ZHP) had the alcantara wheel instead of that perforated leather one, which visually was not that appealing. I know that others with March build-dates had reported getting the leather wheel but mine most certainly came with the alcantara, which is what I really wanted. Feels very nice though it’s pretty fat so fatigue seemed to set in on my hands a little quicker than normal, but I’m really nit-picking here…still the best wheels out there and the Alcantara material feels great.

- I won the tire lottery (IMHO) and got the Michelin Pilot Sports. Not that I really cared that much, but I had experience with them and knew others were happy with them, as well, so it was a pleasant surprise.

- You really get an understanding why the cars are built as they are and why they drive so well after tackling the autobahn and some of the twisties in the mountains. The well-organized symphony of the autobahn with the cars all hauling butt and making lane changes at 100+ mph was an awesome experience and made me appreciate the engineering of my car that much more. Besides, setting the cruise at 100mph and getting just under 20mpg is a welcome sight, coming from a Ram 1500. Ultimate Driving Machine is a well deserved moniker, not a marketing slogan.

Things I LOVED or would recommend
- Navigation. I don’t care what people say about it vs. this one or that one…it’s GREAT. We never would have found our way to a few places, or even around Munich, and found the system to be uber-useful. Highly recommended for anyone on the fence about getting it, especially if you are doing ED.

- Bringing your own toilet paper. Bee was right: the TP sucks over there. Bring a roll or get used to stuff that makes your old high-school TP feel like cashmere.

- Wash the car. Find a hose at your hotel or a hand wash place and at least rinse it off. The hotel towels I used were covered in black and I was stoked I made the decision to wash it before I dropped off. Granted it was winter and the salt and sand were on the roads, but it’s just a good practice no matter the season.

- Holiday Inn (Schwabing). It’s a very good hotel. Sure, it’s not the best and it’s nothing special, but you just need a bed and a shower and for it to not feel like you’re staying in a dump. Service was nice, staff very helpful and rooms were fine. I’d stay there again, especially since Priceline can get you a great deal and it’s a great location.

- Lowenbrau over Hofbrauhaus. HB is fun and we still had a good time, but I felt that Lowenbrau was way more fun and seemed like a “real” beer-hall experience. The band that played was wonderful and we made several new friends there. Tons of fun and a must-do experience, IMHO.

- Landshut. Great town on the river with a really beautiful main street. The church is awe-inspiring and just wandering down the cobblestone streets really reminds you of how cool Germany is and how old so many places are. It’s very close to Munich and you can get there in about 35 minutes, no matter where you’re staying in Munich.
- Oberammergau. I know, it’s super touristy, but it’s by far the most authentic looking and feeling alpine German village we visited. Nice people, good food and wonderful scenery. The air is so clean up there (I live in SoCal, so it was a welcome change) and there’s lots to do right around the town.

What I wish I did differently or could be changed:
- ED Center. While the actual delivery process and personnel were nice, the ED center is subpar. It's just a downstairs with a couple offices and tables with a few tables upstairs and a foodservice area with tons of cars around the building. The food was OK but nothing spectacular; no surprises or disappointments there. The gate was still broken and you had to walk through another gate that looks better suited as a gate onto a train platform or at a baseball stadium and it wasn’t very well labeled and we had doubts we were at the right one. I guess I just hear from people that have done the ED experience with Mercedes and they said the center made BMW's look very lacking, including a guy who 6 months ago did ED for his wife’s car at Benz and then his at BMW 3 days later; night and day in his opinion. It didn’t ruin the trip at all, I guess I just had higher expectations and expected the ED center to be BMW quality, not Dodge. Oh well…maybe next time they’ll give Benz a run for their money and have some big state of the art facility.

- More time. I wish I had made the trip just a day or 2 longer to explore some areas we didn’t have time for. Also, I wish I had done more shopping before the weekend. EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday and most places closed pretty early on Saturday and we just got caught up in the adventure and neglected doing our shopping and only made it home with a handful of things. BTW, even the car washes at the gas stations (the ones open on Sunday) are closed until the clock strikes 12:01AM on Monday.

- Spend time exploring Munich. We drove pretty much everywhere we wanted to check out instead of staying around Munich and didn’t see much of the city. Next time I’ll make sure to have a day or 2 devoted to the city as what we saw was awesome and we only scratched the surface, near Schwabing where we stayed.

- Forgot to take the front plate off the car. I really hope they leave both on there or that I get both back…
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2005, 08:06 AM
mrbelk mrbelk is offline
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Sounds like you had an awesome trip.

My wife and I are 21 days away from our 2nd ED in 12 months. Going down to Como, Florence, etc. for 12 days.

I agree with you about the delivery center. It's very basic, although once inside, it's finished fairly well. I think the current Delivery Center was used for diplomatic and corporate deliveries long before the European Delivery program started, and BMW just decided to make it a multi-purpose facility, not geared for a "touristy" type of experience. My in-laws did ED on a Merc back in '99, and his video of the inside wasn't too dissimilar from what I saw at the BMW center.

There is hope, though. Check out www.bmw-welt.com. This new delivery center promises to be awesome. It opens in 2006, right across from the main BMW 4-cylinders HQ building and the Munich plant.

-MrB
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2005, 10:14 AM
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PittBMW PittBMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 5er ED on 3/11/05
I made these remarks about the delivery center to Bernard.

The current delivery center is a very very old steam locomotive shed. The building is also 'protected' from major modifications. The roof of the shed opens up (even now it can). Because of modification restrictions, the old building was only permitted to be 'covered'. The circular 'pipes' that you see next to the cars when you pick up, actually hide beams. The gates that we drive out of the building also cannot be made bigger for this reason.

Initially the delivery center was planned for employee deliveries. It was later expanded for ED. Do not expect that ED door to be repaired. When I reached the center to pick up my car at 830am, it was crowded with a lot of employees who were picking up their cars. Apart from us there was only one more couple doing ED at that time.
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2005, 11:36 AM
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MarcusSDCA MarcusSDCA is offline
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I wouldn't care if the Munich delivery center was in an old barn....as long as the car was nice and shiny and they gave me directions to the Autobahn.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2005, 02:31 PM
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woody underwood woody underwood is offline
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Picked up an I-rot ZHP exactly like yours last June....parked in the same spot too. Is that a KU hat? (Our delivery person wasn't as cute though)
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2005, 12:18 PM
bmills313 bmills313 is offline
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Mein Auto: 330Ci | ED 3/17/05
Quote:
Originally Posted by woody underwood
Picked up an I-rot ZHP exactly like yours last June....parked in the same spot too. Is that a KU hat? (Our delivery person wasn't as cute though)
Yes, it is a KU hat and they bit the big one on our 2nd night there; what a way to start your day! Oh well, there's always next year... Judith (delivery person) was very nice and walked me through the car in no-time flat.

bmills
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2005, 12:22 PM
bmills313 bmills313 is offline
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 330Ci | ED 3/17/05
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk
Sounds like you had an awesome trip.

There is hope, though. Check out www.bmw-welt.com. This new delivery center promises to be awesome. It opens in 2006, right across from the main BMW 4-cylinders HQ building and the Munich plant.

-MrB
That looks sweet! I guess I should expect to see it in...hmm..abotu 3 years when I'm ready for a new one! Thanks for the link!!

bmills
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2005, 09:59 AM
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beewang beewang is offline
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Mein Auto: S62 E39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmills313
What I wish I did differently or could be changed:
- ED Center. While the actual delivery process and personnel were nice, the ED center is subpar. It's just a downstairs with a couple offices and tables with a few tables upstairs and a foodservice area with tons of cars around the building. The food was OK but nothing spectacular; no surprises or disappointments there. The gate was still broken and you had to walk through another gate that looks better suited as a gate onto a train platform or at a baseball stadium and it wasn’t very well labeled and we had doubts we were at the right one. I guess I just hear from people that have done the ED experience with Mercedes and they said the center made BMW's look very lacking, including a guy who 6 months ago did ED for his wife’s car at Benz and then his at BMW 3 days later; night and day in his opinion. It didn’t ruin the trip at all, I guess I just had higher expectations and expected the ED center to be BMW quality, not Dodge. Oh well…maybe next time they’ll give Benz a run for their money and have some big state of the art facility.

As we know now.... the new BMW delivery center is being constructed at the OlympicParc
below is a direct quote I got from the BMW ED Manager. Something to look forward to on the next ED

The new BMW Welt will be open in Sept 2006 and it will be amazing!! Here is
a link to the website so you and your friends can watch the actual progress
and get updates as they arrive. I obviously don't have actual dates yet as
to when the first delivery will occur but September is the targeted month.
www.bmw-welt.com
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2005, 11:38 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beewang


Sweeeeet!!!
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2005, 12:56 PM
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emdreiSMG emdreiSMG is offline
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Big congrats BMills! Glad you had a great time.
I too have been recommending BMW's ED to alot of people since I had such a great experience.
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:21 PM
MforFun MforFun is offline
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Mein Auto: M3
Bmills - Thanks for the report and congrats on the car. I am picking up on May 9 and was looking for someone to discuss what they liked and didn't like, and what they would do differently. Really appreciate it. BMW has notified me that my Silver Gray M3 is ready for me to pick up. Unfortunately I can't get over there until May. It is driving me crazy. Again, thanks.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2005, 05:45 PM
SRT Viper SRT Viper is offline
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BMills....car looks great. I live in Huntington Beach and expect my car to arrive in the next week or so. Dropped it off in Munich on 2-18. Drop me a pm when you get your car and maybe we can compare notes on the experience.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2005, 06:30 PM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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yes, take more time; everyone should do this; we took about two weeks; going over for a day just to save some bucks isn't it worth it!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2005, 09:24 AM
bmills313 bmills313 is offline
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Mein Auto: 330Ci | ED 3/17/05
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT Viper
BMills....car looks great. I live in Huntington Beach and expect my car to arrive in the next week or so. Dropped it off in Munich on 2-18. Drop me a pm when you get your car and maybe we can compare notes on the experience.
For sure... I'll keep my eyes peeled for a new 6er with ED plates on it flying past me on PCH

bmills
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2005, 09:29 AM
bmills313 bmills313 is offline
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 330Ci | ED 3/17/05
Quote:
Originally Posted by beware_phog
yes, take more time; everyone should do this; we took about two weeks; going over for a day just to save some bucks isn't it worth it!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Yeah, I probably could have stayed longer but I've already skipped out of town like 3 weeks already this year and it's only March!! The responsible side of me kicked in

Alright! Another Jayhawk fan! I lived in Lawrence for 5 years while attending school and the year after as I just couldn't leave such a great place (garduated b'00). It's always fun getting back and seeing how much the town has grown. As long as Henry T's and Quinton's on Mass are still there, Lawrence is A-OK!! Keeping my fingers crossed that Self and the kids can make a run next year...

bmills
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