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Any clues about the history of 'manufacturer vehicle' with BMW CPO?

2896 Views 20 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Marcus J.
2020, 530i, 1yr, less than 20k miles, driving assistance plus, premium, and connected pro package, BMW CPO.
The problem is it's a 'manufacturer vehicle'. No history before Auto Auction.
I want to know how it was used in the past, but some say I won't be able to know the truth.
How about wild guess?
Could mileage, packages or CPO be a clue?
Is there any possible way to know the history?
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I believe all that that means is that it was driven by an employee of BMWNA for a year lease.
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Thank you for your replay!
If it was a employee driven car, it will be fine to me.
Isn't the mileage a bit too much for 1yr use of an employee? Is it normal?
What do you think?
I believe all that that means is that it was driven by an employee of BMWNA for a year lease.
1. There is no way to KNOW. People will guess, you will then convince yourself 'that must be it'. Unless you can know, dont bother asking idiots like us.

2. Are you in the USA? Not familiar with CPOs outside of the USA. Your flag is not in the usa.

3. Did you speak to a BMW dealer to confirm it acually has a valid BMW CPO? How are you SURE it has a valid CPO? I didnt think they could CPO a car that wasnt owned by someone first. When was this CPOd?
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Thank you for the advice.
1. I just want some clues to guess.
2. I'm interested in the car condition. Not warranty.
3. CARFAX said it has a BMW CPO.
1. There is no way to KNOW. People will guess, you will then convince yourself 'that must be it'. Unless you can know, dont bother asking idiots like us.

2. Are you in the USA? Not familiar with CPOs outside of the USA. Your flag is not in the usa.

3. Did you speak to a BMW dealer to confirm it acually has a valid BMW CPO? How are you SURE it has a valid CPO? I didnt think they could CPO a car that wasnt owned by someone first. When was this CPOd?
These cars have never been titled so they are like new cars and come with a special CPO warranty for 75k miles if memory serves. 20K is a lot of miles, the ones I've leased usually had less than 10k miles and to get the best lease they have to have less than 5k miles. What happens is after the BMW employee turns the car in they are auctioned in auctions that only BMW dealers can participate in. I think the in service date is when the BMW employee got the car which means routine maintenance like oil service ends sooner.
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Thank you for the explanation!
Because of the long mileage, I am concerned that this car may have experienced more harsh driving use then employee use.
These cars have never been titled so they are like new cars and come with a special CPO warranty for 75k miles if memory serves. 20K is a lot of miles, the ones I've leased usually had less than 10k miles and to get the best lease they have to have less than 5k miles. What happens is after the BMW employee turns the car in they are auctioned in auctions that only BMW dealers can participate in. I think the in service date is when the BMW employee got the car which means routine maintenance like oil service ends sooner.
Just to confirm, when carfax says "cpo" and 'manufacturer vehicle' your explanation is the only possible explanation? Cannot be wrong, and no need to verify? Even from an auction?

(Not being argumentative, want to make sure OP protects himself, if necessary.)


Finally how is OP able to buy this special CPO bmw employee turn in lease FROM AN AUTO AUCTION?

I thought it is a BMW dealer auction only, then a retail sale after that.... how is this car being sold at an auction now? Is there an ownership in there that isnt showing up???

Finally, OP... 'cpo' has nothing to do with condition. Inspect the car, using a qualified mechanic..... trying to make guesses about how harshly it might have been driven by your mental concept of a BMW emloyee driver seems nuts.
These cars have never been titled so they are like new cars and come with a special CPO warranty for 75k miles if memory serves. 20K is a lot of miles, the ones I've leased usually had less than 10k miles and to get the best lease they have to have less than 5k miles. What happens is after the BMW employee turns the car in they are auctioned in auctions that only BMW dealers can participate in. I think the in service date is when the BMW employee got the car which means routine maintenance like oil service ends sooner.
Get it in writing. Otherwise all your conversations are meaningless.
Just to confirm, when carfax says "cpo" and 'manufacturer vehicle' your explanation is the only possible explanation? Cannot be wrong, and no need to verify? Even from an auction?

(Not being argumentative, want to make sure OP protects himself, if necessary.)


Finally how is OP able to buy this special CPO bmw employee turn in lease FROM AN AUTO AUCTION?

I thought it is a BMW dealer auction only, then a retail sale after that.... how is this car being sold at an auction now? Is there an ownership in there that isnt showing up???

Finally, OP... 'cpo' has nothing to do with condition. Inspect the car, using a qualified mechanic..... trying to make guesses about how harshly it might have been driven by your mental concept of a BMW emloyee driver seems nuts.
There are about 3000 BMW NA owned cars in service at Spartanburg (company cars, employee leases, driving schools, etc.) They're serviced at the Performance Center.

Like Porsche, they are up front about M School cars when they sell them... 'cause they take a real beating. I broke a F10 M5's DCT. Well, it broke while I was driving it, anyway. I've also melted tires and brake pads. O.k. o.k.... I also took some rumble strips at somewhat less than straight on.
I still want to know how a car that was sold at a "BMW Dealer Only" auction is now, somehow, at another auction now open to the general public. IMO dealers do do this, not in the current market..
The answer is a BMW dealer bought the car in a BMW dealer only auction but it didn't sell so they are sending it to an auction. My dealer had that happen with 3 2019 BMW 430i's, I bought 1 of them and he sent the other 2 to auction.
I still want to know how a car that was sold at a "BMW Dealer Only" auction is now, somehow, at another auction now open to the general public. IMO dealers do do this, not in the current market..
I suppose. Seems odd for BMW dealers to auction highly sought after, perfect low mile cars with CPOs on them..in this pandemic fueled used car desert.... maybe the car was flogged by someone at the daeler as a personal car to achieve that 20k miles we see?

OP, when you google the VIN does it show up as having been for sale between the first and second auction? Do the miles shown on autochek and carfax support whatever 'story' you are getting? Do they show 'offered for sale' someplace before the auction?

I know you wrote No history before Auto Auction. Dunno....you usng carchek and carfax, paid versoins? Not through whomever is selling it?

Just as a footnote, I tend to be the kind of person that tries to figure out "what is the possible problem" or "How can I wind up getting screwed".... You identify those and try to protect against it. Yes, perhaps these are 1% scenarios but if it happens to you, knowing that the other 99% didnt get screwed isnt a comfort. I dont put much energy into 'how can this go right' and then convince myself its gonna happen to me.

When folks come along with a scenario that provides a buyer with "Say, dont worry this might have been X", saying "it happened to me and was fine" or "lots of people bought cars like that an it was fine", that can engender a false sense of security. Again, there may be an 80, 90 or even 99% chance it is a perfect deal...for most buyers you dont mind missing a good deal, but it is essential to avoid a bad one.

SO Im not saying it is one way or the other- a great deal or a suspicious car- just that NOTHING anyone posts should be used as a definitive explanation.

As putz posts, BMW used to sell M5s from their performance center that had been absolutely flogged. To the point they were ineligible for an extended BMW warranty. Lots of happy talk about low mile "manufacturer" cars, prolly driven around by wives of BMW execs for grocery duty.... until it was figured out. And BMW was far from 'transparent' at the time. Some say it was a burning desire to be more pro-consumer, others have said it was concern around class action lawsuits.

OP, you buying this to export?
The answer is a BMW dealer bought the car in a BMW dealer only auction but it didn't sell so they are sending it to an auction. My dealer had that happen with 3 2019 BMW 430i's, I bought 1 of them and he sent the other 2 to auction.
Thank you for your advice.

Yes! I think that is possible enough in the case of this car.
Especially because the long mileage for 1 years use.
Maybe 'Employee use' first, 'Performance Center' second, 'Auction' last.
There are about 3000 BMW NA owned cars in service at Spartanburg (company cars, employee leases, driving schools, etc.) They're serviced at the Performance Center.

Like Porsche, they are up front about M School cars when they sell them... 'cause they take a real beating. I broke a F10 M5's DCT. Well, it broke while I was driving it, anyway. I've also melted tires and brake pads. O.k. o.k.... I also took some rumble strips at somewhat less than straight on.
Thank you for your concerns.

The carfax provides only 3 lines for 'detailed history'.
Listed as a manufacturer vehicle(sold) - Passed emissions inspection - Offered for sale as a BMW CPO
Only 25miles were added to mileage after 'Listed as ...'
I am reading this report through carfax website.

I am considering the purchase because I thought the BMW CPO would guarantee the minimum quality.
If, like you said, it's not, well, I don't know how to.
I suppose. Seems odd for BMW dealers to auction highly sought after, perfect low mile cars with CPOs on them..in this pandemic fueled used car desert.... maybe the car was flogged by someone at the daeler as a personal car to achieve that 20k miles we see?

OP, when you google the VIN does it show up as having been for sale between the first and second auction? Do the miles shown on autochek and carfax support whatever 'story' you are getting? Do they show 'offered for sale' someplace before the auction?

I know you wrote No history before Auto Auction. Dunno....you usng carchek and carfax, paid versoins? Not through whomever is selling it?

Just as a footnote, I tend to be the kind of person that tries to figure out "what is the possible problem" or "How can I wind up getting screwed".... You identify those and try to protect against it. Yes, perhaps these are 1% scenarios but if it happens to you, knowing that the other 99% didnt get screwed isnt a comfort. I dont put much energy into 'how can this go right' and then convince myself its gonna happen to me.

When folks come along with a scenario that provides a buyer with "Say, dont worry this might have been X", saying "it happened to me and was fine" or "lots of people bought cars like that an it was fine", that can engender a false sense of security. Again, there may be an 80, 90 or even 99% chance it is a perfect deal...for most buyers you dont mind missing a good deal, but it is essential to avoid a bad one.

SO Im not saying it is one way or the other- a great deal or a suspicious car- just that NOTHING anyone posts should be used as a definitive explanation.

As putz posts, BMW used to sell M5s from their performance center that had been absolutely flogged. To the point they were ineligible for an extended BMW warranty. Lots of happy talk about low mile "manufacturer" cars, prolly driven around by wives of BMW execs for grocery duty.... until it was figured out. And BMW was far from 'transparent' at the time. Some say it was a burning desire to be more pro-consumer, others have said it was concern around class action lawsuits.

OP, you buying this to export?
It is ABSOLUTELY NOT a guarantee of higher quality.

Yes, BMW dealers will usually CPO nicer cars, but they can also CPO a bad one. It isnt a guarentee, just reduces the risk a bit.

You (or a mechanic) can apply the same inspection and review process to ANY used car, and then get the same level of quality (indeed, even bvetter as BMW dealers have been known to fudge on CPO inspections, since they own the car when they inspect it and would rather just sell it as opposed to fail it... things like prior damage, tire tread, brake tread))

SImpy put there is NO guarantee when buying used cars. And an auction is NOT the place for people that cannot inspect cars themselves, IMO
I am considering the purchase because I thought the BMW CPO would guarantee the minimum quality.
If, like you said, it's not, well, I don't know how to.
Do you realize that BMW has other uses for "Manufacturer Cars"? For example, cars in the press pool - loan them out to members of the automotive press and let them beat on them for up to a week at a time. Also, as someone has noted, The Performance Center where folks taking delivery of a new BMW can drive a "manufacturer's car" on the race track, beating the living snot out of it. And then there are the annual "Drive for ...." events, where BMW takes several stuck loads of BMW's to a venue (Gillette Stadium parking lot for a high speed autocross course, New Hampshire International Speedway for high speed runs on the banking and road course, letting scores or hundreds of folks - you guessed it - beat the living snot out of them. They get rode hard, put away wet, and sold at auction.

Now as a 2020, "your" 530 may have avoided those fates due to the pandemic. It's possible that some BMW exec was WFH and this was the car he took to the supermarket for toilet paper runs. But 20,000 miles? Hmmm...

If the car is a CPO and you intend to keep it in the USA, I would consider it, If you are planning to export it (to Taiwan?) I wouldn't even consider it.
Exactly this.

A used car is a used car. CPO or not.

The only thing you should be evaluating a CPO program on is the qualify of the “CPO warranty” as that’s what you’re really paying for when you go CPO. Something that won’t leave you completely dropped open. With BMW and Mercedes, and probably all German makes, that CPO warranty unlocks a limited unlimited mileage warranty. Helpful if you’re planning on throwing on a lot of miles onto the car. That can soften the painful hit of 20K miles being shaved off your factory warranty (but it covers LESS than the factory warranty so you’d have to check that — hence the CPO warranty being your evaluation metric)… If the CPO warranty is meh then you can skip the CPO cars or skip the brand and end up coming out better off (CPO cars get a “tax” thrown on top).

I wouldn’t be bothered by a loaner car or whatnot. Just remember it is a used car so it could be beat to snot so inspection and test drive and deep evaluation are key. But this is true for ANY used car. A single owner leased car with all clean bells and whistles and low miles doesn’t mean the previous owner wasn’t spending those few miles beating the car to death either. Flooring the engine all the time while ice cold and who knows what else. BMW tries to soften some of the pain with free ”lease” length maintenance, but still people can ignore and abuse cars a lot. Especially when leasing (which is a glorified rental car)…
It is ABSOLUTELY NOT a guarantee of higher quality.

Yes, BMW dealers will usually CPO nicer cars, but they can also CPO a bad one. It isnt a guarentee, just reduces the risk a bit.

You (or a mechanic) can apply the same inspection and review process to ANY used car, and then get the same level of quality (indeed, even bvetter as BMW dealers have been known to fudge on CPO inspections, since they own the car when they inspect it and would rather just sell it as opposed to fail it... things like prior damage, tire tread, brake tread))

SImpy put there is NO guarantee when buying used cars. And an auction is NOT the place for people that cannot inspect cars themselves, IMO
I thought BMW CPO inspections are done by BMW!
Now I understand what CPO really means.
Thank you for the advice.
It is ABSOLUTELY NOT a guarantee of higher quality.

Yes, BMW dealers will usually CPO nicer cars, but they can also CPO a bad one. It isnt a guarentee, just reduces the risk a bit.

You (or a mechanic) can apply the same inspection and review process to ANY used car, and then get the same level of quality (indeed, even bvetter as BMW dealers have been known to fudge on CPO inspections, since they own the car when they inspect it and would rather just sell it as opposed to fail it... things like prior damage, tire tread, brake tread))

SImpy put there is NO guarantee when buying used cars. And an auction is NOT the place for people that cannot inspect cars themselves, IMO
That's what I worried about and why I asked for the cules.
No information about the history till 20k is pretty risky.
Do you realize that BMW has other uses for "Manufacturer Cars"? For example, cars in the press pool - loan them out to members of the automotive press and let them beat on them for up to a week at a time. Also, as someone has noted, The Performance Center where folks taking delivery of a new BMW can drive a "manufacturer's car" on the race track, beating the living snot out of it. And then there are the annual "Drive for ...." events, where BMW takes several stuck loads of BMW's to a venue (Gillette Stadium parking lot for a high speed autocross course, New Hampshire International Speedway for high speed runs on the banking and road course, letting scores or hundreds of folks - you guessed it - beat the living snot out of them. They get rode hard, put away wet, and sold at auction.

Now as a 2020, "your" 530 may have avoided those fates due to the pandemic. It's possible that some BMW exec was WFH and this was the car he took to the supermarket for toilet paper runs. But 20,000 miles? Hmmm...

If the car is a CPO and you intend to keep it in the USA, I would consider it, If you are planning to export it (to Taiwan?) I wouldn't even consider it.
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