We just ordered a 330Ci here in the Los Angeles area. The first dealer we went to offered MSRP and would not negotiate down. We did more work (my wife, actually; she's good at negotiating) and found several dealers willing to work near $1500 over invoice. This typically included wholesale + dest + MACO + dealer-prep(sometimes)+ floor mats +$1500. The final offer we accepted was >$1200 off MSRP.
It seems like here they are gripping tightly on the 330Ci. Just by looking at what they have on their lots there isn't much available. If you find one it always seems to have an automatic, I'd prefer the 5 speed. Plus there isn't a whole bunch due in. I know I would do much better on a 330i just because their allocation is much higher and there is plenty of them available. My negotiation skills suck, I guess that doesn't help matters either.
I don't know the rationale for it but I suggest those looking to purchase also try the Internet pricing. There are many sites that you can build the car you want and that information will be sent to the dealers you choose in your area. I did this after not having much luck on pricing on my 02 330Ci. Prior to the Internet search the best offer was $500 less than MSRP. The first Internet response from a dealer offered the very same car at $1250 below MSRP and that was before we began the Euro Delivery prices.
Identify BMW dealers that you would be willing to work with in your region. Then draft a letter. Indicate that you are looking for the best deal and that you are faxing the letter to every BMW dealership in your region. Tell them what you are looking for. If they are interested, they can call you. Give them a number where you can be reached quickly. Be serious, don't jerk anyone's chain. Make sure that your letter specifies exactly how you want your car spec'd. If you can do all of that, then you might actually find a good price with minimal effort. Good luck!
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