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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

This is my first post on bimmerfest. Today I placed an order for a '03 Topaz Blue 325i Sport. The car is scheduled for November production. Is there any way to find out whether it will be built in Germany or South Africa without knowing the VIN? My dealer swears to me that no South African 3-series are sold in Canada but I'm a bit skeptical.
 

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Ex-Dictator
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assembly plant

I am also trying to find out where the assemply plant is for my 330Ci I am picking up in Munich in two weeks. It has the letter "P" in the VIN for the assembly plant. Anyone know where that is?
 

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Capitalist said:
Hello everyone,

This is my first post on bimmerfest. Today I placed an order for a '03 Topaz Blue 325i Sport. The car is scheduled for November production. Is there any way to find out whether it will be built in Germany or South Africa without knowing the VIN? My dealer swears to me that no South African 3-series are sold in Canada but I'm a bit skeptical.
Only the 325i auto (of that series) is built in S.A. If you got a stick, yours will be produced in Germany. If you got an auto, then it could be S.A. You have two choices. You can call your dealer an ask them as they filled one of their allocations with your order, so they should know. Next, your VIN should be ready shortly after production gets started, so you could run your VIN and find out. For VIN's, check the faq page on this site.

Don't worry about the build, you will be fine and will enjoy the car. You just have to wait for it now. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Plaz said:
Why does it matter to you? :dunno:
I remember coming across a post by someone who owned two 3-series cars: one German and one South African. According to that person, the German-built car held up much better in the long run while the South African car exhibited poor build quality signs (loose trim, etc.) Anyone with a South African car care to comment about their experience?

P.S. Patrick, are there any other options/features that determine where the car is built? Mine IS an auto.....
 

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Capitalist said:


I remember coming across a post by someone who owned two 3-series cars: one German and one South African. According to that person, the German-built car held up much better in the long run while the South African car exhibited poor build quality signs (loose trim, etc.) Anyone with a South African car care to comment about their experience?
I've never read anything like that in all my (far too many) misspent hours reading the various bimmer boards. I don't buy it. :dunno:

Don't worry. Even if that alleged poster was not full of crap, it was a one-off difference, and not indicative of overall build quality from the different plants.

I have a hazy recollection of a post indicating that the SA-built cars actually often had additional weld points, and overall better build quality.

In any event, both the Munich and SA plants have won numerous industry awards, and are both respected worldwide for their quality work. If there is any difference in either direction between the two of them in terms of quality, it's negligible. Nothing for you to worry about.
 

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One huge problem with SA built cars... orders take FOREVER to arrive. If you've got OCD like me, the added wait time would make your head explode. :D
 
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Capitalist said:


I remember coming across a post by someone who owned two 3-series cars: one German and one South African. According to that person, the German-built car held up much better in the long run while the South African car exhibited poor build quality signs (loose trim, etc.) Anyone with a South African car care to comment about their experience?

P.S. Patrick, are there any other options/features that determine where the car is built? Mine IS an auto.....
BMW's Rosslyn, South Africa plant is the HIGHEST RATED EUROPEAN CAR PLANT for Initial Quality per JD Power. It is rated higher than any BMW (or even Mercedes) plant in Germany.

Plus, these plants are only "Final Assembly" plants meaning most of the components come from the same suppliers all over the world, regardless of where the Final Assembly plant is located.

So build quality should not be a concern. Next question...
 

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alee said:
One huge problem with SA built cars... orders take FOREVER to arrive. If you've got OCD like me, the added wait time would make your head explode. :D
Weeellll... I have a 325i, 5-speed, Topaz Blue, Premium Package, Black Leatherette, VIN WBAET37443NH02322.

BMWNA confirmed that it's a South African build, and that 'Karl' (what I've named him) has to go from South Africa to Bremerhaven to Port Hueneme, CA.

I just looked at the receipt for the deposit, and it's dated August 30th. I expect Karl, between South Africa-Germany-United States and the Port Hueneme backlog to probably be in my driveway (Lord willing) around November 30, 90 days from August 30th.

I understand that this is pretty standard. Although I drool over every Bimmer (especially if it's a 3 Series) I see on the streets and in the parking lots, although I feel like going by Crevier every week just to SIT in one and smell the leather (well, I'm getting leatherette, but that's because I plan on keeping him a looooong time), although I've actually been reading Meguiar's Car Shampoo and Wax and Wheel Cleaner labels and looking at sheepskin washcloths - the longer I have to wait the more money can put in the bank because by 'diktat' of my Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have to pay dough, wampum, dead presidents, cash for Karl (spouse wants absolutely NO DEBT!!!!!) I'm pretty close (if I'm a couple of K short, then Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to take money from HIS account so I can meet HIS requirement of not financing! :rolleyes: )
 

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Re: assembly plant

pix330c said:
I am also trying to find out where the assemply plant is for my 330Ci I am picking up in Munich in two weeks. It has the letter "P" in the VIN for the assembly plant. Anyone know where that is?
All 3er coupes are Regensburg.
 

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Re: Re: assembly plant

berford said:


All 3er coupes are Regensburg.
I'm not 100% certain this is true, although both of my coupes came from Regensburg.

Also, someone left off Dingolfing off the plants list...If I'm not mistaken, Dingolfing also builds 3'ers. I know M3s are build strictly in Munich, other than that there are no plant restrictions for the E46 that I am aware of (that and Roslyn only builds 325i's).
 

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Re: Re: Re: assembly plant

The HACK said:


I'm not 100% certain this is true, although both of my coupes came from Regensburg.

Also, someone left off Dingolfing off the plants list...If I'm not mistaken, Dingolfing also builds 3'ers. I know M3s are build strictly in Munich, other than that there are no plant restrictions for the E46 that I am aware of (that and Roslyn only builds 325i's).
The lady who conducted the plant tour I was on told me all 3er coupes were build in Regensburg. I'm just quoting her--should be a reliable source...if she's wrong, then I stand corrected.

btw, that was in June 2002.
 

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Re: assembly plant

The HACK said:
Also, someone left off Dingolfing off the plants list...If I'm not mistaken, Dingolfing also builds 3'ers.
I thought they only made 5'ers & 7's at Dingolfing. At least that's what I was told during the Munich factory tour in '99. Might have changed since then, of course.
 

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Ex-Dictator
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in Munich
E46 compact,
E46 Sedan

in Regensburg:
E46 Sedan
E46 coupé
E46 touring
E46 M3 coupé
E46 Cabrio
E46 M3 Cabrio
E46 M3 CSL

in Dingolfing:
E46 Sedan (the body is being sent from Regensburg. Dingolfing do not build E46 bodies)
5 Series
7 Series

in Spartanburg, USA:
Z4
X5

in S.Africa

E46 Sedan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
TD said:


BMW's Rosslyn, South Africa plant is the HIGHEST RATED EUROPEAN CAR PLANT for Initial Quality per JD Power. It is rated higher than any BMW (or even Mercedes) plant in Germany.

Plus, these plants are only "Final Assembly" plants meaning most of the components come from the same suppliers all over the world, regardless of where the Final Assembly plant is located.

So build quality should not be a concern. Next question...
First of all, I've read the survey results you are referring to. However, INITIAL QUALITY and RELIABILITY are not the same thing. Jaguar scored quite high on the JD Powers initial quality survey (if I recall it correctly) despite its legendarily poor reliability.

With regards to suppliers, I have no idea how it works with the 3-series. However, over 50% of parts that go into the SC-built X5 are from North American suppliers.
 

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Capitalist said:


First of all, I've read the survey results you are referring to. However, INITIAL QUALITY and RELIABILITY are not the same thing. Jaguar scored quite high on the JD Powers initial quality survey (if I recall it correctly) despite its legendarily poor reliability.
But I would think that Initial Quality would be a testament to the factory work, while reliability would be more a matter of engineering and quality of parts. Engineering and quality of parts will be the same regardless of where the car is assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Plaz said:


But I would think that Initial Quality would be a testament to the factory work, while reliability would be more a matter of engineering and quality of parts. Engineering and quality of parts will be the same regardless of where the car is assembled.
In theory, yes. However, I believe that the survey that TD is referring to measures the number of defects at the moment the car rolls off the assembly line. It does not take into account things like rattles/squeaks that develop after you drive the car for a couple of days/weeks.
 
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