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Fortunately, I did find ONE used black on black, but it took some time.

3 different dealers in the Los Angeles area told me that 99.9% of cars ordered to the dealerships are ABSOLUTELY automatic. Is this true? The 3 different dealers said almost the exact same thing, and I was skeptical because it seems every single member on this forum has a manual transmission!

The used car is in excellent condition, only 10,000 miles, but I have to upgrade the stereo (it's stock) and buy an armrest.

Can anyone help me out with the stereo department? Essentially, my main question is would it be more expensive/advisable to go w/ the HK unit (after factory) or get an after factory stereo system. If the latter, what brand of speakers are best/optimal for the same price range as the HK, and would I also have to get a better in dash unit (for more power?)

Thanks..
 

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What my dealer told me

90% of sedans are sold in Auto
90% of coupes are sold in Manual

That's what I was told by the dealer when I was shopping for a 325i, ended up with a 325Ci for that reason. AND I couldn't get one without a sunroof....
 

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Why not do a State or National search for the manual? Sure it'll cost $$ to have it shipped, but dealers do exchanges all the time. I would rather spend a little extra $ and get the car I want and will be living with for years to come then to settle for something I don't.
 

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Re: What my dealer told me

sshuit said:
90% of sedans are sold in Auto
90% of coupes are sold in Manual

That's what I was told by the dealer when I was shopping for a 325i, ended up with a 325Ci for that reason. AND I couldn't get one without a sunroof....
nah, it is more like 35-40% of ALL 3ers are sold with manuals.

SpeedKing9, it is likely to be a bigger percentage of autos in LA as the freeways are in the 8th circle of hell.

I never had a problem testing a manual car. My dealer had a manual 328i non-SP to test drive, a 540i/6, and even a manual X5 on the showroom. I even got a manual E46 loaner once :)
 
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Re: Re: What my dealer told me

nate328Ci said:


nah, it is more like 35-40% of ALL 3ers are sold with manuals.

SpeedKing9, it is likely to be a bigger percentage of autos in LA as the freeways are in the 8th circle of hell.

I never had a problem testing a manual car. My dealer had a manual 328i non-SP to test drive, a 540i/6, and even a manual X5 on the showroom. I even got a manual E46 loaner once :)
MANY delears (ask Jon) do not order manual tranny cars for dealer stock or, if they do, they order very few. That's because most walk-in buyers want cars with the Premium Pkg and an auto tranny. The Sport Pkg, manual tranny cars are usually ordered after a customer indicated that that is what they want and are willing to wait for it.

Hence, most guys here do have manual tranny cars but most also went through The Wait. The Wait has other benefits as well including being able to spec out the car EXACTLY the way you'd want it.

So order it. And wait.
 

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Re: Re: Re: What my dealer told me

TD said:


So order it. And wait.
I think he's looking to buy used. That makes it hard to order what you want. My dealer seems to order a fair number of manual transmission cars. I've never gotten one as a loander though.
 

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I poke around the local dealers (Irvine and Crevier) pretty regularly, and its true most on-the-lot cars (new or used) are AT, but there are still plenty of MT, though mostly on coupes.

As someone already suggested, you need to have a willing dealer do a region search.
 

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Kaz said:
I poke around the local dealers (Irvine and Crevier) pretty regularly, and its true most on-the-lot cars (new or used) are AT, but there are still plenty of MT, though mostly on coupes.

As someone already suggested, you need to have a willing dealer do a region search.
When I was looking last fall, I didn't see a single manual tranny-equipped new 3 series at Santa Monica or Bev. Hills BMW.

It made me kinda sad, actually.

Where I work, there are at least a half dozen -- probably closer to a dozen E46s in the lot... and with the exception of an M3, I think I'm the only one with SP and manual tranny.

I'm sure I'm the only one with upgraded sways and a SSK. :D
 

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Re: Re: Re: What my dealer told me

TD said:


MANY delears (ask Jon) do not order manual tranny cars for dealer stock or, if they do, they order very few. That's because most walk-in buyers want cars with the Premium Pkg and an auto tranny. The Sport Pkg, manual tranny cars are usually ordered after a customer indicated that that is what they want and are willing to wait for it.

Hence, most guys here do have manual tranny cars but most also went through The Wait. The Wait has other benefits as well including being able to spec out the car EXACTLY the way you'd want it.

So order it. And wait.
When I started looking for a replacement car for the 323i, I had the dealer do a search just for giggles. They looked across the entire Eastern Region, and found (1) 325i with Sport, Xenons and 5 speed... It also had PP and CWP, which I also wanted as well. It was the exact car I would have ordered. They told me it was a case of pure luck, I found the one car that matched my criteria, it wasn't sold, and it was in transit to a dealer an hour away from mine. Needless to say, the dealer made a trade for me and I had the car within a couple of weeks (it was on the boat) instead of the typical 2+ month wait.
 

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When I was looking for a new 3 series 5sp Sport Pckg last spring, there were two on the entire West Coast with that set-up in black, and not many more in other colors. In SoCal, automatics are the rule on new Bimmers, manuals the rare exception, unless you special order.
 

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SpeedKing9 said:
...snip...
3 different dealers in the Los Angeles area
...snip...
Duh. There's your problem. I think you're looking at ALL the manual BMW driver's in the L.A. area right here in your post.

I think the biggest problem you might be facing is people who buy manuals are either budget conscious or enthusiasts...And when you're budget conscious you're less likely to turn over a car quickly. My family has a trend of keeping cars for more than 10 years. And when you're an enthusiast you tend to grow a bond with your car and is less likely to sell your car or would sell to private party.

Thus finding manuals on a used lot is going to be quite a challenge.
 

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Raffi said:
Definitely the only HACK job in attendance... :thumbup: ...though there are a Honda and a Nissan there, both with hack (lowercase) jobs... big 'ol F&F ridiculous wings bolted on. :tsk:
 

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Quick search on bmw.ca reveals.

for 1999-2002 3-series

Auto : 138 hits.
Manual : 142 hits.

Doesn't quite jive with what other people are saying about finding a Manual tranny car.....

I still think about a 3:1 ratio Auto to manual is more realistic.
 

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When I was looking locally back in March or April I looked on four different lots to test drive a 330 with a manual tranny. Irvine BMW was the only one that had a manual in the 330 (coupe or sedan) and it was a 2001 sedan with some funky options. I'm guessing that someone probably ordered it and walked. :dunno:

I was pretty surprised that there were no manuals to be found. If you're buying used then good luck... you're probably better off looking private party as others have mentioned. If you're buying new you really should order it - if it has been sitting on the lot you never know what kind of test drives it has been on. Scary! :yikes:

--SONET
 

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Plaz said:
When I was looking last fall, I didn't see a single manual tranny-equipped new 3 series at Santa Monica or Bev. Hills BMW.
A coworker was looking for a 2001 325i, Black, SP, PP late last fall. SM would have given her a great deal on a slush box. BH actually found her one at a dealer out of the county when a sale fell through on it.

By the time I started looking (Late Nov 2001), there were NO manual trannies to be had anywhere in California in a 325i, PP, SP combination. I ended up having to do The Wait for a 2002. The good part was that I got to configure everything that I wanted instead of having to take what was available.

Where I work, there are at least a half dozen -- probably closer to a dozen E46s in the lot... and with the exception of an M3, I think I'm the only one with SP and manual tranny.
In the lot by me there are a great many (like 2 dozen) 3 series BMWs and a smattering of 5's. One day I'll take a survey and see what the ratio is. So far I know mine and my coworker (form above) have a manual, and one guy has a 2001 325Cic with Step.

There are a whole lot of IS300's too. Wonder what the ratio is for them?

- howard
 

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Bob Smith BMW

Go to Bob Smith BMW In Canoga Park. Just up the road from LA. Talk to a guy name Tommy Lueke. (loo - ek - eee)

He will find whatever you need, and give you a really fair price. I bought my car from him, and he is the only dealer in LA I would ever go back to.

He sold me my car for $35K when SM BMW wanted the same car, minus a few options for $37K.
 
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