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Just curious. My new car has the model description "340i xDrive SA". Anybody know why BMW makes this factory distinction? I don't believe there are any differences in the specifications of a South African vs. German build.

I would think it would be sufficient to have the factory indicated in the VIN number and on the window sticker. What is the purpose of this?

Note that I'm not questioning any build quality differences between the plants. I just want to know why it has a different model description.

Other vehicles are built in different factories. Does BMW make this distinction on other models?
 

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That's because they have different SOP and EOP months and if your car is coming from SA, you get an extra 30 days added to your locked-in rates/residuals because they take longer to get here and because they aren't eligible for European Delivery. Those are the reasons I can think of off the top of my head but there may be others.

As far as it's official model designation, that's the same as the same model produced in Germany.

:)
 

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zeddy
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Just curious. My new car has the model description "340i xDrive SA". Anybody know why BMW makes this factory distinction? I don't believe there are any differences in the specifications of a South African vs. German build.

I would think it would be sufficient to have the factory indicated in the VIN number and on the window sticker. What is the purpose of this?

Note that I'm not questioning any build quality differences between the plants. I just want to know why it has a different model description.

Other vehicles are built in different factories. Does BMW make this distinction on other models?
VINS were standardized in the early 80's. Country of origin (manufacturing) is compulsory for cars destined to the US.
 

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To OP, one practical purpose of marking SA or otherwise is to show the allocations from each source/factory for a specific model(e.g. F30).

Each dealer has a master inventory list, and the origins(and hence the implied lead times) help the CAs/GSMs to gauge the upcoming inventory levels, and inform customers when custom orders will arrive.
 

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zeddy
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Thanks ;):thumbup:
The letter 'A' designated that car as a 1980 model year. Not all letters of the alphabet are used and obviously they have to start the lettering cycle over again once they exhaust the alphabet but that's how it started. It actually made it a lot easier for us to just glance through the windshield looking for that 10th character to identify the model year. You would be amazed at how many customers would tell you their car is a 1981 model but when you looked through the windshield you would see that 'A' in the 10th place and have to tell them, "No, it's actually a 1980 model." Their defense would always be, "Well, I bought it in March 1981." And we would always say, "Well, I hope they gave you a nice discount."

Obviously you can open the door to look for the VIN but looking through the windshield gives it to you instantly even if the car is locked. By the way, the law started in 1981 but GM and most other manufacturers used the letter 'A' to designate the model year 1980. And back then, whatever GM did, everybody had to do. Or else. Also known as the good ol' days. LOL Check out how Wiki explains it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_identification_number
 
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