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Special Delivery (How To Buy a BMW in Germany)
The Truth About Cars ^ | 3/18/07 | Jay Shoemaker

Posted on 03/19/2007 4:05:56 AM PDT by FormerACLUmember

This wasn’t the first time I’d opted for European delivery. In fact, after counting all the license plates I’d collected from these international adventures, I discovered I was on my eighth visit. Normally, when my wife learns I want to go to Stuttgart or Munich, she digs in her proverbial heels. So I had to package my automotive connection with a week in Paris. I made the arrangements to pick up a BMW 335 at the Munich factory. Here’s how the deal went down…

My local BMW dealer booked my order, and then faxed my specifications and delivery date to the Fatherland. After factory approval, I filled out some simple forms, made a copy of my passport and faxed ze paypaz to Germany. In exchange, I received a five percent discount off the U.S. list price (the dealer is free to discount further). Done.

European rental cars are dull and expensive; figure that’s another $2k saved. Oh, and you also get to ignore the break in period and drive as fast as you dare on unrestricted segments of the Autobahn. As the MasterCard voice-over guys says, priceless.

As this was my fourth visit to BMW’s Munich HQ in two years, the staff treated us like old friends (i.e. they treated us with a certain awkward formality that would have instantly disappeared whilst imbibing local beer in a neighborhood rathskeller). After signing the inevitable insurance form (the European delivery package includes two weeks of “free” insurance), my hosts demonstrated a raft of electronic features I’ll never use, handed a picnic lunch and wished a safe journey.

Our first destination: the Rhine River, about 300 miles distant. As we were motoring during harvest time, I wanted to stop en route to let my wife could experience Federweisser. That’s the German wine made from the first press of the grapes (like Beaujolais but nowhere near as frivolously named), traditionally served with a kind of onion quiche.

We stopped at the first decent looking town along the Neckar river: Bad Wimpfen. Meine Deutsch was good enough to accomplish the task at hand. Our appetites sated, we spooled-up the twin turbos and headed to Stromberg for Johann Lafer’s reknowned kitchen.

Cruising at 110mph on the Autobahn, you soon realize why German car makers couldn’t give a rat’s ass about cup holders. Who’s got time for coffee when the slightest mistake would take a half mile to conclude.

We arrived just before dark, just in time to unclench my hands from the wheel and freshen up for dinner. Our room was in an old castle tower, three stories tall, on the hotel’s third floor. For those of you keeping track, the bedroom was five floors from the restaurant. Excessive consumption of wine was… problematic. Fortunately, I was served the finest steak I’ve ever eaten (from Austria, no less) and, um, rabbit.

The next day we crossed into Luxembourg. I was only able to average 24 mpg in Germany. Restricted to a maximum of 80mph, I achieved closer to 30 mpg. Good thing too, since fuel cost upwards of seven bucks a gallon.

I wanted to go to Luxembourg, if only because I don’t know anyone who’s been there. We enjoyed a world class museum designed by I.M. Pei (not I. R. Baboon) and flaming garlic shrimp (Portuguese style) from Chez Bacano. Our third day included a jaunt across Eastern France, with pit-stops at Nancy and Metz, before settling in for the night outside of Reims.

I enjoyed the three finest glasses of wine of the entire trip: a 1999 Deutz Blanc de Blancs Champagne, a 2003 Puligny Montrachet and a 1999 Phelan Segur Bordeaux. My wife, who does not drink, savored every last drop of the Bordeaux. Of course, three or more ducks relinquished their livers for our gluttonous gustatory satisfaction.

The next morning we drove to the Charles De Gaulle airport to drop off the 335 at the shipper: TT Car Transit (easily located by Terminal 3). Unfortunately, the gentleman who normally handles my paperwork was delayed in traffic. As I had a plane to catch, his assistant located the Main Man via cell. He talked all three of us through the procedure.

Six signatures later, I removed the front license plate as a memento of the experience, handed over one of the car keys and let the nice lads at TT whisk us off to my departure terminal. Six weeks later, I picked up my ride, safe and sound, at my local dealer.

If you’re leasing your new Bimmer, you get one free month; so you pay for the car without possessing it for a couple of weeks. If you pay cash, payment in full is required 30 days prior to pick up. The warranty expires in four years, but the memories last forever.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Germany; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bmw
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That settles it. Next year, I am off to Deutschland for my new Beemer. The savings will pay for my vacation.
1 posted on 03/19/2007 4:06:02 AM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: FormerACLUmember

I've always wanted to do this with a 2-wheeled Beemer. One of these days...


2 posted on 03/19/2007 4:23:12 AM PDT by Sender (Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

How do you "avoid the break-in period"? I thought that was like "avoiding" gravity.


3 posted on 03/19/2007 4:23:50 AM PDT by Eclectica (Ask your MD about Evolution. Please!)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Great story, except for all the whine references.


4 posted on 03/19/2007 4:28:59 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: FormerACLUmember

FYI...German car makers, about 10 years ago, effectively "buried" an insurance study which showed that Americans picking up cars in Germany ( and likely to head immediately for the Autobahn ) were some 400% MORE likely to have a serious accident...IOW..if you're NOT used to driving at 100+MPH...don't start doing so on a public highway..


5 posted on 03/19/2007 4:30:06 AM PDT by ken5050 (The 2008 winning ticket: Rudy/Newtie, with Hunter for SecDef, Pete King at DHS, Bill Simon at Treas)
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To: FormerACLUmember

But what about Global Warming??? How much do Germans layout for Carbon Offsets to cover their criminal behavior against the planet???.../s


6 posted on 03/19/2007 4:36:44 AM PDT by Dallas59 (AL GORE STALKED ME ON 2/25/2007!)
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To: FormerACLUmember


7 posted on 03/19/2007 4:37:03 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: Eclectica

We did this once. It made sense and we enjoyed the trip a thousand times more. I think the "break-in" period means kieeping it under 140 for the first 500 miles. The only downside was that the six weeks waiting for it to be delivered were a torture, and I found out the hard way that as a woman I was not allowed down on the docks to pick it up so there were some delays. This was from an old law that prevented hookers from going down to the docks to score longshoremen, but it's a law that does need to be updated because not everybody who buys a car abroad is a man.


8 posted on 03/19/2007 4:38:44 AM PDT by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: FormerACLUmember
That settles it. Next year, I am off to Deutschland for my new Beemer. The savings will pay for my vacation.

That was being done 50 years ago with Mercedes. But you have to do it right. The car has to be built to US specs and, unless things have changed, has to be driven for so many miles to not be considered a new car. New cars pay import duties.

9 posted on 03/19/2007 4:39:52 AM PDT by decimon
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To: DCPatriot

BMW = Big Mess of Wires


10 posted on 03/19/2007 4:41:01 AM PDT by Comus (There is no honor in dying with your sword sheathed)
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To: FormerACLUmember
So I had to package my automotive connection with a week in Paris.

Smart man. One who truly understands the fundamentals of the game.

11 posted on 03/19/2007 4:43:03 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: FormerACLUmember

The author sounds like an uppity snob to me.


12 posted on 03/19/2007 4:45:58 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

He does make it sound fun.


13 posted on 03/19/2007 4:49:38 AM PDT by Tribune7 (A bleeding heart does nothing but ruin the carpet)
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To: Comus

Well, I'll agree that the heating/air-conditioning fan unit is a POS.


14 posted on 03/19/2007 4:51:31 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: FormerACLUmember

My next car...
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x157l2_bugatti-veyron-at-top-speed


15 posted on 03/19/2007 4:58:35 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

why would anybody order a BMW with FOUR doors?


16 posted on 03/19/2007 5:03:08 AM PDT by greasepaint
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To: FormerACLUmember
I wanted to stop en route to let my wife could experience Federweisser

we call it something else

17 posted on 03/19/2007 5:06:32 AM PDT by Revelation 911
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To: FormerACLUmember
Sounds like fun ! I would rather have a E-spec car though since they don't have the power restrictions and crappy headlights. US DOT has different requirements on headlamps versus Europe. It is not a "grass is greener on the other side of the railroad tracks" thing. Europeans complain about our inadequate headlamps when they visit.

Under Jimmy Carter, NHTSA's Joan Claybrook put in the 85 mph speedo regulation, wouldn't allow for new headlamp technology such as halogens and better optics. Better optics are still not allowed.
18 posted on 03/19/2007 5:08:06 AM PDT by CORedneck
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To: FormerACLUmember

"That settles it. Next year, I am off to Deutschland for my new Beemer. The savings will pay for my vacation."

A "Beemer" is a motorcycle. Is that what you're getting? Or are you getting a "Bimmer" (car)?


19 posted on 03/19/2007 5:14:08 AM PDT by RoadTest (Get our Marines out of Pendleton's Kangaroo court!)
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To: Dixie Yooper

"Great story, except for all the whine references."

My feeling, too.


20 posted on 03/19/2007 5:14:56 AM PDT by RoadTest (Get our Marines out of Pendleton's Kangaroo court!)
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To: DCPatriot

The styling is getting less quirky. Did they get rid of Chris Bangel or just cut back his Schnapps allotment?


21 posted on 03/19/2007 5:16:50 AM PDT by RoadTest (Get our Marines out of Pendleton's Kangaroo court!)
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To: Drango
That was an exhilarating video.
22 posted on 03/19/2007 5:36:32 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Made my eyes water too.


23 posted on 03/19/2007 5:39:33 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Comus

'BMW = Big Mess of Wires'

In England BMW = Black Mans Wheels! :D


24 posted on 03/19/2007 5:42:51 AM PDT by britemp
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To: DCPatriot

That car in post #7 - how much does it cost?


25 posted on 03/19/2007 5:44:29 AM PDT by jla
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To: greasepaint

'why would anybody order a BMW with FOUR doors?'

In Germany 4 doors are often considered the sporty version because big 2 door cars like a Merc CL or 6-series are usually bought by retired people who don't have kids anymore and drive them slower!


26 posted on 03/19/2007 5:45:02 AM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp

I won't purchase a BMW for two reasons. 1) I am 6'4 with long legs and BMW has that annoying transmission box. 2) BMW, like other German firms, have labor unions sitting on their Board. I am so sick of labor unions driving up car prices so we can support their pensions, healthcare and lazy work habits.

Of course, I will end up not buying ANY car under this approach.


27 posted on 03/19/2007 5:50:49 AM PDT by whitedog57
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To: jla
About $83,000 MSRP base.

7 speed manual...500 HP....the #1 Sport Sedan on the planet.

http://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/m/m5sedan/default

28 posted on 03/19/2007 6:25:48 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: greasepaint
why would anybody order a BMW with FOUR doors?

LOL! Go and test drive an M5...then get back to me.

29 posted on 03/19/2007 6:27:29 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: Sender

I wonder if Ferrari does this? I know Mercedes does. I mean jeez 300k for a basic car you'd think they'd have some sort of fringe benefit.


30 posted on 03/19/2007 6:28:38 AM PDT by Domicile of Doom (Hey boy why is there dirt in my hole? I dunno Boss.)
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To: Comus
BMW's are very over built now, I more than agree. That is why I drive a classic BMW, 1984 733i, easy to work on, built like a tank and use little in the way of computer skill in the maintenance process... From when BMW made road cars not moving apartments...
31 posted on 03/19/2007 6:36:53 AM PDT by ejonesie22
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To: britemp

how a foor door nerdmobile, such as the one pictured,
can be cosidered 'sporty', is beyond my comprehention.

I don't buy your arguement.

the thinking behind a four door is...

Fool
old - arthritic - fat, people,
into thinking they are buying something
sporty or 'outdoorsy'


32 posted on 03/19/2007 6:37:47 AM PDT by greasepaint
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To: FormerACLUmember

Interesting trip, but unfortunately the quality of all German manufactured vehicles has taken a turn for the worse over the past few decades. BMW's new K series motorcycle has suffered through four transmission redesigns and five engine control software upgrades since it was released last year and they still haven't gotten it right. Mercedes quality has exhibited an inverse relationship to the level of electronic gadgetry that they have attempted to incorporate into their cars.


33 posted on 03/19/2007 6:46:02 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: ejonesie22
That's a beaut ! Agree today's BMWs are over engineered and needless complex. I miss the days of the 1800/2002. Understand the new 3 series has no oil dipstick; what the heck ?
34 posted on 03/19/2007 6:47:17 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: DCPatriot

I really like the M5 but for the money I'd buy a Viper. The kids can ride in the trunk.


35 posted on 03/19/2007 6:50:01 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (ĦEl proletariado del mundo, une! - Xuygo Chavez)
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To: ken5050

I lived in Germany for 4 years, and had to take a course on driving in Germany, etc. The rules of the road are a bit different here. Big difference, slow traffic in the left lane on the Autobahn is a traffic offense if you don't yield to faster traffic. There is NO passing on the right. If you are going 150KPH (over 90MPH), you still must yield to someone going 220KPH.
After driving my car the max on the speedometer (110 MPH), I soon discovered that if I made a mistake at that speed, that I was toast. I found that I could cruise at 130KPH (85MPH) and relax a bit.


36 posted on 03/19/2007 6:52:09 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Thanks, 211k and still runs like a top, and she is still a daily driver. 2 more years and she get an antique tag.

Funny story on new BMWs. I have a buddy with a 2006 745. I have had to pick him up twice after being towed in to service. Last trip was a software failure...

The new 3 has a computer sensor that tells you when you are out of oil...

I like the old method of using a metallic sensing probe employing bio-mechanical photovoltaic receptors. Plus the dip stick is very accurate...
37 posted on 03/19/2007 6:56:42 AM PDT by ejonesie22
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To: Sgt_Schultze

It made my eyes water!!!!


38 posted on 03/19/2007 6:56:49 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: FormerACLUmember

I took European delivery of my Porsche back in 1987. The money I saved allowed me to stay 4 weeks touring the countrysides. It was a blast.


39 posted on 03/19/2007 7:01:12 AM PDT by politicalwit (Family values don't stop at the border...but Federal laws do.)
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To: Drango

Yeah, saw that this weekend. It would be fun but on the roads in Mississippi, I'd be dead befoe I got down the block...

Plus 10 radiators?


40 posted on 03/19/2007 7:07:34 AM PDT by ejonesie22
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To: greasepaint

'I don't buy your arguement.'

That's fine - it's not my argument, it's a German one.

Your thinking behind four-doors is how most people in England thank about automatic gearboxes. There is no such thing as an automatic sportscar. Here autos are for fat busniessmen and women who can't work a clutch! :D


41 posted on 03/19/2007 7:08:46 AM PDT by britemp
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To: Fairview
This was from an old law that prevented hookers from going down to the docks to score longshoremen, but it's a law that does need to be updated because not everybody who buys a car abroad is a man.

And nowadays, not everyone going down to the docks to "score longshoremen" is a woman either...

42 posted on 03/19/2007 7:53:25 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. - George Orwell)
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To: DCPatriot

There's a stationwagon M5, too.


43 posted on 03/19/2007 8:24:41 AM PDT by Rummenigge (there's people willing to blow out the light because it casts a shadow)
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To: Domicile of Doom

Alas, I will never know if Ferrari does this ;)


44 posted on 03/19/2007 9:05:02 AM PDT by Sender (Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.)
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To: Rummenigge
I didn't know that.

Are you sure it's just not a stationwagon with an M sport package?

45 posted on 03/19/2007 10:44:04 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: Rummenigge
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2008-bmw-m5-touring-revealed.html

Thanks for the info!

46 posted on 03/19/2007 10:47:09 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: FormerACLUmember

"I wanted to stop en route to let my wife could experience Federweisser"

That's a myth.


47 posted on 03/19/2007 10:50:13 AM PDT by toddlintown (Six bullets and Lennon goes down. Yet not one hit Yoko. Discuss.)
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To: DCPatriot

500 hp ! ;-)


48 posted on 03/20/2007 12:41:36 AM PDT by Rummenigge (there's people willing to blow out the light because it casts a shadow)
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To: Drango

just WOW


49 posted on 03/20/2007 12:56:38 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* ?I love you guys?)
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To: FormerACLUmember

"Neckar river: Bad Wimpfen"

I lived 1969-1970 in nearby Heilbronn. US Army, but lived on local economy. That's a good part.

More good parts. Got to drive all over Europe with our US spec new European car.

Due to my enlisted pay grade, Fiat was the car. Bad part, needing no further explanation.

I may due the Euro Delivery thing. Have owned 3 BMWs and lean that way, Audi being next, followed by Volvo.

Volvo offers best travel allowance, puts me in Sweden, land of some ancestors.

BMW or Audi are the very best driver's cars, however. Plus I could drive all the way to Sweden!!

Auf Wiedersehn.


50 posted on 03/20/2007 1:07:07 AM PDT by truth_seeker
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