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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • ben__ben__ Posts: 13
    "I strongly believe that even if the car dealership sells you a car at invoice price, they still make some profit."


    I don't mean to be rude or sound condescending, but that just isn't the case. If it were, the invoice price would be useless as a bargaining tool for a buyer.


    When you discount items, you do it for volume customers. Very rarely does a customer buy BMWs in what you would call "bulk" quantities.


    November is a good time to be buying a car. The new model-year is either about to start or has already started, so you can still buy a new car from the last model year (in this case, the 01 RX300) at a discount. This is sometimes subsidized by the manufacturer, sometimes not. But, if a dealer regularly made a habit of selling cars below what they paid for them, they would rapidly be out of business.


    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2001/lexus/rx300/4wd4drsuv30l6cyl4a/prices.html

    There is currently a dealer holdback of $713. I bet it was even higher in November when Lexus was looking to move as many 01s as possible as quickly as possible.

  • Ben and jack are both right. If you click on "What is dealer holdback" on that link, it gives holdbacks for various dealers. BMW has "no holdback", Lexus has 2%.
  • I presently own a 2001 Mercedes C320. What a mistake of a purchase! It has given me nothing but grief. A short list of problems include: failing "smart" keys, transmission problems, misaligned steering wheel, fog light with water in lens, not able to lock or unlock doors.

    One more repair and it may be enough for the lemon law.

    Has the BMW 330i and 330xi had these kinds of reliability problems? I would never buy a Mercedes product again. What a heap!
  • rjg96rjg96 Posts: 45
    The recent article in the Wall Street Journal was pretty damning of recent Mercedes quality. Judging from the most recent JD Power survey, BMW appears to be the best quality european make- and is better than almost every Honda, Toyota and some Lexuses. Take a look:

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=3671


    That being said, if you read forums here and elsewhere you'll quickly discover that all BMW models have there own problems. Some owners even have what you might call a "lemon" But, you'll find this on message boards for any car. Statistically, you're safer buying a BMW than Benz these days- but there's no guarantees that you won't get a rotten BMW! The 3 series has now been about for over 3 model years-- so all of the initial bugs have been worked out-- the C class is still in its firs model year and all European makes seem to have big problems with first year models. I alos think that you'll find the overall quality of build and materials higher in the BMW than the C class.

  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    I think you will find if you read through some of the 13,000 some odd post's here you will find VERY few post's regarding problem's people have with there E46 3 series cars. These are incredibly solid, well built and dependable cars.

    Besides if you ditch the Benz, you can hang out here and enjoy all the wit and banter that get's exchanged daily!!
    Where else can you learn about 3 series BMW's, Indian food, Single malt scotch, International travel etc.
    That in itself is worth the price of admission!

    Seriously, there are many BMW forums out there and this one has far and away the most mature, knowledgable and helpful bunch of people on it you will ever find.

    Good luck, let us know what you decide.
  • ben__ben__ Posts: 13
    "I strongly believe that even if the car dealership sells you a car at invoice price, they still make some profit."


    I don't mean to be rude or sound condescending, but that just isn't the case. If it were, the invoice price would be useless as a bargaining tool for a buyer.


    When you discount items, you do it for volume customers. Very rarely does a customer buy BMWs in what you would call "bulk" quantities.


    November is a good time to be buying a car. The new model-year is either about to start or has already started, so you can still buy a new car from the last model year (in this case, the 01 RX300) at a discount. This is sometimes subsidized by the manufacturer, sometimes not. But, if a dealer regularly made a habit of selling cars below what they paid for them, they would rapidly be out of business.


    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2001/lexus/rx300/4wd4drsuv30l6cyl4a/prices.html

    There is currently a dealer holdback of $713. I bet it was even higher in November when Lexus was looking to move as many 01s as possible as quickly as possible.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ben... Check out the latest issue of Roundel. In the Letters section there are two writers who chastise BMW for not better controlling their dealers and the prices they charge. Roundel lets BMW NA provide an "official response". One sentence caught my eye: "The relationship between BMW NA and BMW Centers is highly regulated under the law, especially under state law." Each state has its own laws. Most strongly favor dealers. Strong franchise law protection. Ever wonder why in some states you can't buy a car on Sunday? Why all the dealers keep the same hours? Why manufacturers have trouble disciplining dealers? Why manufacturers can't own their own dealerships? Or otherwise sell direct to public? Or sell over internet direct to buyers?

    It really is a love-hate relationship between dealers and manufacturers. Dealers are one of the most powerful lobbies in most state legislatures. They have money, know how to lobby, and put their money where their interest is. Just ask your local legislator. I know mine quite well; worked on his campaign. Jerry knows all three of the local car dealer owners very, very well. One just bought a huge piece of land by interstate next to planned route for a major cross-state interstate expansion.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 249
    Just FYI, you've got a little problem there with multiple posts. Not sure if it's a technical glitch or what...
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    to bad your compadres are to proud to admit that MB aint what it used to be sadly, and they over paid. Good news is you can get a very reliable 3er. I have a 1st year production and had none of the serious teething problems the "C" has, thank God,

    good luck
    DL
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Jarbar, I think I was the poster to discuss the 3M clear bra. I had it installed the day I bought my car. I don't think I would do it again on my next BMW. My car is jet black. I live in Colorado where it can snow nine months of the year (okay ten months). With all the little stones on the road (our road crews call it sand, but have obviously never been to a beach), cars around here get a lot of hood stone chips. On my black car the bra is somewhat visable, mostly the line across the hood. The shape of the hood on the E46 makes it difficult to install perfectly. Although I have seen them installed flawlessly, mine is not (I'm picky). On a white car you will not notice the bra as easily, nor will you see the chips. My car still gets stone chips on the hood above the bra and a lot on the front bumper.

    Many window tint shops also install clear bra's. Yes, they can be removed from original paint without adverse affects (at least that is what they claim). They are normally guaranteed not to yellow. Mine cost $170 installed. I saw prices as high as $350. It's almost all labor. Many dealers around here now put them on all of their cars and add the terribly inflated price ($495!!) automatically to the cars sticker (no doubt the work of the poor mom and pop dealer just trying to buy shoes for their kids!).

    Hope this information helped.
  • I have a 2001 330i and I noticed the passenger side's footwell has light when the door is open,, but I don't think I noticed any light in the driver's footwell. So, is there any footwell lighting on the driver's side? Thanks.
  • jhox 85:
    Q: "Is 1% increase meant for the orders before the 1/1/02 or when the car was delivered to the dealer? "
    A: New invoices became effective when the car left VPC to dealers on or after 1/1/02.

    bouncingbob:
    I feel your pain, being a traditional MBZ owner with my first BMW in 2002 after debating C or 3. I think your not-so-fortunate situation with your C320 has a lot to do with your car is in its first newly design model year when bugs have not been fully fixed yet. Though I have to say on average recent MBZs have not been that great compared with its solid history and its competitors. By contrast, 3ers are in its mid-age and thus more mature and well-debugged.

    Ben: invoice is just a benchmark, not the final cost to a dealer. Though you can argue invoices are what dealers really pay for, a BMW dealer gets the "Added Value Bonus", based on "Best Practice" compliance, training requirement fulfillment, Customer Service Index (CSI) performance, and CPO sales performance, it also gets money from BMW for warranty repairs. I also disagree with you to title dealers as entreprenuers. They do not bring anything new but control a channel. As riez suggested, a dealer's power and profit come from its monopoly position. If you look at a car sale itself, what value does a dealer really add? That is why most people feel screwed from a dealer because a car out of its manufacturing plant is no difference from a car out of a dealer lot. But the tag rises from invoice (only if that is true cost!) to invoice plus destination plus ad fee plus doc fee plus dealer profits plus financing APR mark-up plus....... Capitalism is about competition where the fittest survives and makes the most. Nobody ought to stay in business just for the sake of being in a business. Money is earned, both for dealers (from cars) and car buyers (from elsewhere). It is such a fair game for a buyer to bargain as no dealer will sell a car by losing money.
  • ben__ben__ Posts: 13
    Sorry about the multiple posts. Won't happen again.

    bmw323is - The window tint shops don't pay their employees $18/hr or more, and the dealer will be more responsive if you have a problem later on with the quality of the work. That said, almost $500 is really high.

    bing330i - The only difference between customer-pay repairs and warranty repairs is that warranty pays considerably less. Believe me, warranty repairs aren't a big profit center at a BMW service center.

    I disagree that dealers don't add anything to car sales and service. On the service end, there are several advantages to buying from one dealer instead of another. The dealer I worked at would pick up your car and drop off a loaner, then return your car and take back the loaner when the service was complete (7-series owners only). This is routine practice at many Lexus dealers, for any model vehicle. That's an added service not required by the franchise agreement.

    Even within BMW dealers, service differs. At my former employer, we had a fleet of 40+ loaners. Good luck finding another like that.

    On the sales end, you may find that some dealers will perform certain extra services for you that another won't. For example, the X5 4.4i comes with a flashlight in the glove box, but the 3.0 does not. Some dealers will install the flashlight in the 3.0 free of charge, even though it still costs more than $100 to do the job at cost.

    People must think that dealerships have meetings every morning to discuss new and innovative ways to screw the customer. In fact, the meetings usually take place Saturday night over a game of poker, while we smoke fine cigars stolen from customer vehicles. Instead of chairs, we sit on the backs of the proletariat! (Insert evil laugh here)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    How embarrassing for the Big Three - the only two cars in the Top 20 reliability list are Dodge Intrepid (14) and Chrysler LHS (16). Both of them are Chrysler products, i.e. only half-American now...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,107
    BMWNA owns 4 dealerships:

    BMW of Manhattan
    Westchester BMW

    & 2 others

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    generally speaking, i'll take the dealers side (i, for one, don't think they are out to take advantage of me), but i'm gonna call you on one here...

    the reason the install of the flashlight is 100 dollars at "cost" is because even with internal jobs like that, the service department still charges "book rate". it's in all likelihood a 15 minute job that the book says is an hour. the biggest problem i have with the dealerships is not that they charge me 90 dollars an hour for service (which i can live with), but that they charge me for 4 hours of labor on a job that actually takes them an hour and a half... that's what has finally driven me to go to a local indie to have the "routine maintenance" done on my car...

    i know this isn't unique to bmw. i'm just bringing it up because of your flashlight point.

    most of your other points i agree with. keep up the good fight!

    -Chris
  • Hi,

    I am going to buy a new bmw 330i for the first time. But I am not sure that if I have to pay the whole amount of money at the time I order, then wait two or three months for its delivery? If I finance the car, then I have to pay the interests during the time?

    I live in Washington DC area, anyone has experience for the dealership?

    Thanks,
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    you don't...

    you pay for it when you take delivery of it... they may ask you for a deposit of some kind, which would (in all likelihood) be non-refundable if you backed out of the deal when the car arrived...

    you need to go to the smart shopper area and find some links on "how to shop for a car" and "how car financing works"... it will save you getting taken advantage of... don't take this the wrong way, but you need to better educate yourself in the car buying process before you walk into a dealership...

    good luck.

    -Chris
  • Thanks Chris,

    I have buying experience before and won't make mistake again...:) Btw, how much deposit ususally we pay?
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    no problem... that wasn't a *shot* at you, fwiw...

    deposits - no good answer there... depends on the dealership... depends on the salesman... depends on a lot of things...

    -Chris
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