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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • 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.

    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: 11,265
    BMWNA owns 4 dealerships:

    BMW of Manhattan
    Westchester BMW

    & 2 others

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Here in the DC area the deposit is $500. Though the dealers claim it is fully refundable, I am sure one will have to put up with a lot of headache to get it back. Bottomline: Order if serious only.

    Take the advise from Chris. Be very educated about buying your Bimmer, it is a slightly different process

    I had a good experience with BMW of Arlington.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy... State laws vary on these and other important franchise-related issues. That is why dealers are well connected to state legislatures. NY state law varies from my state's laws.

    Notice how much trouble GM is having killing off Olds? Guessing they are buying them out or doing something to sweeten pot to limit litigation. But they are phasing it out very, very slowly.
  • I have been looking at this board for a while and started looking at and it shows a suggested retail price and a confidential wholesale price for european delivery. Which one do i use to get the to figure out the right pricing. Help would be appreciated.
  • "And then, of course, there is the fact that 9 out of 10 people through the door assume they're going to be screwed, so they're unfriendly to start with."

    Now why do you think this is? Have car dealers ever done anything in the 100+ years of the car business to deserve this kind of trepidation from their customers? OK - well maybe they have. Have you ever watched the scene in the movie "Fargo" where the guy screws the customer for "undercoating"? This kind of crap is true more times than not and THAT is the thing that gives the car buying public hesitation in dealing with retailers (whether the front of the store or the back where you are).

    Granted, dealers of high-line brands like BMW, M-B or Lexus have evolved to an extent over the last few years and are a bit better about this than the average Ford, GM, Toyota, etc dealer - but this mentality is still out there. In my recent buying experience, I saw the entire range of professionalism with BMW dealers in the area (Chicago-Milwaukee). Some did the old "cat and mouse" game while trying to hide the price/cost and some were very up-front. I ended up at the
    dealership that was both the most honest and had the best price (not to mention the closest).

    "Would you go into Mom and Pop's hardware store and bully them on the price of a power drill?"

    You're damn right I would if they wanted $34K for the drill and their industry had a history of screwing people who bought drills!!!!!!

    BTW - feel free to learn how to use a browser
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    wholesale price is what the dealer pays the car maker. Suggested retail price is what the dealer would like to get from you and more. Use the wholesale price to come up with your car configuration. Hope this help.
  • 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".

    Reminds me of some pricing I did back in December:

    Me: "what can you do for me on the Dealer Installed CD player?"

    Sales: "$815. That's $575 for the hardware and 2 hours labor".

    Me: "2 hours labor??"

    Sales: "Yeah, well, you know they have to use this _installation kit_ and everything"

    Me: "Funny - I'd think that an installation kit would make the job faster & easier, not slower..."

    Sales: "..."

  • ben__ben__ Posts: 13
    "Ben - dover"

    Wow. I'm floored. I haven't heard this kind of creative jab since high school. I'm now thoroughly impressed with both your intellect and ability to construct logical, coherent arguments. The rest of your post now holds a great deal of weight in my mind. Thank you for making me aware of the incisive, interesting content to come. My hat goes off to you, sir.

    "Have you ever watched the scene in the movie "Fargo" where the guy screws the customer for "undercoating"? This kind of crap is true more times than not and THAT is the thing that gives the car buying public hesitation in dealing with retailers (whether the front of the store or the back where you are)."

    At first, with the Ben-Dover comment, I assumed you to be somewhere around 15 years old, but if you remember undercoating, you must be at least old enough to have bought a new car in the 80s. Then again, maybe its just something you saw once in a movie...
  • Anyone deal with VOB or Tischer or Passport BMW in Maryland?

    I'd be interested to hear if you have a favorite sales person or more importantly one to avoid.

    What about follow-up service, availability of loaner cars, game playing etc. etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    I met with all of them, but ended up getting the best service and deal at BMW of Arlington. Good servcie dept and get comprable or better bimmer at service if purchased with them.

    Email me if you need contact details.
  • I feel sorry for you about the post 13125. We should never come to personal attacks. Folks, please stop that.

    Back to the discusion: I only suggested that dealers don't add anything to car SALES. I did not suggest services. As you suggested, services are the differentiator among delears and that is where dealers recoup their costs and make really profits beyond warranties. Beyond the point that dealers massage service charges, the argument here is a dealer is charging a premium at the time of sale for services that a buyer may use or may not use, may use at the purchase dealer, but may use elsewhere in the future. That premium varies from dealer to dealer. That is what buyers argue about.

    At an individual level, I am sure many car sales are nice people and ought to make a living. But I am not sure if they ought to or it is smart to make a living in the car business. Internet and competition have given buyers more knowledge=power than ever, I can only foresee it'll become a tougher business. Good luck.
  • hippo168hippo168 Posts: 115
    Has anyone been there? Do I have to make reservations? Or it is just for touring the manufacturing plant? I'd think you can go to the museum any time during their operating hours.

    Is there an "official" BMW Museum website?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,265
    The Seinfeld episode when he tries to buy a car from Puddy with "the insider's deal" and Elaine breaks up with him in the middle of the deal and Puddy starts telling him about undercoating, special paint, protection package, extended warranty...and then Elaine gets back together with him and Jerry receives "the insider discount."

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • No reservation is needed, just 3 euros for entrance. I spent about 1.5 hours there. The museum is next to the BMW HQ and the 3er factory. It is the meeting point for the factory tour. Make sure to make reservations to the factory tour (free of charge and available in Mon and Fri afternoons only) and receive a confirmation.
  • thanks 530bmw for the help
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    I had good luck with Joern Esser at Passport. He's their ED and Diplomatic Sales Manager. I've only had my car a month, so I can't comment on their service department. I plan to take my car to the new Sterling BMW anyway, since it's 5 minutes away from my house vs. 45 for Passport.

    So did anyone ever hear more about the issue mentioned a few days ago re: ED cars possibly coming out of a dealer's allocation?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A major newspaper is looking to interview folks who learned how to drive stick in their adulthood, and either fell in love or hated it. Also welcome is any input on why people love to drive stick, and any unusual anecdotes about how you learned etc.

    Hope to hear from you before Feb 22 via the Talk to the Press discussion or at with your thoughts and contact information.

    Thanks as always,

    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director,
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    For the majority of those who post in this forum, I too apologize to you for post 13125. I have read your messages with interest, enjoyed the discussions they prompted and gained insight from them all. Please don't let one bad response dampen your replies.

  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Would love to help, but fortunately I learned to drive stick when I was 12, so that disqualifies me. I did need a cushion under my bottom though.
  • You people need to lighten up. It's not like I called his mother a name or did anything along those lines.

    He came in with a negative and insulting tone toward those on this board and got some of the same back. Judging by the well-reasoned responses that he got, I think it's been shown that he's incorrect. Everybody gets an opinion - but that doesn't make everybody right.
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