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Old 9th August 2013, 20:31   #1
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Default From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Most of us think that car dealerships in US work in an "Off the Shelf" fashion. You browse the web, search the dealer inventory and make a call to the dealer and fix an appointment for a test drive.Then comes the most horrid time of "Haggling" with the Sales Person at the dealership. Since Car dealerships are free to mark a price that is closer to the MSRP ( which is Maximum Sale Retail Price ) dealers tend to keep it very close. An uninformed buyer would think couple of 1000$ off the MSRP is a good deal.

There are ton of reports, articles tips and tricks as to how to avoid the famous Sales Person , bait and switch tactic and get the best deal for the car (Will come to that later and how I skipped it completely). But what happens if you are in hunt of a car which has a ton of options to select from and cannot find any inventory to match it?

Here comes the story of my Car Hunt and how I tracked it to the point that i knew exactly where it was, at what point of day straight from Munich Germany to my dealership in the U.S.

I previously had a Honda civic which had done its duty for a long time now and needed a replacement. I wanted to use the famous mantra of US ... "Go Big or Go Home " and hence started the search of my mini SUV. One of my friend had recently bought a Volkswagen Tiguan, I wasn't impressed much about its interior space but really liked the Panoramic Sunroof. I was like, I need that feature in my next car for sure.

I went with the test drive of Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (Turbo) with fully loaded features and Saddle Brown Leather Interior. Boy, that car is loaded to the brim. All the gizmo's you name it, it has it for any Jap/Korean model at a time which is around the the Early 2013 time frame. The ride was planted, but the steering still was very vague even with the different modes (Sport,Eco,Comfort) in it. The dealership had two sections, one was Hyundai the other Ford. I also did a TD of the Ford Escape 1.6L Ecoboost. However after driving the 2.0 Turbo , the 1.6 was too sluggish for my taste and I just could not handle the grunt let out by the EcoBoost. This is an Apples to oranges comparison, but I was totally dissatisfied with the Ford at numerous aspects. The Interior space was nothing fantastic in the ford as compared to Hyundai and my ever beloved panoramic roof was smaller in size compared to the Korean.


================================================

Days go by.. I am still confused as to what I need. In the meantime one of my friends is taking TD's of Audi S4 , Cadillac ATS and the likes. So I join him in his car hunt and potentially look for my car as well during his search. He encouraged me to take a TD of used BMW which is in the same price range as that of the of mini SUV's I was going to buy. So I go to a BMW showroom which is 10 min away from my house and it is a E90 2011 model with 27K miles on it for around 30K. The car was so planted to the highway, it just made my day. As I have never driven a BMW before, this was a new experience for me to feel the car almost "Stuck" on the road, while still moving at a huge pace. The Sales person gave me a good overview of the features of the car and also suggested me to merge on the highway without using any sort of braking. I was hesitant at first, but the the E90 just zoomed and merged on the highway without a hiccup.

But, (there is a always a "but" when things are going smooth ) I look at the MPG dial and see that the needle is hovering somewhere around the 15 MPG mark. I was shocked to see such a dramatic drop in the MPG. The car is listed as 17/23 City/HWY by the EPA ( US Department of Environmental Protection Agency: Just in case if you are wondering what EPA stand's for ) and is very different than my loyal Honda Civic which is used to give me 35+ MPG on average. On the other hand the interior space behind was also kinda cramped with the huge hump in between the two rear passengers and fitting a 5th passenger for long drive would be difficult.

A few days go by ( When I say few days, Generally means couple of weeks) and I am still looking on Cars.com, I see a 2013 model 328i RWD for almost 5-6k extra than the E90 which I drove. I research on 2013 models and find that the MPG values have increased, the wheel base has increased which resulted in more space in the car and it indeed looked good. I was previously was not very fond of the new BMW with the light touching the kidney grill, but I think the design grew up on me. So for a newer model with 3K miles on it and 6K $ extra was quite a bargain.


The funny thing is, If you in process of finalizing a car and are driving on a HWY, you will see more models of that car than anyone else and instantly it will grab your attention. It is almost equivalent, when you like a girl you feel that she is always giving a glimpse at you whenever you are around. (But FYI , those are just mind games which the heart plays on your mind)

So I went to TD this RWD 328i and an AWD 328i which were previously used as loaner cars by the dealerships.

Loaner Car By Definition, is a car that is given to the customer when your car is undergoing work at the dealership and is complimentary to the purchase of your car and most luxury car dealerships honor this practice.

A typical dealership orders 10-14 loaner cars which are typically top of the line cars minus some features. This cars also work as advertisement, for potential BMW customers who are going to finish thier 3 year lease deals. This cars are generally kept for say 10-18K and then sold of at huge discounts. Reason being they are named under the Dealer in CARFAX as commercial vehicles. The Dealer maintains all the service records and upkeep of the vehicle. Many people warn against going for a loaner-sale car as you may not know WHO/HOW has he driven the car when he had it as a loaner . To counter the argument is; Since BMW drivers are responsible drivers they may not trash a loaner car , since the damage if any will be held by the insurance company of the person who took it out as a loaner.

Last edited by Fraz33r : 10th September 2013 at 18:45.
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Old 16th August 2013, 22:53   #2
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Default re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Test Drive 1 (official) : I schedule a meeting with the CA(Client Advisor) for a TD of an AWD and RWD back to back and immediately came to the conclusion that RWD is something I like. The AWD seemed to be planted and with uniform distribution of power but the RWD just made my day! It brought a huge grin on my face and I was sold. The Turbo Charged four cylinder N20 engine in RWD config just made me make my decision. Unfortunately the RWD car was scratched by a previous loaner and hence would spend at least a week in the workshop before it can be brought up for sale. Initially when I spoke to the CA, he said that they will fix the car in house without any call to the Insurance agency, but apparently their plans went haywire and they had to deal with Ins company after all. ( The reason being if they did it in house, it would not show up on the Car-Fax Report) The scratch was small, and I was of the opinion that since I know it, I would get me a good option to negotiate. I had almost a week to hear back from the dealership and had plenty of time for making a decision. Additionally, my faithful civic wasn't going anywhere and still doing service.

So I start researching on the BimmerFest Forums and got a ton of information. Also BMWNA (BMW North America) seems to have ton of options to be selected that would fit into your car. The standard BMW 328i is a bare bone car and does not have essentials like Xenon Lights ( which normally would/should be in a luxury car with so much dough on the line). Hence after a ton of research I knew I needed the Premium package (Includes Lumbar/Moon Roof/Key less/Satellite radio) Tech Package (Includes Nav/Heads Up Display/BMW apps/Instrument cluster with real time power output dials ) Cold Weather Package ( Heated Steering/Front and Rear Seats and headlight washers) and of course the Adaptive light control with the famous Angel Eyes/Corona Rings.

To indicate a comparison this is how it looks : with and without xenon's. ( Halogen VS Xenon's ). Most of the dealerships would not order one with Xenon's (in their regular stock ) as 3 series customers are either oblivious or are new customers entering the luxury car market and hey might just overlook the xenons.

Note: Pictures taken off the Web. Copyright original owners.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-halogen.jpg

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-xenons.jpg



Finally I made my decision, that I would not buy a car without xenon lights. Not only it is a signature of BMW, but also provides excellent visibility in the night. I called off the decision with the loaner car and began searching for a 2013 used 328i with Xenon's as a Must.

However, As I said, the dealers would either order one feature or leave the other out and since i was planning to plonk a huge amount of money in my car, I was not ready to compromise on any of the features of my potential BMW. Also the 2014 models were coming with enhancements to the Navigation and a better iDrive interface in the car, So I decided that a 2014 custom ordered BMW is way to go. Only hitch it would take close to two months for the car to arrive to US after being built in Munich,Germany. Well again I was ready to wait for my beauty, if it is going to be exactly loaded with the options I want and came to the decision of getting a BMW 328i RWD.

RWD? What? Are you freaking kidding me? Are you sure? Why not an AWD? You stay in New England ( Which compromises of 5 states: Connecticut,Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts) it snows a lot , are you going to stop at a signal and spin your tires in a BMW and look like a douche?

Last edited by Fraz33r : 10th September 2013 at 18:49.
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Old 17th August 2013, 00:21   #3
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Default re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Answer to these question lies here:

1) I stay in a seacoast area where Snowfall is less as compared to interior land. I got the statistics from the web and found it snows on average 20 days a year. For 20 odd days and couple of snow storms should i give up the fun of driving the rest 8 months? Answer clearly was NO.

2) The drive is definately a highlight point of an RWD car. It has to be experienced to fall in love which AWD fails to provide.

3) Less mass, better suspension tuning, better fuel economy, and lower cost.

4) I was ready to maintain separate sets of wheels for snow for 4 months with Continental Blizzak's which rank heavily in the BMW community.

5) My drive to work is only 15 miles round trip and have the liberty to work from home on those snow days.


So here Begins the story of Ordering/Customizing and final delivery of my car:

Additionally, I found(again through forums) out that BMW-NA gives a $1000 off of your purchase if you participate in the "Ultimate Driving Experience" conducted by BMW-NA at the dealerships. This was like an icing on Cake. TD all the beauties + Get 1000$ off.

I had driven 3 series so many times now, so i decided to drive the 5 Series VS Benz 350. I test drove the 535i with an M Sport Package which includes the carbon fiber trims. That machine is so sweet, I got to push it up to 50 MPH on one part of the local road and I knew what i was getting into. This is like addiction, I figured what my future car a decade later would look like. A couple of pictures from the UDE. (Sorry for the poor quality.)


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-photo-jul-24-6-17-27-pm.jpg

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-photo-jul-24-6-18-53-pm.jpg

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-photo-jul-24-6-19-10-pm.jpg


After finishing TD of 5'er and 350, the UDE event manager also gave me the keys to 640i Gran Coupe (In fact the keys stay inside the car all the time hidden somewhere) and that Car is just awesome. Tech loaded to the max with digital speedometers and console. The exhaust note was sweet and surely attracts attention on the street. 640i was the most popular car to be TD'ed that day, Every single person wanted to get their hands on that beauty. All in All, It PAYS (pun intended) to be a part of the Biggest Consumer market for the German Imports.

Inside 640i GC ( All gauge's are Digital)

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-photo-jul-24-7-02-54-pm.jpg


The car was now finalized and now it was time to find the right dealership. A couple people on the forums, gave addresses of their preferred CA's on the forums and then I blasted a customized email to each and every one with the options I had selected to get a quote. It is typical to pay around Invoice+1000$ as Dealer profit in the BMW forums. 500$ is a deal. the 2014 retail (MSRP) was not released yet , so I made up a number based on the average increase in a YOY basis. One of the CA's came up with a quote less than I had quoted and VOILA we had a deal ( After verifying he is not scamming me with any hidden charges). He was upfront with everything and charges were straight forward.

We agreed on the number and it was time to meet up with him on the coming weekend. He even tried to lookup if something of (my config) was in transit so that he could allot me a car, but could not find one. ( More on that later).

On 27th of July, I entered the dealership and meet with the CA and in 2 hours I am out with the custom order of my car with an Expected Delivery timeline of 6-9 Weeks!

This is what i learned from BMW Insider sources: Every CA gets around 200-500$ for every car sale they make in addition to their weekly/biweekly pay. BMW-NA additionally awards dealerships with their own custom program for the turn over of cars during a particular time frame . In my case, I wasn't a "wanderer" customer who happened to come inside the dealership and was walking out with keys of his

brand new car (which is generally how dealerships in US work). So whatever sale/incentive they made on me was effortless on their part as

well as nothing was coming out from their pre-paid car lot. In short it was a confirmed sale.

Now some may disagree saying I paid more, and should have been closer to invoice, But a 500$ dealer profit wasn't something that I thought I should crib upon too much. (Irrespective of the fact that the dealer might be getting it for less than the wholesale price).In this situation, the Sales Manager generally agrees to make a deal and which is what happened in my case. So 27th July I booked my car and created an account on BMWUSA to track my car. I am sure he made profit(much more than what I am depicting here) on my deal as well.

Last edited by Fraz33r : 10th September 2013 at 19:00.
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Old 30th August 2013, 19:56   #4
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Now to the most Exciting Part : Tracking the Delivery.

After a couple of days I got the Vehicle Enquiry Report, which listed my production Number, I keyed in my production number on the BMWUSA website and behold my car appears on the website with the information. But it is showing me a wrong color and not even a mention of the options I selected !

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-1-vision.jpg

For those who are wondering what a production Number is : ( It should be pretty obvious but just in case.) When the Dealer books a car, the BMW allotment System in Munich assigns a production number to the dealer once the configuration is finalized. This allotment system needs to take certain number of things into account.

Is there a production week in progress for the current configuration ? Dealerships sometimes have to trade in their production slots with other dealers if they have none.

For Eg. Let say I am dealer A in a small town, with a turnover of about 50-100 cars whereas a Dealer B which has a turn over of 250-300 cars in a month. Dealership B gets a higher preference in the allotment schedule as they have also scheduled a periodic request of 'n' cars to be stocked in their yard ( here there is no concept of yard, but everything gets stocked inside dealerships.) The dealer in this case forgoes one of his pre-configured Car and allots me a car with the specific configuration and makes sure that it gets a higher production sequence.

I have seen people waiting for their cars to hit production for 15-20 days after they had booked it. Luckily my dealership is ranked#3 in USA for variety of reasons and my car went into production in the week 32 of 2013. i.e 1st of August 2013.

I called my CA only to find out that the website generally is behind its updates by a couple of days. The CA's uses a different site confidential to them ( I think it is Dealerspeed.com ) to track the status of the car which is much more precise. He gave me a copy which looked liked this with updated status of my car and get a VIN number for my car. There is a ton of information available on the web as to how you could decode the VIN from BMW's. Here is a breakdown of my VIN Number.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-vehiclestatus08_05.jpg

VIN : WBA3C1C53EK XXX XXX

To break it down :

WBA = BMW-AG
3C1C - Model Code
5 = Restraint System Identifier
3 = Check Digit for VIN
E = 2014 (Year of Vehicle)
K = Plant Code = Munich,Germany
XXX XXX = Production Sequence Number

The Plant codes are identified as under:
A Munich, Germany
B Dingolfing, Germany
C Dingolfing, Germany
D Dingolfing, Germany
E Regensburg, Germany
F Munich, Germany
G Munich, Germany
J Regensburg, Germany
K Munich, Germany
L Spartanburg, South Carolina


I was happy that my car was being build in Munich and not in SA as South African delivery takes additional couple of weeks and I was getting impatient with lack of information.

Few days go by : on 9th August, I called up the 1-800 number to check the status of my car and on 9th August it said that it was in the Paint shop. I was shocked , If you see the video below, paint shop is a process that takes much higher in the production steps and there is no way that the car will be built and ready to be delivered on the 10th, if it was still in the paint shop on the 9th. I was cringing, but there was nothing that I could do and bugging my CA was not going to help me either.



Subsequently the production got delayed by a couple of days and I learned on the 12th that my car was now out of the factory and was in transit to BREMERHAVEN port.

Last edited by Fraz33r : 10th September 2013 at 19:03.
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Old 7th September 2013, 00:57   #5
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Tracking the final leg of the Journey: Over the Atlantic via multiple stops in Europe.

Date: 8/12/2013
Current location : Munich, Germany
Distance : 480 miles
Time required: 8 Hours approx by Road.
Destination : Bremerhaven ( Port), Germany

Bremerhaven, (Also known as Bimmer Heaven amongst BMW enthusiasts) is the port from where BMW car exports from Germany are carried out. All cars manufactured in Germany are dispatched through this port to its final destination in Cargo ships. BMW has a transport-contract with "Wallenius Wilhelmsen" which is the primary carrier of a majority of Automotive brands including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Jaguar et. all (In short most of the European Imports). A majority of the port is rented out to BMW transportation in here as you can see the area covered by it. One of this is my car

Bremerhaven Port ( Visual proof of Bimmer Heaven)

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-bmw_yard.jpg


W&W also owns a subsidiary of companies which are also used to transport Cars out of Europe. I was keeping a constant watch on the ships that are docked at the port and who have the schedule to leave as soon as my car hits the port. The cars are normally shipped by the RORO method and the website explains as below :

Quote:
RORO ( roll on/roll off ) car shipping is the simplest and cheapest method of shipping cars, it offers many advantages. If you look at the process of loading and unloading the vehicles, the RORO method makes a lot of sense. The car is simply driven in and off the vessel. Hence, RORO. Indeed it is faster compared to containers in terms of loading and unloading time. This Method simply involves the driving of vehicle or vehicles into the lower decks of large Ro-Ro ships and is therefore cheaper than the container method of shipping. Please note that not all countries have facilities for unloading this sort of ships in their docks and its therefore worth inquiring with us first.
Additionally the W&W's website list the following departures for the coming week of August.As per the Departures list "Don Juan" was going out on the the 13th and my car departed on 12th from the Factory. The distance of the BMW factory from the port is equal to about 8 hrs approx. Reaching at port and tagging it with a delivery information in such a huge yard. It was no way the car was going to make it on the ship in a day.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-5-vision.jpg


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The next schedule indicates "LIBERTY" is going to depart on the 20th of August to Americas. I had a hunch that my car would be on this ship. But there were other Ships docked at the port as shown so the car could be on any ship as W&W has other "child" subsidiaries as mentioned earlier which includes EUKOR, UECC, K-LINE and ARC. The other ships that were docked were "Michigan Highway" Tulane" with Liberty docked as shown.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-bmw_yard_withships.jpg

Bremerhaven Port is equipped by a number of live action Webcams which could be used to to see what ships are in the port and is normally refreshed periodically. The Automobile export CAM at bremerhaven's Northern port is located here. The bridge connects the Car yard to the Ships. All the Cars are manually driven from the Car port to the ship over this bridge.

http://www.blg.de/en/blg-logistics/service/webcams/webcam-automobile/

Thats Don-Juan docked. Can anyone guess what cars are on the rail cargo?

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LIBERTY docked at the harbor, ready to get loaded with fresh batch of cars. Glimpse of a F30 moving?

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Location of the webcams and the bridge marked below over looking the ships:

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-bmw_yard_arrow.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 25th September 2013 at 23:48. Reason: Edited on request.
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Old 7th September 2013, 04:47   #6
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Date: 8/21/2013
Current location : Bremerhaven, Germany
Distance : 4500 miles approx; 6500km
Time required: 4 weeks +
Destination : North Americas
Stops: Multiple in Europe, Halifax CA and NYC dropoff

Finally on 21st the Ship departs from the harbor for its trans-Atlantic voyage with multiple stops as below.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-liberty2.jpg


Here is the Route-Map for all the W&W ships stops and my speculation and logical guesses as to what "Precious Cargo" this ship is picking up on its way.

(Rewinding on More About this later: ) Remember I said that the Sales Manager was checking for an onRoute Car. The website allows the dealer to check the inventory and specs of an oncoming car which could be on a ship but may have been allocated to a different dealer. He was trying to match my config with a potential match which could be on the carrier. In this case, he deals with the other dealer and makes sure the car in transit gets allocated to me. However, in my case nothing matched the options I had selected and he had to book a fresh allocation for my request.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-route-map.jpg

Pitstops ahead :

GothenBurg, Sweden: Volvo's coming from Torslanda plant.
Zeebrugge, Belgium : Exporter of Toyota europe
Southhampton,UK : Land Rover,Jaguars.


Liberty was previously known as FAUST in 2003; It was named to LIBERTY and the name FAUST was transferred to a newer Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship which was also featured on Mighty Ships on Discovery Channel. Here is a video which shows this enormous industry and after watching the video I truly appreciated the meticulous details that are carried in transporting a car to its final destination.




The next destination of the ship was Gothenburg (Volvo? )which she reached as per schedule which was now delayed by a day.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-gothenburg_volvoyard8_22.jpg

Next stop ZeeBrugge; Belgium on 8/24/2013

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In the mean time BMWUSA account gets updated with En-route to US.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-6-vision.jpg

You can also track your car by putting your VIN number (VIN number is basically the tracking Id) on the W&W website which shows the following information.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-wwtracking.jpg

Last update by Marinetraffic :

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-southhampton-halifax.jpg


Finally on its way across the Atlantic ocean. Marinetraffic.com is not available once it is far away from the ports and is hard to track. There is another website http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/index.html which allows you to track the ship based on the call sign.

the last update I received via this website was on the 25th Aug and no updates later on.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-libertystoppedupdates.jpg


At this point I had to just wait and watch and since it was scheduled to reach Halifax,CA on around 3-4th September there was nothing I could do but wait.

Last edited by Fraz33r : 7th September 2013 at 06:28.
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Old 9th September 2013, 21:30   #7
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Few days pass by, as there was no way I was able to track the trans-Atlantic voyage, I look back on the status of the ship on 3rd of September. I find the ship has reached the Halifax, CA and seems to be on its way to make an arrival on the NYC port on the 5th of September as per the new schedule.


However, after some hours I see that the ship leaves the Halifax port , but makes a U-Turn back to the port. I have no idea what happened and why the ship turned back? Due to weather? Or did they feel it was unsafe to make the other leg of Journey? Turning back a monster ship is not cheap by any means and it would have cost W&W a ton of money to make that decision.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-going-back-halifax.jpg


Finally on 5th September the Ship makes its arrival at the NJ Port late in the night and docks at the North Eastern Port Terminal in Newark.

At the Terminal, the ship first undergoes a custom's inspection to identify any stowaways ( Hidden contraband - Goods that are transported illegally to the america's). Once the pre-custom check is complete, the cars are moved to the BMW Port Jersey Preparation Center where the cars are prepared for delivery.

LIBERTY has two different stops at port NJ and has three distinct car processors which handle all the Imported cars from all manufactures.

1) BMW Preparation Center : Which obviously handles all the BMW's imports coming from England, Austria, Germany, South Africa.

2) Toyota Motor Logistics : Handles all Toyota (Japan, USA), Lexus (Japan), SCION (Japan)

3) Faps Inc which handles all the rest : Honda, Saab (Sweden, Austria, Japan), Volvo (Sweden, Belgium), Chrysler (Mexico), Ford (Canada, Mexico, Latin America, China, Europe), GM ( Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Japan, Korea), Subaru, Alfa Romeo (Italy) Ferrari (Italy), Lamborghini (Italy), Maserati (Italy), Mazda.

The latter 2 and 3 are located at a different destination and LIBERTY makes a roundabout to make these deliveries as shown in the ship tracker below.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-liberty-dropoff.jpg

On 6th September, I check the tracking status of my car and everything seems to be going on smoothly with the liner's release and the Custom's release. Now is the time for BMW to identify if there was any damage to the car. Additionally, any extra accessories are fitted at this location. For e.g. Black Kidney grills is an option that can be added for 190 bucks, which is installed at this location.Similarly XM radio configuration.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-wwdelivered.jpg

For my car: I had ordered Anti-theft Alarm and that gets installed at this location. So any such additional accessories will delay the arrival of your Car at the dealer which would take approximately a week from arrival. At this point I was hoping to get my Car by the end of next week i.e. 20th.

BMW Preparation Center in NJ:


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-bmw-center-nj-prep.jpg

BMW transports cars in enclosed containers and open truck car carriers. My guess is you will get an enclosed container only if you ordered a 6 Gran coupe or a M6 . The rest all gets the open air treatment to be shipped to the dealer. This is mainly handled by an external contractor which for BMW is Precision Motor Group Inc, which transports all the cars to the Interior in the upper North East. Not sure about the cars built in Spartanburg SC, which used to build all the X3's and X5's for US.

Car's to be loaded on one such car transporter.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-bavarian-motor-transport.jpg

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On 9th September LIBERTY continuing its Journey and makes deliveries at the Brunswick Port in Georgia. In the meantime, I wait for a call from the Dealership about my expected Delivery date.


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-liberty-continuing-dropoff-atlanta.jpg

Last edited by Fraz33r : 10th September 2013 at 18:35.
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Old 18th September 2013, 07:30   #8
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

I had not got an update for a while so checked the WW website, and found that the car was released to the Motor Transport Guys on the 9th from NJ. and now hopefully It will take just a couple of days before it gets delivered at my dealership.

On 19th I get call from my CA, stating the car arrived late in the Evening and will be available as soon as it is available. Once the car gets into the dealership, it goes through the "Car Release Dept" which do a number of checks on the car to verify any damage and sign off.

It also has to go through the re-conditioning department to ensure, everything is in place. Sunday being a holiday, my car was scheduled to be picked-up on Monday, 16th Sept Evening.

I reach the dealership with my friend, and there is a small board next to my Car "Tulley family is proud to be sending the 2014 328i home with Mr.xx "

The first thing I notice about my car is Black Kidney Grills; By default the Car comes with Chrome'd grill and black grill comes under additional options. Somehow my car got configured with the Black Grills. (Generally custom installations like this happen in the BMW Prep center in the US) He gave me the option of reverting it back to the Chrome, I was in dual mind but eventually decided to keep it. Also had a mini TBHP meet with fellow bhpian @amitoj and he also said the same. It gives a much sporty/meaner look over the chrome and I am loving it.

After handing over the checks to the Finance Manager, the CA started explaining me the features of the car, which will probably take me some time to digest.

Here are some pics and my observation.

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9325.jpg


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9327.jpg


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9336.jpg


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9350.jpg


Notice the New touchpad for iDrive

From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9360.jpg


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9330.jpg



From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9374.jpg




One cool thing he showed me was if you keep pressing the Unlock button all the windows will roll down and the Sun roof will also pop open. That was pretty cool . He also showed me the kick open trunk which I am still working to find the sweet spot, it seems to have a mind of its own. Locking the car is the most FUN part. I love when you don't have to do anything with the car key.

For unlocking: Just insert the hand in the Drivers side handle and the car is unlocked.

To Lock: Just press your thumb over the driver's side and it is locked. We also spent time with the BMW SOS system to configure my Account and it found my exact location of the car. The Nav is funky and will need to get used to. The HUD is absolutely the best part of the tech package. I haven't looked down on the speedometer since I have been driving it.


Finally to complete the thread title.

From Munich,Germany (Check) Story of My BMW 328i (Check) Keys in My Hand (Check)


From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD-img_9378001.jpg


Loving the car so far. Thanks, to a ton of people over numerous forums ( 328i official car review thread as well as the Bimmerfest forums to provide answers to all the questions)

Last edited by Fraz33r : 19th September 2013 at 22:51.
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Old 19th September 2013, 23:10   #9
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Arrow Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Note from Support: Thanks for sharing. Moving thread to the Initial Ownership Reports section.
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Old 20th September 2013, 10:03   #10
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Congratulations Frazz3r. Mind Blowing story of your BMW ! Loved the tracking part of the report and your compilation of pictures of the journey from Germany to your place. Bremerhaven Port is rightly the heaven for Bimmers. Wish you a happy million miles!

Do upload more pictures and tell us about your initial experience of the car.
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Old 20th September 2013, 11:15   #11
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Congratulation Frazz3r on your new car. Loved the way you reported the delivery of the Car.
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Old 20th September 2013, 11:55   #12
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Awesome colour, great alloys and black interiors, you have good taste. Which wood trim does the car come with? it goes great with the interiors.

Great work with shipping details and awesome photos too.
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Old 20th September 2013, 12:47   #13
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Congrats on the beautiful car. Do they still have the option to take the delivery in Germany and use it for driving around and ship it back?
My close friend used this and had a great experience.
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Old 20th September 2013, 17:23   #14
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Congrats on the car. You have done painstaking research on the delivery route of your car. That is one real informed customer. IMO also, the black grill imparts the car a more basic, sporty look. Good that you have retained the same.
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Old 20th September 2013, 17:47   #15
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Default Re: From Munich (Germany) to the keys in my hand. Story of my BMW 328i RWD

Your excitement of purchase process is truly evident in your thread, congrats on your purchase and wish you safe and exciting miles.
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