So we got back from our BMW European Delivery
a little while ago and thought I'd share our experience picking up our 428XI. This trip was the European Delivery we've always wanted to do before we took on a little delivery of our own, Stateside in June 2014!
I figure I'll start with the 2 key people who helped make the entire process seamless!
Steve Thomas BMW
David Aviles - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rolf - email@example.com
I found David through the forums and he couldn't have been any more helpful! He dealt with me being indecisive till the very end and didn't kill me. I can be quite indecisive when it comes to cars, which I'm sure he found out very quickly and may have bashed his head against the keyboard screaming "why me" a time or 2. He has a no hassle process. There is no need to negotiate because he gives you a great price straight off the bat. He gave me a phenomenal deal and was able to get me a pickup date in Welt during the week of Thanksgiving. I spoke with a few online salespeople as well as met with a few locally. The online salespeople didn't come close to his price and the one local person who was very competitive with David stopped returning my phone calls after he agreed to a price. Needless to say, when he did eventually call back it was a no brainer to go with someone who gave me the time of day (which I made him and his GM fully aware of). Just to make sure I had gotten a competitive deal, I checked with another local dealer where we didn't even get a chance to sit down before being thanked for stopping by when I told him what I was looking to pay. Not even sure why I bothered with other places since David made me feel very comfortable with my first online transaction. One bit of information that I learned that everyone can benefit from would be to make sure you get your changes in early. We had thought a change went through but I was surprised to see that it was missing when I took delivery. It was of no fault of David's, but it appears that the inquiry report may not always be as accurate as we think. Regardless, it was an extremely smooth transaction and I anticipate on taking redelivery next week on the East Coast.
TDLR - Go with David. He will take care of business right away with an exceptional price. Already sent my boss to him who will be doing ED sometime in February.
On to Rolf. I suggest anyone going to do ED try to get in touch with Rolf. He is a very seasoned BMW employee who acts as a guide on his spare time. Rolf picked my wife and I up with 1 weeks notice and was there waiting for us. He was a great deal of help as he sat with me for a bit after dropping us off at the hotel and went over all the things to see and do. Instead of doing the shuttle, I highly recommend getting with Rolf. You get a ride with a BMW enthusiast for the cost of a single ride in a shuttle and get a wealth of knowledge as a bonus. He was overall a great guy to spend some time with and pick his brain.
TDLR - Have Rolf bring you to your hotel instead of a shuttle or a cab. You won't regret it!
On to the trip!
We left NY on 11/23 via AerLingus. I had higher expectations and wasn't all that impressed. Our leg from Dublin to Munich was like flying one of our domestic carriers without any tv monitor. Too bad there wasn't a sky mall magazine to keep me occupied on that leg. Upon arrival, Rolf took us to our hotel at the Olympia Park Sheraton. The hotel was a quick walk over to BMW Welt which was convenient because I managed to keep our car parked at the BMW garage for the duration of our trip. It is also very close to their subway system. The hotel offers those conveniences but is a basic hotel. If you're going during the warmer months, I'd reconsider as it is not air conditioned. There is, however a Donar Kebab across the walkway in the back from there which was AMAZING! There is also a bakery across the way that has some really nice baked goods if you catch them "fresh". I put fresh in quotes b/c it appears that it is all frozen dough, but still was great nonetheless.
We picked up our Alpine White/Coral Red 428i xDrive on 11/25 after taking the factory tour. The factory tour is a must do! Afterwards, I checked in and we were lucky enough to secure an earlier pickup time but felt like I couldn't take it all in as I had planned since we are expecting and the wife wasn't feel all that well. We were able to borrow a BMW car seat at delivery to take pictures with so that we could use it to reveal our good news to our friends and families (us expecting a baby, not the 428; although that is pretty good news). With luck being on our side, we found out we were expecting after placing the deposit on the 4 series and booking non refundable tickets. Looks like the baby will have to get comfy in a coupe!
We created a little slideshow with the pictures we took and highlighted the one with the baby seat below. This being our 7th BMW (3 for me, 2 for her and 2 we both got together), I'm sure our friends and family knew that eventually we'd use our obsession to reveal the good news to them.
After taking delivery, I decided to drive into downtown Munich. Driving down there isn't for the faint of heart during the Christmas season. There were people everywhere and I had no idea if I should have been driving through the roads I was already on. So, the confident driver that I am, I turned back around and went back to the hotel and decided we will try this again tomorrow, but via subway instead.
We took the subway to downtown to Marienplatz. We walked around for most of the day and went to the Hobferhaus. One thing everyone speaks highly about at that place is the pork knuckle, which I didn't try. This time of the year was great to go as you really got to take in the Christmas spirit. We could have easily spent another day roaming around.
We went to the Neuschwanstein castle. Although Rolf drew me a map which seemed like anyone could get there. The navigation took us through some really beautiful parts of Germany. It was a very nice scenic drive. The wife wasn't all that happy with me since they didn't have busses available due to the inclement weather and we walked 1.5 miles uphill, and back down. If you do go there, there is a great restaurant at the base of the trek. It is the first one on the left as you leave the main parking lot. Also, be wary of the parking lot as I couldn't get out of it. The machine said something in German but I couldn't figure it out. Lucky for us, the only car left in the lot who were behind us were also Americans and I was able to tailgate my way out of the gate. Otherwise, we may have spent the night in a parking lot.
We drove to Austria and went to checkout the Hintertux Glacier. Although we aren't skiers, we wanted to check out the Natures Ice Palace. Unfortunately, I had gotten 1/2 way there when I realized I had left my international license at the hotel and had to drive back and get it. When traveling to Austria, be sure to get the safety vest and sticker at the gas station before entering (the sticker is like an ez-pass). The drive up the mountain was awesome. It was 17KM up and got a little tight at times. On the way up, you got to see some really nice towns. Once we got to the top, we looked around and head back down before it got dark since it may have been difficult to do the 17km back down in the dark. It is well worth the trip. Just make sure you get up there before 2PM so you can check out the Ice Palace. We met some people from the States who said it was the best skiing around, so it may be worth spending some time up here if you like skiing.
While driving up there, I was tailed by Austrian Police. I'm not sure if I looked suspicious since I was driving a bit too cautiously or if they really liked the 4. I think it might have been the fact they never saw the 4 and decided to follow me around. When we came back to our car each time, we kept finding people all around it checking it out and taking pictures. I guess the 4 really isn't out there in full effect just yet!
We dropped the car off at the airport and head back home. The drop off is connected to the airport so you literally drop your car off and walk into the Airport. It couldn't be any more convenient.
The European Delivery was well worth it. We had a great time and wanted to get this in before we had kids. It was one of the items on my bucket list so I'm glad I was able to get it done. I'd say we JUST made it. I think I also partly owe a thanks to Vlad in NJ who is on the forums. I initially went over to do a lease takeover of his vehicle, but when driving around with him, he told me all about his ED that he had just gotten back from and sold me on booking my own trip. Probably a loss of a sale for him, but a gain of an experience for me! So....Thanks Vlad!!