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Sounds fishy... (more) (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 3-series (E46) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Lorenz on March 02, 1999 at 15:42:48:

In Reply to: Delivery date pushed out posted by Nick S. on March 02, 1999 at 09:42:17:

: Just received a phone call from my BMW dealer telling me that my estimated delivery date has been delayed an additional 2 weeks from mid-April to the beginning of May. According to him BMW cannot keep up with demand on the 3-series cars and all cars scheduled to be built in March have been delayed. Aaaaaghhh!


this sounds fishy to me. Did you order your car? If so, did you put down a deposit? If so, did you put down a deposit on a particular production number? The dealer should have asked you to write that production number on your deposit check. At this point, you'll know exactly which car is (will be) yours.

Here's my understanding of how the process works: The dealer is told what his allocation is for several months into the future. They get a list from BMW NA that says something like "you get 2 328i for the 1st week of March production (week 9, 1999), 1 for the next week, etc.". This is their allocation. Each of the allocated cars has a particular production number.

Now, when they get their slots, they'll specify some default colors and options. Usually, they'll get the color and option combos that they think they'll sell most easily, because these "default-specification" cars are the ones they'll be selling out of inventory. Since the new 3 is in such high demand, these cars are going to sell quickly off the lot, or maybe even before they hit the lot.

OK, so along comes Nick, and he wants a new 3. The dealer doesn't have any in stock, and the next few coming in are already sold -- this appears to be what's going on with the new 3 these days -- so you have to order it.

Fine, so the dealer has to change the options/colors on one of the cars from their allocation -- remember, they specified a default set of options when they first got the allocation. So the dealer changes the options on the next possible car that hasn't been promised to someone else yet. They can only do that up to a certain time before production (I think this is about 4 weeks or so before the car is produced), i.e. if a car is scheduled to be produced tomorrow, they can't change the options to what you want.

OK, so now that the options have been changed on a particular car, which has a particular production number, you know exactly which car you should be putting a deposit on. From that point on, that's your car, and it even shows up in the monthly allocation updates with your name on it. (I was so excited when my dealer faxed me the page that showed my car with my name next to it, and all the other unspoken-for cars on that same page.)

You should ask your dealer to fax you the page from their allocation list that shows your car with your set of options and your name next to it, as well as the production number and the estimated production date... See if that makes them sweat.

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