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Old 10-22-2008, 08:23 PM
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Making a Difference

So if you don't already know, I work part-time at BMW of Charlottesville essentially as a photographer and the guy who posts information onto the internet. Not a bad college job at all.

I was talking to the Manager who orders the vehicles that come into inventory and sit on the dealer lot. I talked to him about how a lot of BMW drivers and buyers are dismayed by the selection, or lack thereof. I'm talking about your 328i non-sport, black on beige and wood, automatic, premium package, and no xenons. We're routinely disappointed that asking for a manual transmission is like asking to sprout wings, and if you ask for sport package, you might have better luck finding snow in South Carolina.

This manager is energetic, really reasonable and already understands. He started not too long ago, and the latest inventory reflects how he's willing to take chances. You already saw that with the 2009 325i with Chestnut Brown leather. He has a Bluewater Metallic coming in. A Black on Saddle brown 335i sport/manual/iDrive/iPod came in today but that is going off to another dealer.

I reasoned with him about how just getting the right colours and options can draw people in, like enthusaists from BMW boards. So the good news is that I'll get to sit down with him on Friday when he orders the next batch of cars. Here's an opportunity for me to maybe get a couple of manual transmission cars in, or perhaps get a car with sport package that doesn't have $5000 worth of options tacked on like pork-barrel legislation in the US congress.

How exciting is that? Man, I'm really thrilled to have the opportunity. So: what options would you like to see on your next Bimmer? Oh, and I guess colour combination suggestions would be nice too.
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Last edited by AzNMpower32; 10-22-2008 at 10:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2008, 08:42 PM
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since it's not my money...everything ... but in all seriousness I think comfort access is important and sport packages are mandatory
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:58 PM
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SPORT AND MANUAL!
Non-Black interior, and with contrasting carpet. I think this leaves Chestnut and Oyster. Black Sapphire or.... well, Black Sapphire.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:10 AM
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Cool. You must be doing something right at your job for the manager to value your opinion on something unrelated to your job description.

More cars with manual transmissions and less fluff is a good start.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:29 PM
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I sat down for the last hour of work today with the manager. Took a look at things......damn there's a lot of info!

I did get to alter a few trim options and colours on a few 3-series, and we discussed options like Comfort Access and stuff. I showed him the new light walnut trim, which he likes and we altered a few vehicles that way. I did a 328iT in Alpinweiß with Gray leather/light walnut instead of the usual white-on-beige leather. Pity gray wood trim isn't available on the 3er touring.

The biggest problem is price. I suggested adding just Bluetooth alone, but he says electric seats are "one less thing to explain to a customer", and adding $750+995 usually closes the price differential. In addition, he's a fan of leather interiors, although I didnt have much time to discuss that.

I didn't get a chance to look and suggest changes to other vehicles. But I will probably do that given I have time over the weekend. Actually, I will probably do that in lieu of studying for my Accounting exam.

Lot of 5s and X5 3.0si coming in. Interestingly, there is a X5 3.0sd listed sometime in Dezember, but no word on pricing, and the space is not taken, yet. (I have the list with me ). X3 allocations are drastically reduced, with only ONE coming in thru the end of the calendar year. Someone has already put a deposit on that X3, and it will become a manual transmission X3.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:07 AM
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Sounds like you are being proactive and trying to do something positive. Great attitude. That will take you far whereeiver you are employed.

I would like to see more sport packages, manual transmissions and Xenons. I think one problem that BMW has with it's competitors (especially Audi, MB, and Infiniti) is that the base model BMW's without the sport package do not look as good as the competitions base models. Sport package BMW's dominate the competition though, but like you said, the base model, non-sport package 3 and 5 series rule the land and that is what most people notice.

I also like that fact that your dealer is branching out in color choices.

Last edited by FSETH; 10-25-2008 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:51 AM
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Just a thought; I think some people need to put money where their mouth is. Yeah, they go on about how cool manuals are and how dealers don't have enough them, but when they actually do buy, they end up getting the automatic for the practicality reason. Maybe that's why some dealers go the safe route and order minimal on manual.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:18 AM
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Essentially, the thing with manual transmissions is this:

We're not a big dealership in a big city. Thus, the allocations aren't huge, and thus there's a big risk of not having the right transmission if we stock manuals. For example, we only get 5 325xi sedans, ordering one in manual leaves 4 with automatic. If 1 in 8 wants a manual, and the probability of a customer showing up who wants AT is that much higher, what happens to the remaining 3 people? .

The one 550i that I see coming is a Sport model with a manual. Do you think it'd be nuts to get another 5er (non-550i) in a manual?

As for Comfort Access, aside from jumping the price $500, the manager has had bad experiences with cars discharging on the lot. Gotta be a way around that.

And yes, we are definitely changing up the colours. Brown is now the "new" beige.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:20 PM
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i had to look forever for my manual X5 with the right options - most dealers didn't even know you could get it with a manual

i put my money where my mouth was
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32
The one 550i that I see coming is a Sport model with a manual. Do you think it'd be nuts to get another 5er (non-550i) in a manual?
A 535 manual makes sense to me, but the one I special ordered was the only one my dealer saw, they had no other call for one at the time, and they are a very large dealer. That isn't to say that someone wouldn't have purchased it if was in stock, but the potential customers didn't care enough to wait for one to come in.

We have to realize that the demographic on this board is not representative of the total BMW purchasing demographic.
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