Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

BMW Handling Holiday Credit Unreasonably

Discussion in 'Buy, Lease, Finance & Insurance' started by unboringuy, Jan 1, 2011.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    BMW's current promotion allows for a $1500 credit on certain vehicles, including the 3 series. The promotion ends January 3, 2011. I have been trying to find a manual transmission Xdrive 3 series, and according to the information I received they are very scarce; only 22 are located within the U.S. As a result, I will need to place an order. To get the holiday credit, a purchase, lease or order must be placed by January 3. No problem there. But if an order is placed, the purchase has to close within 60 days, or by March 4.

    I am willing to purchase the car as soon as BMW delivers it. Unfortunately, they have elected to close the plant for the month of January, making it extremely doubtful that the car will be delivered by March 4 (average time from order to delivery is 6-8 weeks), particularly in the winter when weather is a factor.

    I don't know if BMW execs read this, but surely BMW should see the unfairness of not permitting someone to get the credit solely because of BMW's actions.

    What do you think?
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

    Post Count: 274
    Likes Received:5
    I certainly understand your feelings on the issue, but one must remember that promotions are usually created for short-term benefits (moving product). And, I'm not sure that I would classify the actions as "unfairness". After all, the credit IS available, but the specific car isn't. You could modify your choice and easily get the credit (I'm not suggesting you do so, just stating the obvious). I see it more as a condition that falls outside of the time window stated in the rules of the rebate.

    Its unfortunate for you that you seem to be caught in the middle, somewhere between the order placement and car delivery "bookends".

    In the end, for them to be effective, all promotions must have a set of rules by which they operate. Those rules just don't work in your favor this time.

    But, I don't see you having anything to lose by pushing your dealer to intervene on your behalf. You may get nowhere, but that's where you are now. So, to me, you have nothing to lose by attempting such an effort.

    Good luck!

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    I'm told (by my dealer) that the reason for the March 4 deadline is that in order to get the holiday credit you must get BMW financing, and the financing commitment is held for 60 days. That normally will handle any purchase made during the program period (ie, purchase orders entered through January 3). If it weren't for the plant closure, everything would be fine.

    I am asking the dealer to press this issue, and if they are unable to get some type of resolution, I will hold off on the order to await the incentives that likely will come in March.
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,265
    Likes Received:5
    Please don't take this the wrong way...

    ..but that seems like a pretty petty reason to pass on the car if you really have your heart set on it, for more than one reason:

    a) if the dealer is particularly motivated to sell a car, they're going to do whatever it takes (within reason of course) to sell the car. The catch here is that because the dealer is essentially "renting" their stock from the factory until its sold (this rent is known as an inventory fee or tax). The longer a car stays on a dealer's lot, the more they have to pay on this inventory fee. Which is why a dealer would much prefer selling you a car off the lot (so that they can pay off the inventory fee through the sale of the car, and they will also get a factory "holdback" as a further reward for selling that particular vehicle).

    Of course, as you explained, sometimes this isn't possible, especially with hard to find combinations of color, options and equipment.

    One idea here is to make an offer to a particular dealer to order the particular spec'd car for x amount of dollars, which would be the MSRP minus the promotional discount. This is actually bypassing the promotion entirely -- you're technically giving the dealer a take it or leave it offer (which just coincidentally happens to be at least the MSRP minus the $1500). If that dealer won't budge, try another dealer.

    b) another option is to try purchasing the car either through Yahoo or MSN Autos. You go to the website, spec the car with your color choices and option choices, and either see if it lets you specify the price you will buy it at, or have the site electronically cast your order to every dealer in your area and see who gives you the best price.

    Who knows. You might get one or two dealers that COULD beat the MSRP minus the promotion.

    c) Last option is try purchasing the car through a car buying service. Costco has one, and certain new car brokers also offer this.
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

    Post Count: 404
    Likes Received:10
    Do what you want but it won't help. And don't blame BMW for your procrastination or poor choice in dealerships. This promotion has been running since November 1, 2010. Why did you wait until the last day? Trying to squeeze the last buck out of the deal? :confused:

    Regardless, we had a customer who wanted the same car and we located and transferred one for him, brought it to our store and delivered it yesterday.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    Well you are a fine example of a BMW dealer. I'm sure you make the brand proud!

    Make whatever assumptions you will about my motivations. If you must know, I made a decision to purchase a new BMW at the beginning of December. I contacted the closest dealer, and took a test drive. I did not like the automatic transmission and wanted to test drive a stick. None were available. A dealer about 60 miles away brought one in two weeks ago, and I went and drove it. I liked the stick (as I thought I would). I asked 6 different dealers in this region to try to locate the car configured the way I wanted it, and none could be found. One was close that was on its way, but it already had been sold. The dealers all told me that only 22 sticks were in the U.S., and none of them were the color or configured the way I desired.

    I then had a medical emergency that landed me in the hospital. When I got out of the hospital, I contacted BMWNA customer relations to find out the "rules" for the holiday credit, as I had been given conflicting information regarding the promotion. Customer relations told me that as long as the car was either leased, purchased, or ordered by January 3, the credit is available. I placed the order with my dealer, who told me that he checked directly with his dealer rep, who advised that orders must be placed by January 3 and delivered by March 4, and that the plant would be shut down for the month of January. My dealer was very understanding (unlike you) and agreed to work with me if the car doesn't arrive by March 4.

    And price had nothing to do with this. Two of the dealers I talked with offered very similar deals in terms of price. I actually went with the dealer who was a couple hundred dollars higher in price.

    By the way, I never said that no manual transmission 328xi cars were available in the U.S. I said that 22 of them were. They were not configured the way I desired. You, sir, are the epitome of the car dealer we all wish to avoid!
    1 people like this.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    He is not a dealer. He works for one. In fact, if he has not already been designated a "Friend of the Marque", he should be.

    <Snipped litany of excuses>

    "configured the way I desired" is the key here. If you demand to have a car "configured the way [you] desired", it behooves you to do your research and make your plans well in advance. Don't expect BMW to kiss your *** over this. You effectively wasted over a month of time with your decision. To paraphrase a popular cubicle hanger: "Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on BMW's part."

    BTW, Phil is far from "the car dealer we all wish to avoid". If there were any possible way to do so, I'd seek him out to buy from him. But then, I've known who he is for over a quarter of a century and I've had the privilege of calling him a friend for much of that time. While I take pains not to alienate other club members in order not to hurt the club, I am willing to make an exception here because I don't see the loss of your membership as a net negative. You, sir, can take your personally configured BMW and stuff it.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    Well, Mr. Krieger, to each his own. I'm pleased that the dealers I dealt with were more than happy to work with me to get me the product I want. That's called customer service. Until I began my search, I did not even fathom that there would only be 22 sticks in the entire U.S.

    In all candor, I cannot for the life of me understand either your or Phil's lambasting of me because I made the horrible mistake of trying to utilize an offer that BMWNA made for a two month period. I saw Phil's response to my post as negative toward me. I view yours as a personal attack.

    I have no problem with BMWNA deciding on the terms of an incentive offer and sticking to those terms. But it should provide the information necessary to understand what is required to obtain the offer. It should train its customer relations employees so that they don't give erroneous information. If BMW doesn't want an offer to apply to ordered cars, they should require purchases to be taken from dealer stock. If they only want some ordered cars to be covered (those ordered prior to December 1, for example) they should say that as well. I really don't understand why you think I should settle on a car that doesn't have options I want simply because BMW dealers do not order very many sticks in the U.S.

    I have been a member of BMWCCA for several years. I don't spend much time on the forums and have made very few posts. But I do enjoy reading the magazine. If your response is indicative of the BMWCCA's typical "sharing of ideas and information" that exists in most forums, I believe I will steer clear of these forums in the future.

    As George Washington wrote, "The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it."

    Thank you for your views.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
    Likes Received:64
    Ohhhh, mannnn!



    Well, there goes MY chance for a place in polite society!

    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Could we all just dial it down a notch or two? I know your amp goes to eleven, but. . . .

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    I'm all for that! :eek:
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,265
    Likes Received:5
    Hate to say it, but CR is spot on with this one.

    BMW is too busy kissing the posteriors of their million plus other customers, so unfortunately they don't have time to kiss yours AND paint it red white and blue. You sat on your soft end a day too long and missed it. The rest of us tried to help and you're still not satisfied.

    Either buy the thing anyway or start shopping Audi and Lexus.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    That's precisely what I'll do, but I believe you are mistaken about CR. They gave the erroneous information that all was good on the incentive if the car was ordered by Jan. 3 even if it didn't arrive by March 4. But thanks for the advice.
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

    Post Count: 404
    Likes Received:10
    Ask any technician-dealership or independent-and they'll tell you the cheapest part on any BMW is the nut behind the wheel.

    The ground rules for the Holiday Cash promotion were very clear on the BMW NA website. All anyone had to do was read the entire offer. The fact that BMW even offered to honor rebates secured by submitting a financing application by January 3, 2011 if the car is delivered within 60 days is really going beyond other manufacturers. Most companies throw cash around to move old inventory. Had you ordered a car when you first thought about it, you'd have the car you want. The dealer helping you at this point means he's probably going to kick in some of that rebate from their own pocket. Probably because they're still making money on you (as they should) or they figure they just need that extra sale to hit some bonus number. That's up to them and you. But now you're defending your dealer who lied to you about how many sticks are in the country and didn't make the effort to get one for you or place one in production before the deadline. Then you slam me when I actually did get a stick xDrive sedan from another dealership for a customer who wanted one and I had another stick to trade them. (BTW, we stock sticks in the 550i, 535i, 335i, 328i, 135i, 128i. Few buy the ones we have and usually order what they want, but we do have them to drive . . . until other dealers beg us for what we ordered.)

    But let me check that fact for you at work tomorrow. I'll bet there are over 100 stick-shift xDrive 3-series cars in the USA. Want me to limit the search to one particular model? 335xi? 328xi? How about just those in-stock or at the port VPC, and not including demos? Your dealer told you 22 xDrive stick Threes in the whole country, and that was before BMWs record December sales month. I'll still make the bet.

    And you're still blaming BMW. Why? Because you misread the offer? :eek:
    1 people like this.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    Let's just shake on this and move on. Perhaps I overreacted a tad to what I viewed as a personal attack on me. I did read the offer on BMWNA's website. That's why I asked for more information. One dealer told me delivery had to occur by January 3. Another dealer told me that an order had to occur by January 3, with delivery by March 4. That's why I called BMWNA's customer service and was told that the holiday credit is available as long as an order is placed by January 3...no limitation on delivery.

    I don't know that anyone is lying to me, but certainly some are misinformed. Obviously, I have no way of checking BMW inventory, but what we were looking at is 2011 328xi vehicles, with sticks, no demos or service vehicles. And I was told that there were only 22 in the U.S. While it seems very low to me, there certainly don't appear to be many of them.

    While it may well be that BMW's motivation in making this incentive offer was to move out existing inventory, they did not limit the program to stock inventory (as other manufacturers have done in the past).

    And I agree with you that the dealer should make a fair profit, and I believe my dealer is. They had every incentive to locate the car for me because then they would have had the sale in last year's numbers.

    At the end of the day, I continue to believe that BMW could have handled this differently. But it's their decision to make, as it's their program. I just wish they would provide the correct information to their representatives so that these types of misunderstandings can be avoided.

    BMWs are still great fun to drive!
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

    Post Count: 404
    Likes Received:10
    There are currently 71 328xi sedans and 12 328xi Coupes with stick shift in the USA either in dealer inventories or at the vehicle processing center. Many more if I check on-order, in-production, and in-transit cars.

    Since you didn't originally specify models, I checked all 3-series xDrive stick-shift models: 132 is that number with 34 335xi sedans and 15 coupes, plus 3 328xi sport wagons. Of course I didn't check non-xDrive cars which would have probably doubled those numbers.

    In short there are/were several to try, not a lot, maybe not exactly what you wanted, and maybe not at the first two dealers you visited. But they're out there. And we still don't know where you live.

    The sad truth we learn from this silliness is that BMW is no longer the enthusiasts car we CCA members think it is. I've sold BMWs since the 2002 was a current model (the model, not the year) and can clearly recall when the automatics were the tiny minority of vehicle stock. We even sold sticks in 7-series until around 1989 when BMW NA took those away from us. And none of this is BMW's fault. They build what the public buys. They make enough money on cars you and I would never buy that they can afford to humor us and themselves with insane little projects like the 1-M Coupe in small quantities.

    Look on the bright side: You can still get what you want in a stick. A 528i buyer can't. All it takes is ordering one.
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,265
    Likes Received:5
    Which is exactly why I tell people to vote their conscience

    If you complain about stuff like no dipsticks, no spare tire/run flats, and the lack of such and such transmission in such and such model, but then you BUY the car anyway, you've just told BMW to continue building BMW's in the configuration you're complaining about!

    At the end of the day, BMW listens to one thing and one thing ONLY -- cash.

    unboringuy guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:1
    Very interesting! Still not a huge number, but certainly more than 22. And who know??? Maybe there was one that I would have been interested in. I certainly can't figure out what would motivate a dealer to make that up.....Sheesh.
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,265
    Likes Received:5
    Oh come on. Nobody's THAT blind.

    It's pretty plain to me -- he obviously LIED to you. It's a lot better for his bottom line to sell you a car off his lot -- or through a dealer exchange, than see his chance for a profit from a dealer stock car slip away.

    Don't act so surprised. Lying is part of a new car salesman's job description.
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

    Post Count: 404
    Likes Received:10
    And that's what's left after two-months of heavy incentives and advertising and a banner December with sales up nearly 20% from last year. I don't know why your dealer would have been looking in the entire country anyway. When I do my searches I search only dealers in an area over which I can easily travel. We still don't know where you are but it's unlikely a dealer in San Diego is going to locate a car for you in Miami and be able to transport it and still sell it to you at your price and retain any profit. More likely they searched their state, or best case their region. But then we STILL don't know where you are, do we?

Share This Page