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      02-16-2008, 04:28 AM   #45
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If the build quality is the same or better who cares where its made. There has been a lot of turkeys produced by car makers in their home countries. Bottom line is to get a vehicle in working order.
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      02-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #46
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Damn, hansyes whats with the hot girls ? Can I get to know them
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      02-16-2008, 02:31 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1WickedE90 View Post
Which is higher quality, one built in Germany or SA?
germany. i have a e39 built from SA and a e90 and e92 from germany...even the e39 built in germany, you can hear the difference by closing the door
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      02-16-2008, 04:07 PM   #48
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I wonder what the stats are for all the cars that have Fuel Pump Issues. What percentage of those cars were built in Germany and what percentage of those cars were built in SA? I think that would be an interesting stat to know.

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      02-18-2008, 09:12 AM   #49
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I work for a german automotive company that has many global production locations (also supply systems for the e90), so I know there will always be differences in quality plant to plant. However, generalizing quality of a product based off geographical location of the plant is so narrow minded. There are so many factors that come into play, such as worker training, implementation of the quality system, worker morale, etc.

my company has plants in Germany, South Africa and the US (to name a few), and all three places have different quality. It's not the environment/location that determines the quality of the product, It's the level of implementation of the quality systems within the plant.

With Germany being the global headquarters, most of the advanced development and manufacturing techniques are investigated there. Most often, these standards are implemented in the local plants first, where it is easiest to integrate and audit the success of the changes. However, this is not always the case. A location, such as Germany, may not have the capacity to try new strategies, therefore South Africa (or another plant) may utilize the new techniques first, maybe because they are starting new production.

Unless you work for the specific company, you can't make such generalized statements that the German plant makes better cars than SA.

in BMW's case, since it seems SA has been a major build site for quite some time, I would not worry about quality. They most likely have installed the company's quality systems and processes. If there's a new China plant coming out, then I would worry - its not about the location, it's about how developed the location has become with the company standards.
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      02-18-2008, 11:57 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihavedrivenanm1 View Post
The issue isn't "magic" or "bigot[ry]" but rather money.

Regardless of the value you personally may ascribe to 'built-in-Germany' BMW absolutely charges all of their customers a premium for that appellation. In fact they are counting on their customers responding to it.

The vast majority of BMW's customers are far more aware that they are buying the hippest German car than they are of BMW's sporting and racing history or how modern and advanced the SA plant may be.

Personally I would have no problem with a BMW made in SA as long as BMW was giving me a rebate for not being made in Germany - not because I am overly concerned with the car not being made in Germany, I just don't want to be charged for something I am not receiving.
+1!! Some people are not getting this.. the fact is fact.. everyone knows that primary reason why BMW decides to build cars in SA is because labour is considerably cheaper there.. so paying the same $$ for SA built car does not and should not make any sense at all..
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      02-18-2008, 12:04 PM   #51
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BMW will ensure it still delivers a quality product, as someone noted, it is a mindset. Look at Spartanburg....any big quality complaints about the X5 / Z4??

Also, if you are hell bent on a Hecho in Deutchland, try an Euro-delivery in Germany, whatever algorithm they will use to determine where your order is produced will sure output a German production facility (as long as German plants actually produce the model you ordered).
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      02-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #52
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BMW will ensure it still delivers a quality product, as someone noted, it is a mindset. Look at Spartanburg....any big quality complaints about the X5 / Z4??

Also, if you are hell bent on a Hecho in Deutchland, try an Euro-delivery in Germany, whatever algorithm they will use to determine where your order is produced will sure output a German production facility (as long as German plants actually produce the model you ordered).
America and Germany have similar labour system.. they are paid similar.. pretty much everything is similar.. whereas SA surely isn't.. although SA may not be a developing nation among African countries.. their labour is not comparable to either America or Germany.. and the biggest problem rising above all this is that I doubt anyone would want to pay such a premium on cars they are buying if they knew they're getting a car that just appears to be the same exact one when it certainly isn't..
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      02-18-2008, 01:03 PM   #53
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+1!! Some people are not getting this.. the fact is fact.. everyone knows that primary reason why BMW decides to build cars in SA is because labour is considerably cheaper there.. so paying the same $$ for SA built car does not and should not make any sense at all..
labor may be cheaper, but it doesn't mean the overall car is cheaper for BMW. you have to account any of the import/export taxes, logistics/freight, as well as capital investment in the SA production location. They need to offset the millions invested in building the location, and they surely don't get that money back over 1-2 years.

If you're so worried about having a car built in Germany, pick a car that's is solely built there. There are people who buy cars for this reason only (think "buy american" supporters).
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      03-26-2008, 03:11 AM   #54
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I recently learned that some of the US 335i sedan production will be shifted to South Africa beginning in February. SA Model Code = 0880, Germany = 0842.
I ordered a 335xi earlier and my sales emailed the VIN yesterday. I wonder which digits in the 17 digits VIN are those four manufacture plant belongs to. The VIN I have does not contain either 0880 or 0842. Thanks
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      03-26-2008, 03:21 AM   #55
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Not completely true. Within the US it depends solely on your BMW Center. A Center can clearly tell where each 3-Series sedan (328/335) will be built, South Africa or Germany (which specific plant in AG is unknown until the VIN is issued) by 1. The model code (SA 328 = 0845, SA 335 = 0880, AG 328 = 0844, 335 = 0842) and 2. by SA listed within the DCS, next to or below the model designation (328/335). If a customer is ordering the vehicle (Priority 1) the Center/Client Advisor has the choice to advise the customer as to where the vehicle will be built (SA vs AG). Some customers simply do not care while others do. It is fairly easy to detect which ones will care.
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      03-26-2008, 03:21 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian A View Post
I ordered a 335xi earlier and my sales emailed the VIN yesterday. I wonder which digits in the 17 digits VIN are those four manufacture plant belongs to. The VIN I have does not contain either 0880 or 0842. Thanks
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      03-26-2008, 05:00 AM   #57
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Production Quality

I've been browsing for two years and this is my first post. I worked at BMW for two years and can shed some light about the quality between the different manufacturing plants. After seeing this topic come up countless times, hopefully this post will clear things up. For BMW specifically, the quality of the final product when it reaches the customer's hands should all be pretty much equal, regardless of the plant in which the car was produced.

That being said however, the manufacturing process from plant to plant is slightly different. The German plants--Munich, Regensburg, and Leipzig--adopt the latest advances in manufacturing first. These technologies then filter down to the South African plant. One example is the painting process. The German plants have a more advanced paint and paint curing process that has probably just been adopted by South Africa. In addition, due to the nature of the workforce, German plants tend to produce cars with fewer errors than the South African plant. This means that the South African vehicles require more rework when the finished car goes through final inspection--this was also reported by a leading European newspaper about one year ago, I forgot the source. After the rework, all vehicles should be 99% perfect. Any imperfections are not discernable by the customer.

There have also been years however, where the South African plant has produced more error-free cars than the German ones. Many people have mentioned that the SA plant won the award for highest manufacturing quality of European automobiles a few years back--when the e46 was being produced. For the e90 though, the German plants have traditionally been better. I remember one time a coworker was driving an SA-built e90 as an employee car. There were reported sealing problems in the interior that allowed water to come through. Other employees that drove SA-built e90s also reporter other minor problems along those lines. From a personal standpoint, I've heard less issues with German assembled e90s.

In regards to the German plants, assembly quality also varies. Leipzig is the newest plant, finsihed in time for the start of production of the e90 in 2005. My guess is that it would take some time to match the error-free rate of the older Munich and Regensburg plants. Those two plants also have been consistent winners in J.D. Power's annual studies. Regensburg consistently ranks among the tops in manufacturing quality for all European automobiles. They produce all 3 series coupes and cabriolets, the M3, and some 328i and the 335i. Munich produces all the X drive 3 series along with the wagon and the rwd 328i and 335i. Leipzig produces 328 and 335i, along with our 1 series coupe. SA for many years produced abouy 25% of the US mkt 328i. As of February 2008 however, some 335i for the US have started to come from SA.

To tell which plant in which your vehicle was built, look at the 11th character of your VIN. The following are the letters for each respective plant:

A, F, K: Munich
P: Regensburg
N: South Africa
V: Leipzig

Hopefully this helps everyone!
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      03-26-2008, 05:16 AM   #58
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that is what i am talking about jamesh! most excellent post, welcome.
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      03-26-2008, 09:48 AM   #59
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few, you guys have me worried for a second as my car just went into production and I didnt have a VIN yet. I emailed my SA this morning and found a P in the 11th char of the vin, so I guess Regensburg it is! While I wouldn't have been so mad I would have denied delivery I am very happy to know that my car is being made in Germany.
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      03-27-2008, 04:04 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesh View Post
I've been browsing for two years and this is my first post. I worked at BMW for two years and can shed some light about the quality between the different manufacturing plants. After seeing this topic come up countless times, hopefully this post will clear things up. For BMW specifically, the quality of the final product when it reaches the customer's hands should all be pretty much equal, regardless of the plant in which the car was produced.

That being said however, the manufacturing process from plant to plant is slightly different. The German plants--Munich, Regensburg, and Leipzig--adopt the latest advances in manufacturing first. These technologies then filter down to the South African plant. One example is the painting process. The German plants have a more advanced paint and paint curing process that has probably just been adopted by South Africa. In addition, due to the nature of the workforce, German plants tend to produce cars with fewer errors than the South African plant. This means that the South African vehicles require more rework when the finished car goes through final inspection--this was also reported by a leading European newspaper about one year ago, I forgot the source. After the rework, all vehicles should be 99% perfect. Any imperfections are not discernable by the customer.

There have also been years however, where the South African plant has produced more error-free cars than the German ones. Many people have mentioned that the SA plant won the award for highest manufacturing quality of European automobiles a few years back--when the e46 was being produced. For the e90 though, the German plants have traditionally been better. I remember one time a coworker was driving an SA-built e90 as an employee car. There were reported sealing problems in the interior that allowed water to come through. Other employees that drove SA-built e90s also reporter other minor problems along those lines. From a personal standpoint, I've heard less issues with German assembled e90s.

In regards to the German plants, assembly quality also varies. Leipzig is the newest plant, finsihed in time for the start of production of the e90 in 2005. My guess is that it would take some time to match the error-free rate of the older Munich and Regensburg plants. Those two plants also have been consistent winners in J.D. Power's annual studies. Regensburg consistently ranks among the tops in manufacturing quality for all European automobiles. They produce all 3 series coupes and cabriolets, the M3, and some 328i and the 335i. Munich produces all the X drive 3 series along with the wagon and the rwd 328i and 335i. Leipzig produces 328 and 335i, along with our 1 series coupe. SA for many years produced abouy 25% of the US mkt 328i. As of February 2008 however, some 335i for the US have started to come from SA.

To tell which plant in which your vehicle was built, look at the 11th character of your VIN. The following are the letters for each respective plant:

A, F, K: Munich
P: Regensburg
N: South Africa
V: Leipzig

Hopefully this helps everyone!
Thanks! Mine has an A so it's Munich. You are right on quality control and the cars made in the country where the car manufacture originally located is better. It has something to do with their own culture of learning. If the workers understand the building process better, they build better cars. I worked at a Toyota dealership before and I can tell you that the Japanese made cars are better than the North American built cars. Even a Echo/Yaris has less interior cracking noise than a Corolla...
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      03-27-2008, 08:28 AM   #61
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Wouldn't all of this be on your car's sticker as well?

Is the "final location of assembly" indicitive of determining where the vehicle was produced?

My '08 335i sedan lists Munich.
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      03-27-2008, 01:25 PM   #62
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interesting!~
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      03-27-2008, 02:21 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesh View Post
I've been browsing for two years and this is my first post. I worked at BMW for two years and can shed some light about the quality between the different manufacturing plants. After seeing this topic come up countless times, hopefully this post will clear things up. For BMW specifically, the quality of the final product when it reaches the customer's hands should all be pretty much equal, regardless of the plant in which the car was produced.

That being said however, the manufacturing process from plant to plant is slightly different. The German plants--Munich, Regensburg, and Leipzig--adopt the latest advances in manufacturing first. These technologies then filter down to the South African plant. One example is the painting process. The German plants have a more advanced paint and paint curing process that has probably just been adopted by South Africa. In addition, due to the nature of the workforce, German plants tend to produce cars with fewer errors than the South African plant. This means that the South African vehicles require more rework when the finished car goes through final inspection--this was also reported by a leading European newspaper about one year ago, I forgot the source. After the rework, all vehicles should be 99% perfect. Any imperfections are not discernable by the customer.

There have also been years however, where the South African plant has produced more error-free cars than the German ones. Many people have mentioned that the SA plant won the award for highest manufacturing quality of European automobiles a few years back--when the e46 was being produced. For the e90 though, the German plants have traditionally been better. I remember one time a coworker was driving an SA-built e90 as an employee car. There were reported sealing problems in the interior that allowed water to come through. Other employees that drove SA-built e90s also reporter other minor problems along those lines. From a personal standpoint, I've heard less issues with German assembled e90s.

In regards to the German plants, assembly quality also varies. Leipzig is the newest plant, finsihed in time for the start of production of the e90 in 2005. My guess is that it would take some time to match the error-free rate of the older Munich and Regensburg plants. Those two plants also have been consistent winners in J.D. Power's annual studies. Regensburg consistently ranks among the tops in manufacturing quality for all European automobiles. They produce all 3 series coupes and cabriolets, the M3, and some 328i and the 335i. Munich produces all the X drive 3 series along with the wagon and the rwd 328i and 335i. Leipzig produces 328 and 335i, along with our 1 series coupe. SA for many years produced abouy 25% of the US mkt 328i. As of February 2008 however, some 335i for the US have started to come from SA.

To tell which plant in which your vehicle was built, look at the 11th character of your VIN. The following are the letters for each respective plant:

A, F, K: Munich
P: Regensburg
N: South Africa
V: Leipzig

Hopefully this helps everyone!
Excellent post, and I also agree with another poster who mention part of the cache of buying a BMW is that it's "made in Germany" and therefore of "better quality" compared to our domestic brands. BMW has built off that reputation for years, so to pay the premium for a BMW which was assembled in SA or US is a bit disengenious(sp?) on BMW's part.

Many of you guys in your later 30's on up should remember the days when people wanted only to by US cars assembled in Canadian plants because the perception was that these cars had less problems than their US made siblings. Infact, I believe study did come out which, at the time, supported that ascertion.

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      03-27-2008, 03:25 PM   #64
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Thanks e92drivver. My dealer told me my new 2008 328i e92 was being built in germany. But good to hear it again.

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      03-27-2008, 03:29 PM   #65
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Thanks socom and jamesh. You guys rule!

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      03-27-2008, 06:38 PM   #66
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thanks

thanks for the warm welcome, guys. i like how this forum discusses meaningful and helpful information. looking forward to great discussions in the future!
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