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      01-21-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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North Carolina - Piedmont & Coastal (Schaeffer, Flow, Leith, Performance)

I recently went through a rather lengthy ordeal to order a 335i Coupe that has lasted a few months. I have personally dealt with the four major dealers in the region (Wilmington, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh / Durham). I only found a few posts on NC dealers when I searched in Sept, so here is as close to a head to head comparison as I could get.

As a side note, I drove the 335i on the autocross course during the Atlanta early preview event, so I focused heavily on price / delivery lead time.

Schaeffer BMW, Wilmington NC
My wife and I went to the local dealer (Schaeffer) first after calling to learn they had a 335i in stock. We wanted a manual, but my wife needed to give approval before I could place the order, since she had never seen one.

The CA (name since forgotten) was very short with us -- he didn't even offer to give my wife a quick tour, he simply mentioned that "this one is unlocked" and that she could sit in it. He then told me he'd call when he got a manual in stock. He never did.

To add insult to injury, when my friends learned we were looking at a 335i, every one of them told me to skip Schaeffer and go to Raleigh instead because their service was not up to par.

Performance BMW, Raleigh NC
My wife was in Raleigh for training, so we arranged for a test drive at Performance on a Saturday, since they were the second best price. Jamie (Internet sales) was a very good CA. He gave my wife a 1+hr tour of the car, and knew every option and feature.

After a great tour in the 335i, we hopped in an older sedan so my wife could drive a stick. That's when we we were hit on the side by a careless driver and we totaled the car (see thread).

Still needing a car, we went back to the dealer to finish some paperwork when they discovered they "mistakenly" quoted me the wrong price on the car, and tried to raise the price by several percent. Ironically, their original quote was higher than Flow's price, and when I told him that, they just said "tough."

Great service, bad pricing.

Flow BMW, Winston-Salem NC
When Schaeffer flaked out, I started shopping regionally. Flow came back with the strongest price right out of the gate (purchase). Ed Simmons (the Internet sales CA) was always very responsive.

Unfortunately, Flow was over promising delivery. After being promised we'd go to 112 by the end of December for a Jan build, things started to fall apart. Every week it was "this week." After 3 weeks of that, I got pushy and learned I was actually #4 in line, and that a late customer cancellation had frozen some of their allocations.

When we learned that, I canceled our order.

Leith BMW, Raleigh NC
Leith was also a strong contender in the Raleigh area, and Juan, their Internet sales guy, had always been very responsive. After the Flow deal died, I called him. His price was in the middle of the pack, but he had modifiable cars in 111 and no backlog.

Admittedly, I was a little skittish after the Flow deal, so I called Juan every few days to check on the status. He assured me everything would be alright, and that if he said he had a car, he was going to get us a car.

Juan was right. I had a production number in a few days and didn't have to hassle with deposits, etc. Of all of the CA's he was the most willing to give a good price and had allocations ready for immediate order, and he kept his promises.

If price is your #1 factor, and you can wait for delivery, Flow is your best bet. Sadly, you need to pry more than you should to find out your "true" status, however their price is second to none. I had dealers all over the region tell me to take it since they couldn't even touch it.

However, if you're looking for a blend of delivery / price and want to order in NC, Leith is the clear winner. They were #2 (after disqualifying the bad quote from Performance) and had great service to boot. Thanks to Juan for being one of the most honest CA's I've met.
2007 E92 335i Coupe - Space Grey - Red Leather - Aluminum Trim - 6MT - Sport - Premium - iDrive - Heated Seats - Comfort Access - Park Distance
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      01-21-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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Nice writeup.... I worked with some of those guys too. I talked with Jamie @ Performance quite a bit, but in the end I ended up going with Hendrick in Charlotte cause they had the best price and they had a car already in line for production that I could configure. I got a sedan though... those aren't in quite as much demand now so my buying experience was probably a little easier than yours. Seems like it's hard to deal on a e92 right now.

Congrats and nice config!
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      10-10-2007, 09:54 PM   #3
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I asked all the dealers in the Carolinas to give me their best price. Flow didn't have the lead by about $500, but they could get me an '07 and everyone else could only get '08's. I figured the 4-6 weeks would be worth the $500.

I dealt with Darby Fife and would highly recommend her. The GM was rude and arrogant when we were trying to negioate my trade. Don't know if he was just trying to play hardball, but he met my price when I got ready to walk.

Also dealt with Robin B. (don't remember her last name completely) for F&I. She seemed very knowledgeable and was quick to get my paperwork done.
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      12-03-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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I will add a positive experience for Schaeffer BMW. My wife and I have purchased 2 vehicles from their stock, a manual 328i followed by a demo 335i after our 328 was totalled while visiting family in NC. There SA's seem to change over every few months and the two individuals who I purchased from have been gone for some time, as have the F&I manager (J Baxendale) and others. I will admit that the price they gave me on our 335i was 2K less than any other dealer in NC or MI was willing to offer. Very satisfied with that purchase.

The real reason my family has been loyal to Schaeffer while living between 500 and 900 miles away has to do with their service. The service manager has always gone ABOVE and BEYOND for our vehicles. I actually consider him a personal friend and will frequently cruise the lot and say hello when visiting. Examples include an electrical issue on my father in-laws 3 series and a tire issue that arose unexpectedly. He immediately arranged time to get the problems resolved promptly and provides clean BMW loaners. We also have had no problem with arranging additional oil changes and maintenance services on short notice around our travel schedules. If anyone wants his name please PM me and I will pass it along.

After 6 years away my wife and I are looking at returning to the area, which will soon be followed by the purchase of my first M3 through Schaeffer BMW.
-2011 e92 M3
-2008 e90 335i-> Sold
-2007 e90 328i-> RIP 12/19/08
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      05-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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I just got my 2013 F30 335i delivered in Raleigh area. Here is my experience.

This is my first time to plan to own a new car, 335i is an affordable dream car for me. I send out several emails for quote, Flow BMW and Leith BMW are very responsive. Because I live close to Leith and over 1 hour drive to Flow BMW, I went to Leith first. David@LeithBMW gave me a tour and test drive. The price first offer to me is $2800 off MSRP.

Maybe 335i is not as popular as 328, or for some other reason, I didn't find my desired car in market, loaded with necessary package but still affordable. So, I decided to order the car, it's said this will take 6-8 weeks.

I went to Performance BMW on next weekend. Winn@Performance also gave me an over 1 hour tour and explain every option in detail. After the negotiation, He give me an offer $3k off MSRP. (MSRP is around $50k) I'm also qualified $1k incentive in February from BFS and $1k incentive for graduate student, so I think totally $5k off MSRP is a good price to me. I almost put my deposit down, but the thing is stuck because (1) they only gave me 6.99% APR instead of standard 3.19% (2) they can not guarantee the incentive if the car is delivered in more than 2 months.

Then I went back to Leith BMW, and ask David@BMW if he can match the same price. He agreed and also agreed on the standard 3.19% APR, and said my incentives are not a problem if I signed the contract before the end of February . As a result, I signed the contract and put deposit down in Leith BMW.

One more thing I need to mention, I've no idea whether Performance BMW know the trick or not, they order the car for Germany. After 6 weeks, Winn@Performance called me asking whether I bought any car yet, they built the car anyway and it was already arrived. However, Leith BMW order my car from South Africa, it takes 10 weeks to delivered to dealer. But as promised, Leith helped me to get the incentive though it pass 2 months already.

Conclusion: I think these two dealers are both good. Leith BMW gave me the good price easier than Performance, though Performance can match it anyhow, I still feel Leith BMW is more negotiation friendly. On the other hand, Performance maybe have more experience in ordering cars, they aware it takes less time if ship from Germany instead of South Africa.
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