Mercedes-Benz European Delivery – The Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel Sedan

By Jonathan Spira on 5 September 2011
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Out of the five automakers that offer European Delivery programs in the United States – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo – only two, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, currently offer diesels via their program.

Mercedes-Benz offers customers residing in the United States the opportunity to purchase a new Mercedes E-Class or S-Class diesel-powered sedan at a discount and pick it up at the factory in Germany.  Mercedes-Benz first started offering factory delivery in 1953 in Sindelfingen and began offering European Delivery to Americans in 1957.

Last year, almost 5,000 Americans purchased a car through a European Delivery program (which, depending on the manufacturer, might also called Factory Delivery, Overseas Delivery, and Tourist Delivery programs), and even more will do so this year.  The savings vary by manufacturer but they are far from inconsequential. The buyer typically will save several thousand dollars on a purchase (with the exception of cars from Porsche, which does not provide any discounts and in fact charges an additional fee for the service).

The procedure is more or less the same with each car manufacturer.  The buyer simply goes to his local dealership and orders a car for European Delivery.  This typically should take place roughly three months in advance of the desired delivery date.

In my case, I went to see Kathleen Baade and Walter Blum at Helms Bros. Mercedes-Benz, in Bayside, New York.   My timeframe was a bit shorter than the recommended three months, but Mercedes-Benz is occasionally able to accommodate such requests.

I spec’d out the car, a Palladium Silver E350 BlueTec, signed the preliminary purchase order (which Mercedes-Benz needs to begin the European Delivery process), finalized the delivery date (August 5), and began to make travel plans.  I mapped out a drive from Sindelfingen to Maastricht (Netherlands), Cologne (Germany), Arnhem (Netherlands), and Bremen (Germany).  The drive would end in Bremerhaven, where I would hand over the E350 to BLG Logistics (née E.H. Harms), which would make arrangements for the car to be shipped to the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz provides a variety of perks and benefits to European Delivery customers. Among these are one night in a luxury hotel (be it in Stuttgart or 13 other top hotels in Europe), two taxi vouchers (this covers airport to hotel and hotel to Kundencenter), and a coupon for dining at the restaurant at the Kundencenter.

Mercedes also waives the delivery fee of $875 (which U.S. delivery customers must pay) and provides a full tank of fuel at delivery.

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Delivery in Germany

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