The Complete Guide to Factory and European Delivery for Diesels

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First delivery at the BMW Welt, 23. October 2007

My first European Delivery was a BMW 3 Series while I was a student at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich.   I took delivery of the car at BMW’s Freimann Delivery Center, which was replaced by the BMW Welt in 2007.  I was also the first person to take delivery of a new car at the BMW Welt when it opened.  Indeed, in the past seven years, I’ve availed myself of European Delivery six times.

My first European Delivery of a diesel-powered automobile was in December 2009 when I picked up a 2010 BMW 335d sedan at the BMW Welt in Munich.

My most recent European Delivery, however, was my first with Mercedes-Benz:  On August 5, 2011, I picked up an E350 BlueTec sedan at the Mercedes-Benz Kundencenter in Sindelfingen near Stuttgart.  I placed my order at Helms Bros., the very same dealership my parents and I visited when I was 10, and worked with Kathleen Baade and Walter Blum on the order.

Driving the Mercedes E350 BlueTec to Maastricht

With the help of our European Editor Christian Stampfer, drove from Sindelfingen to Maastricht (Netherlands), from Maastricht to Cologne (Köln), from Cologne to Arnhem (NL), and from Arnhem to the port city of Bremerhaven, where, on August 12, I dropped the E350 off at the offices of BLG Logistics (known as E.H. Harms in the U.S.) for its trans-Atlantic voyage.

The car was immediately booked on Independence II, a Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC), that departed Bremerhaven on August 21 and arrived in Baltimore, where Mercedes-Benz operates its Vehicle Preparation Center, on September 1.

Two months ago, however, I took delivery of a new BMW X5 xDrive35d at the BMW factory in Spartanburg and drove it back to New York with the help of TDD European Editor Christian Stampfer.


European and Factory Delivery programs are a unique way to enjoy one’s new car.  Indeed, unlike a keychain or snowglobe, an automobile is a much larger and far more interesting souvenir from a trip.

It’s not surprising that, last year, over 5,000 Americans purchased a car in a similar fashion, travelling to the factory to pick up a brand new Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or Volvo.  As diesel-powered automobiles become more popular – and the selection of diesel models in the U.S. will increase dramatically for 2013 – a trip to your automobile’s native land will add to the excitement of your new car purchase.

Whether you go to Germany or South Carolina, you’ll find it will be a rewarding trip.

Click here to continue to Page 5European and Factory Delivery Program Comparison Chart and Resources

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