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Monday, May 30, 2005

Performance Center Delivery - Part 1, May 25, 2005

On May 26, I experienced a Performance Center Delivery of my new 2005 Silver Gray M3.

For those who don't know, BMW offers each purchaser of a new BMW the opportunity to pick up their vehicle at BMW's Performance Center, which is adjacent to their manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, SC (actually it's in Greer, SC). There is no additional cost for this delivery option; the money BMW saves by not having to ship the car to your location is used to fund the day's events, as well as your food and lodging. You still have to pay the destination charge; that's what pays for the Performance Delivery.

Prior to my departure, BMW sent me a couple of letters confirming my delivery date, as well as some tips and instructions: e.g. flat, closed shoes (i.e. no sandals, etc.) are required for driving instruction and the factory tour.

My experience began when I boarded a flight down to South Carolina. When I arrived, I called the Greenville Marriott from the courtesy phone, as instructed in the letter. The receptionist confirmed my name, and said a driver would meet me out front in a silver BMW. I headed outside to wait.

10 minutes later, a silver E60 530i came rolling up, and a bellhop from the Marriott jumped out and put my luggage in the trunk. The drive to the hotel took about 7 minutes. On the way, I found out that the driver/bellhop's name was Warren, and he was originally from Hawaii. He was a very friendly fellow, and talked up the area and BMW's contributions quite a bit. Maybe that's part of his job. :) At the hotel, he parked the car out front in the circle, like it was on display, and brought my luggage in.

The hotel itself was quite nice, having recently received a multi-million dollar refurbishing. After checking in and settling myself in the room, I went downstairs to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant, Giatu. They have a special BMW menu: a choice of 2 salads, entree choice of filet mignon, chicken, or salmon, and choice of 2 desserts. After dinner, not having any transportation (although Warren did offer to drive me anywhere), I retired, watched some TV, and attempted to sleep.



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