One of the main purposes of the trip to Europe was to pick up … a brand new car!!! I had gone with a friend to do a European delivery of his Volvo in the past, and it was a good experience. It is very nice to be traveling around Europe in your new car, with all the features that are not typical of a rental car. Additionally, there are some perks offered and the cost of the car is actually less. The big drawback is that after you drop off the car, you have to wait for it to make the trek across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, up to Port Hueneme, where it will sit. And sit. And sit prior to delivery to Oxnard and then on to final delivery. If you can manage that, and if you can afford the vacation in Europe, it is a pretty great experience. My colleague was doing the same around the same time, so we could compare notes of our preparation.
As I planned this trip far in advance, I could choose exactly what features I wanted. One thing I knew I did NOT want was the red interior trim that came with one of the packages I chose. I kept overriding that trim, and it kept reappearing in the order. My salesman, who I’m sure did not want to lose a sale over red trim, assured me that the trim would be as I ordered.
We did not arrange for a factory tour. There was some confusion over that, and it seems like we could have, but we didn’t. I’m fine with that as I’ve been to multiple car factories. The visitor center, BMW Welt, and the museum are quite impressive.
After quite a bit of paperwork, I met with my concierge (for lack of a better term), and he stepped me through a virtual tour of my car. Tomo and I had talked beforehand about the red trim, and that if it was red I should accept it and move on. The car was brought up to the very impressive handover location, and we went with the concierge to be given a specific tour of the car and to drive it away. It was quite impressively done. It wasn’t like somebody handing a key to me in a lot and saying, “OK, it’s yours.”
I walked up, peaked into the window, and the first words I said was, “It’s red.” And that was it. Fortunately, I was emotionally prepared for that. Now, I see the red trim and I like it. We got a thorough discussion of the features of the car, fired it up, and drove it out … to the valet parking below so we could see the museum.
Although I really like my car, I’m not that big of a “car guy” and Tomo is even less so than I am. Still, we really enjoyed walking through the BMW Museum. The museum is located across the street from BMW Welt, and in front of the headquarters.
The museum included BMW history as well as highlighted technical innovation through the years. It was well curated so that almost everyone could find something interesting. Six years after my visit, I can’t tell you “the one thing” that I thought was cool, but I still have the impression of being there far longer than I expected and not getting bored. A few fun photos are below.
After the museum we got the car and searched for the nearest petrol station as they had barely put any diesel in the car because of regulations at BMW Welt! Nothing like driving of the lot with a warning light displayed.