How long will it take to build my car and have it delivered?
It will take from 5 to 7 days for BMW to build your new E60. However, delivery takes a bit longer, especially for U.S. buyers. Here's the basic flow, with time estimates. Please remember, however, that some steps have more variability than others. We've tried to point these out.
1) You officially order your new E60.
2) Your new E60 receives its production number. This can be accomplished anywhere from immediately to several weeks, or more, later. It depends on how soon your dealer can get a production slot. In some cases, your dealer may already has a slot (an ordered but unsold car). In these cases, they can update that production number to match your selected options and colors. When you order your car, always ask the dealer when you can get a production number. This number is critical to your ability to track your car through the build and delivery process. It also means that BMW North America knows about your car. It's official!! You can now register with BMW Owners Circle and should (http://oc.bmwusa.com). We'll say this step will take one week, for example, but this can be highly variable. Hound your dealer until you get this production number.
3) Your car enters production and receives a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) usually within a week or so of getting a production number. This is where your car starts it's trip through the factory in Germany. In about 5 to 7 days, your shiny new E60 will pop out the other end of the factory, completed! There are several steps through the factory. For example, Body Shop, Paint Shop, etc. Your dealer gets daily updates so he or she can tell you what part of the factory your car is in. Write down the VIN number you receive from your dealer or Owner's Circle. So far, we've got 1 week to get your production number, 1 week to enter production, and 10 days to build your car. Total so far: 24 days (3+ weeks)!
4) Your car goes from the factory to a shipping dock and waits in a parking spot for a large boat (they rarely sink but it has happened). Although it only requires a day or two to get from the factory to the boat docks, waiting for the next ship can take up to a week and occasionally longer. The name of this step is "Awaiting Transport" in Owners Circle and it is highly variable in how long it will take. Keep calling your dealer to see if your on a boat yet. Total so far: about 31 days.
5) The boat sails! This step is called En Route. It takes about 12 days for your new E60 to sail from Germany to the east coast of the U.S. and about 25 days to get from Germany to the U.S. west coast. We'll use the east coast for our running time estimate. Total so far: 43 days.
6) U.S. Arrival and preparation at one of the VDCs (Vehicle Distribution Centers). Normally, only 2 or 3 days is needed at the VDC. Sometimes the car can stay there longer if there was any damage during shipment or your car needs a software update that hasn't quite been released but is about to be. We'll say 3 days, but the VPC doesn't work on the weekends. Total so far: 46 days. It's getting close; start cleaning your garage!!!
7) Released for transport. Now your new E60 is done at the distribution center and is on a truck headed for your dealer. It's hard to predict the time needed for this step as that completely depends on how far your dealer is from one of the three US prep centers (New Jersey, South Carolina, and California). We'll say 2 days. Total so far: 48 days.
8) Dealer preperation. The dealer only requires about 1/2 a day to a full day to prep your car for you. Seat covers will be removed, gas tank filled, etc.
Total time to get your new E60: about 49-50 days but they're not quite elapsed days as some steps stop on the weekends (e.g. VDC, dealer prep) and some don't stop on the weekends (the boat still sails on Sat./Sun. All in all it'll take about 8 to 10 weeks to receive your new car!
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Boat doesnt really do the shipping vesel justice. I got so anxious, I took a drive to the port. My car came in on a ship called the pioneer leader. It was roughly 2000 feet long. 500 feet wide. and came up out of the water about 300 feet. It was HUGE!!!!!!! Just putting it in perspective.