BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jan 2015
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Sept 2015 European Delivery Tips/Notes
Hello all - just got back from a 2 week Germany/Austria trip with MB European Delivery.
I just wanted to post a few notes on potential problems that I didn't pick up on while doing my trip due diligence.
1.) Despite ordering your car 6-months in advance, your car may not be ready on your delivery day. I suspect MB probably doesn't put your build information into play until about 30-days prior to the delivery date.
2.) MB builds via the JIT (just in time) method so any last minute disruption in supply or delivery may delay your delivery.
3.) Since MB uses JIT assembly they won't know that they are going to miss your delivery date until 1 or 2 business days prior to your delivery date. You may already be on a plane or have started your trip prior to knowing that your car will not be available. We were notified on Thursday evening that our Monday delivery would not be possible.
4.) MB will give you a high-end "loaner" car to use. My wife purchased a 2016 E400 cabriolet. MB gave her an SL65 AMG (V12) to use during her trip (made packing a little tricky for our 2-week trip). MB gave her the option of keeping the SL65 for the entirety of her holiday and having her car shipped to the states immediately -or- she could use the SL65 until her car was available and they would drive her car to wherever she was staying at the time and exchange the cars there. My wife chose the 2nd option and received her car at the Parkhotel Adler at 8pm 2-days later with 200+/- miles on her new car as it had to be driven there.
5.) Taking a loaner car and then exchanging the loaner for your own car screws up the drop off. You will not have your car's paper work to give to the In/Out delivery service office in Sindelfingen. However, you should still go and meet with them while you are in Sindelfingen. MB told us not to worry about it but this was wrong information which lead to many phone calls.
Post mortem - why was the car delayed and what I could have done differently:
1.) The E Cab is not assembled in Sindelfingen. It's assembled in Bremen and has to be shipped to the delivery center. (S cars, AMG GTs, and E sedans are produced at the delivery center).
2.) We were aware of the German holidays in August but not in September and did not know how this could impact the delivery. There are rolling 2-week holidays by region. North is the first 2-weeks of August, Central is the last 2-weeks, and South (Bavaria) is the first 2-weeks of September. What this means is that big rigs (tractor-trailer rigs) are not allowed on the highways during the weekends within the regions experiencing the holiday. This is due to holiday traffic (many people pulling camping trailers, etc.). So the car was delayed a day due to assembly and cascaded to another 1-day delay because it could not be transported to Sindelfingen on Saturday and thus missed the Monday delivery.
Things to do differently:
1.) if you're taking delivery of a car not assembled in Sindelfingen, take delivery on any day but Monday - you should also build in another 1 or 2 days of flexibility into your schedule around the delivery date, if possible. If you're taking delivery of a car assembled in Sindelfingen you will probably be ok.
2.) be mentally prepared to accept a loaner car.
1.) Hotel Am Schlossgarten - Stuttgart which is one of the hotels MB will pay for while in Stuttgart. I do not recommend staying here. This was the worst hotel of the trip. Nice staff but the rooms were not good. The hotel restaurant has one Michelin star but that did not make up for the room.
2.) Stuttgart is not a pretty city. We went to the MB museum (it's ok) but didn't make it to the Porsche museum. You might consider staying in another nicer city within an hour's drive of Sindelfingen and arrange a private transfer to the delivery center. Yes, it's that bad.
3.) If you like to drive awesome roads try to stay several days at both the Parkhotel Adler (in the black forest) and the Interalpen Hotel (in the Austria Alps) - both are MB hotels. There are some great driving roads in both these areas that need to be explored.
4.) We researched hotels for parking and had really good luck with these:
- Heidelberg Suites (Heidelberg)- awesome hotel on the river with views of the castle. Very nice but uncovered secured parking at the hotel.
-Parkhotel Adler (Black Forest): Has parking garage.
-Interalpen Hotel: Has awesome parking garage and assigned parking spaces. Cool hotel - looks cheesy online like a swinging 70's place but it's not. It's quirky and cool.
-Villa Ludwig Hotel (Fussen/Schwangau/Newschwanstein Castle): Awesome hotel with an awesome parking garage. Units are new and have views of the castle. Walk to Hotel Muller for dinner.
-Hotel Sacher (Salzburg) - I recommend. On river with views of the Castle.
-Hotel Imperial (Vienna) - I do not recommend. I would recommend the Hotel Sacher in Vienna instead. However, we saw Niki Lauda here at Hotel Imperial. He either stays here a bunch or has an ownership interest in the hotel because you can get the "Niki Lauda Breakfast" - it's on the menu. He was driving an AMG GT V12 - parked right up front of course.
-Bayerishcer Hof in Munich - Good underground garage. However, I think there are better options in Munich.
5.) We ended the trip at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich to take advantage of not having to deliver the car to an In/Out location. They will come pick the car up from the parking garage here. Hotel is a 5-star but its 25th place ranking on trip advisor is rightly deserved. There are better hotels in Munich for the money.