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Discussion Starter #1
After eight years, 85000 miles, it is time to let my 2002 ML500 go. Great truck that never failed me. But the miles and time have made it slightly unsettling. Coupled with a bad dealer that would love to replace the brakes every visit, a company the "stuck it" to owners by refusing to update CD based navigation and the whole analog/digital communication issue, I made a change.
We bought a BMW X5 diesel, loaded, with all the stuff you would get on your ML. It is as fast as my ML500 with better steering. Rides rougher, but the seats and brakes are fantastic.
We tried the ML diesel but found the interior stark and the performance dreadful. Again, the dealer is terrible. :crybaby2:
I'll miss the dependability, the seats, the towing, the power rear quarter windows.
I won't miss the bad dealer, navigation, a-pillars, and headlights.
I got the BMW for $5,000 under invoice. We'll see about the dealer, etc.
 

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2000 ML 430, 1999 BMW 540iT, 1993 500SL
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341 Posts
Depending on where you are BMW dealers can be just if not more horrible then Mercedes. I have both and find that the BMW dealer is a bigger scam artist then the Merc one around here. On the plus side though find yourself a really good independent. Parts for BMW's in general are a bit cheaper if you don't buy them directly from the dealer. EACtuning sells official BMW parts for decent prices compared to dealer. Example: needed a new FSU, dealer wanted $280, them $58. Thus no matter what one drives if you have a good independent and a good source for parts it isn't more or less expensive then any other car out there.
 

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W163 ML500 2003
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120 Posts
Parts are cheaper 'cause they're made out of plastic.
also, they're called stealership for a reason. A good indy is needed for a Mercedes like Butter goes with bread.

Enjoy the BMW! At least you're stayin German! :)
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Not all dealerships are 'stealerships'. Like anything else, you must shop for what you want, you must demand and understand value for money, and establish a relationship that is clearly defined.

Indies are great at general stuff and installing specialty items, but they're really not equipped to handle the various details our cars come with.

If you're serious about MB ownership, you need to cultivate a relationship with both the dealership and an indie. And use them accordingly.
 

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W163 ML500 2003
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120 Posts
Not all dealerships are 'stealerships'. Like anything else, you must shop for what you want, you must demand and understand value for money, and establish a relationship that is clearly defined.
You're right certain things only a dealership can fix/diagnose. That doesn't change the fact that most if not ALL dealership's part prices are A LOT higher than when if you'd buy them by yourself. That is why dealerships are referred to as 'stealerships', because of their HIGH part prices. (50% higher prices for same part)

Also a dealership is a quick to fix the 'whole' system where in reality it could be just one part of that system.

IMHO all dealerships are 'stealerships' unless you as customer know what you're talking about, otherwise they WILL take advantage of you, at least that's the case w/ Mercedes Dealerships that I've been to here in the US and Germany.

Say what you want, but the fact is their prices are up to 50% higher than Autohausaz prices, that why I refer to a dealership as stealership.

Indies are great at general stuff and installing specialty items, but they're really not equipped to handle the various details our cars come with.
I disagree, there are only a few details an Indy can't fix/diagnose. And a good Indy has seen everything before and will tell you when to go to the dealership.

If you're serious about MB ownership, you need to cultivate a relationship with both the dealership and an indie. And use them accordingly.
I have a feeling you work for a dealership my friend. Whereas I agree its good to know your SA by first name and have a good relationship with that SA, in the end, the service department of a dealership is not in business on its own, its there to add to the overall profit of that dealership. All dealerships are under pressure to perform well in the balance sheet. Most are compared Nationwide. That's where Greed kicks in.

You don't want to be dead last in Service Profits because you sell parts at Autohausaz prices. The more money you make as a dealership compared to other dealerships the better.

The only dealership I've heard that has decent part prices is MB of Ft.Lauderdale.

Thoughts?
 

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Premium Member
1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Qualifier: I do NOT, repeat NOT, work for or am related to or otherwise associated with any dealer or dealer network.

I'm a consumer.

As that consumer, I own a number of cars, yet I demand 'perfection' in all of them. As in I bring them back to 'certified pre-owned' standards, if you could apply that term to older cars. Everything in my cars works and are to 'as new' standards.

Now, listen up, I'll share with you some secrets.

I negotiate relentlessly with anyone I deal with on a regular basis. I take advantage of any opportunity I can. Volume discount? I claim it. Ask dealership for wholesale price? I get it. I 'interview' anyone who does work for me, regardless what they do for me. Lawyer? Doctor? Service technician? They all get the fish-eye from me and the landscape gets settled at the introduction. They have to be competent and price their services 'efficiently'. If that doesn't happen, I don't do business with that person or firm. End of story. This is not a Mercedes thing, this is not a 'smart business' thing, this is just the way I roll through life.

Any stooge can pay retail, any idiot can pay for bad service. I don't. I simply refuse.

That said, give the people at Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati a try, call them at 877-432-8846, and ask for Tyler. They offer genuine MB parts at wholesale. Every day.

And they're a MB dealer and Tyler's a great guy, so you know you're not getting Fugazy parts.

You'll thank me on Monday.
 

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05 ML500 SE
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1,482 Posts
Nice choice... that powerplant is super desirable.

My bmw experience was very positive.. both the vehicle and the local dealer.
 

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W163 ML500 2003
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120 Posts
With you being a relentless negotiator you already differ from the masses. In that alone your experiences will differ with dealerships and most other consumer situations.

I seem to have no power in such situations and simply take my business elsewhere. Why should I negotiate when I know a 100% that I can get that part cheaper elsewhere, that exact same OEM MB part.

Regardless, in the last few years all MB dealerships have significantly dropped their outrageous part prices. In part because of the Internet. We as consumer can sit at home now and find the cheapest price for said same parts.

As long as you, as consumer, get what you want for a price that you feel is adequate you won and will be mentally happy.

Let me ask you this, if you were NOT such a relentless negotiator, and you were to go to a dealership, don't you think the dealership will charge you a huge markup from wholesale? That is basically the point I am trying to make.

Next time I'll need a part, which looks like will be an alternator I'll make sure to give Tyler a call and see if he can beat Autohausaz prices. (thanks for the contact info btw)
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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2,424 Posts
I guess the 'always negotiating' part is due to my profession. I'm in a business where I eat what I hunt, so that makes me naturally aggressive when it comes to self-preservation. In today's world, it isn't so much life and limb at stake as much as it is capital at risk.

And that, in part, is why I choose to always 'buy value', which plays a role in the cars I buy/care for. Can you imagine: Some knucklehead spent $150k for a car I bought 7-years later for less than 10% of that? Sure, it cost me a lot of time and a fair amount of money to bring that car to where I wanted it to be, but that represents to me true value. And the doing, in itself, was fun. I get the chance to mix it up with guys like you along the way.

Anyway, you'll have a good experience with Tyler. Call him up Monday, tell him you'd like to set up an account, he'll fax/email you a form for your cc information, tell him what MB(s) you own, he'll keep record and when you call again looking for a part, you'll already be in the system.

And take seriously what I'm sharing with you. A guy I know wrote a book about a certain lifestyle you might want to adopt. The book is called 'The Millionaire Next Door'.

Have a great holiday season!
 
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