Featuring UUC products.


Join our discussions and chat.


Stories, how-to, and reviews from my personal tuner shop... my garage.


My collection of media including photos, audio, and video.


Specs, history, pros/cons, and stories about my own 330i.


BMW places on the Internet that I find useful.



I created this page to let people keep track of where their vehicle is in the production sequence. This also gives future buyers an idea of how long the production of an ordered 3 Series typically takes. The numbers in paratheses are the Production Status Codes.

The dates in WHITE were for my 2004 ZHP 330i Sedan.
The dates in YELLOW are for my 2008 335i Coupe.

Here is the journey of my 335i from ordering to delivery:

TRACKING INFORMATIONOCCURED
(111) ORDER RECEIVED AT BMW AG
My order was placed by changing an existing dealer order. A completely new order would take approximately 1-2 days to reach this point from Status 097.

1/28/2004
12/5/2007
(112) SCHEDULED FOR PRODUCTION
The order is sent to the factory where it is decided where and when the specific model and options can be scheduled. At this point, only an estimated production date has been selected. Part inventories are verified and constraints are dealt with. Once you reach Status 112, you cannot make changes to the order.

2/13/2004
12/7/2007
(150) PRODUCTION STARTED
The bare chassis has been selected and a specific production completion date has also been set. Mine was March 15th, 2004. If you are tracking via OWNER'S CIRCLE, then this is where the "SCHEDULED FOR PRODUCTION" status takes place.

3/4/2004
12/10/2007
(151) BODY SHOP STARTED
The construction has begun! The chassis is given a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and the car's body shell is pre-assembled. Doors, trunk, and hood are attached and checked for clearances in preparation of painting.

3/10/2004
12/10/2007
(152) PAINT SHOP STARTED
The car's body shell is sprayed and dipped in solvents (to clean it) and sent to the robotic paint booth. The complete body is painted all at once so every body panel color matches precisely. Then off to a drying center where the paint is baked and cured. Then it is hand cleaned and wiped. Paint thicknesses are checked and the VIN is engraved into the body.

3/11/2004
12/11/2007
(153) ASSEMBLY STARTED
The freshly painted body is brought to Assembly where the doors are removed temporarily while interior pieces, wiring harnesses, windows, and exterior trim (like the Roundel) are all installed. The doors go back on, then the body is brought to the pre-assembled drivetrain and all engine/driveline connections and suspension are attached. Fluids, wheels & tires, and bumpers are added. When assembly is complete, the car is test run, all functions checked, and tested on a dyno.

3/12/2004
12/12/2007
(155) ASSEMBLY FINISH/QUALITY CHECK
Self-explanatory! The car's production has been completed and has passed all quality tests!

3/12/2004
12/12/2007
(160) RELEASED TO SALES/DISTRIBUTION
The car is now prepped for the trip from the plant (in my case, a 300 mile trip north from Munich) to Bremerhaven for export.

3/12/2004
12/12/2007
(182) RELEASED TO CARRIER
The trucking carrier has taken responsibility for the car and assigned the car to a specific trucking load. Owner's Circle would show the "AWAITING TRANSPORTATION" status at this point.

3/12/2004
12/14/2007
(190) DISPATCHED FROM BMW AG
The car has left the factory for it's trip to the port of exit and to get assigned to a shipping carrier.

3/15/2004
12/14/2007
(193) ARRIVED AT PORT OF EXIT
The car has arrived at Bremerhaven for transfer to the shipping carrier (in my case NYK) for the trip across the Atlantic Ocean. It can be a 3-10 day wait at this point depending on shipping schedules and the amount of cars ahead of you waiting to ship.

3/16/2004
12/17/2007
(195) SHIPPED FROM PORT OF EXIT
It is on the water! This is the longest portion of the ordering wait time. It takes roughly 26-28 days to transport the car across the Atlantic to the west coast. The east coast gets their cars a little sooner (13-18 days from Germany departure). The west coast requires a trip down through the Panama Canal. Owner's Circle would now change to "EN ROUTE" for the current status. As far as I found, BMW uses either W&W (Wallenius Wilhelmsen) or NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) to ship their cars to the US. After a couple of days from this point, you should be able to track your car's ship using W&W CARGO TRACKING. Simply select "Auto Cargo" and then enter your VIN like I did with my 335i. If the VIN doesn't appear in a day or two, the car may have been bumped to the next ship or it is being shipped on another carrier (NYK, which my ZHP was shipped with, doesn't provide tracking information).

3/19/2004
1/4/2008
aboard
the Tarifa
(196) SHIPMENT ARRIVAL
The VPC (Vehicle Preparation Center) for the west coast is located in Port Hueneme, California. The east coast locations are in Port Jersey, New Jersey and Charleston, South Carolina. The VPCs are where the vehicle is offloaded and inspected for damage and cleaned. BMWs are shipped with a layer of protective Cosmoline and a machine called a Hohmeire (basically a big car wash) cleans off the waxy protectant. Side note: BMW separates the wax from the wash runoff water and reuses it. Corporate recycling in action! Anyhow, to continue, small option items are usually installed here such as floormats and CD Changers. Also, if any body damage is found (from scratches to crushed panels), the VPC has a full factory BMW body shop to make all necessary repairs/replacements. Otherwise, if all is well, it is loaded aboard a protected truck or railcar and sent off to the dealer.

4/24/2004
1/26/2008
IN TRANSIT
Via train or truck, it is now headed either to a market area distribution center or directly to the dealer.

4/26/2004
1/28/2008
ARRIVED AT DEALER
The dealership will accept the vehicle, remove shipping film, and clean it. Then comes a full tank of gas and a phone call to the owner.

4/28/2004
1/29/2008
DELIVERY
Time to go get it! Fill out the various paperwork and prepare to drive your baby home. Personally, I don't have the need for the sales staff to walk me through the vehicle as I usually know much more about them than they do, but if you are new to BMW or the 3 Series, I highly recommend it. It is a nice touch.

4/28/2004
1/29/2008
BREAK-IN
You thought the ordering wait was bad. Now get the vehicle and drive it like a slow-poke for 1200 miles?? Yes, this really is important. Vary your speeds, keep it under 100 and don't floor it. Brakes are the same way, be nice to them. Everything will last longer if you treat your car nice in the beginning. It's torture, but worth it since these engines don't really come to life until 30,000 miles or so. Enjoy!

 


  © 2001-2008 MarvelPhx