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Thread: South Carolina BMW Museum/Performance Center

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    South Carolina BMW Museum/Performance Center

    We toured the museum in Greer,SC this week which sits adjacent to the factory. A few nice bikes/cars there, including Culberson's GS that he took(not always riding of course) across the Darien Gap on his world tour . It shows ~234,000miles on the ODO.
    His bike prompted me to consider a BMW GS bike that's missing: a HS classmate/friends bike should be there too. Jim Oliver, & a ride partner rode from Valdivostok, Russia across the whole of Siberia to Europe, including the road less part!!! They had no support crew/entourage or big pocketbooks such as did Ewan McGregor,etc., & even did it before the more famous guys with the movie credits. His bike is currently residing in a museum in western KS(where Jim lives & still works) & certainly deserves to be seen by more people.FWIW, Jim rides an ex police, Boulder,CO Harley on leisure trips now.
    On a related note, we did the "BMW Performance Center Delivery Program" in picking up our new car there. Got to do on/off road car stuff such as wet track,slaloms,emergency stops,hills-up/down,in 22" water,over humps-BIG HUMPS! that none of us knew the X cars can do that was fun & a hot lap in a monster M5 car with a pro driver.
    The center does BMW tech training and has complete shop facilities for mechanical & body shop training & repairs. "Out back" there is a "BMW cornucopia" (I drooled over these wrecks big time having enjoyed many years working on theses cars) of wrecks. They belong to BMW employee's,were in accidents,etc., & are in waiting for repairs as a part of the tech training programs-perhaps 150+? cars there from Minis to 7 series & bikes too. In seeing many piles of tires I was told they have a $2 million dollar annual budget for tires just at the Performance Center! The M5 tires are changed out daily as they are gone. The car you drive on track is always the model you are buying-an X3 in our case.
    BTW, the cafeteria is not to be missed!!! When you do the delivery program there you get lodging @ the Marriott,evening & brfst meals & the next day do the center as "free" part of regular delivery charge.
    The man that did our actual car delivery( how all the buttons work,etc.) was one of the professional MC trainers on staff on days they were doing MC training.They have an off road area there for bikes. He had been a motor officer for 18 years(in his other job) & also is a hobby rider too. Just the one to meet when your there & one very nice guy! Just ask for "Ray".
    Vince : the Performance Center is an great article (or two or more?) just waiting for you!!! Don't miss their cafeteria-(lunch is part of the program) where the employees/Tech trainees eat-it is superb!
    All in all a fun day with an impressive staff. The driver trainers have life size picture/body cutouts on the hallway wall & are the cream of the crop in car/bike training with several still actively involved in professional & amateur racing.

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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Munich museum is great, SC experience is less so

    I've been to the Munich museum twice and felt it was a great experience. Especially, that nice little sign that apologizes for not guaranteeing plant tours without advance notice, but asks you to inquire in case of an opening. I've been to the SC facility once, ridiculed for even asking about tours and had an attendant slam the visitor center door in my face with an announcement that they were closing to the general public for a private function. A "I'm sorry, but please come again" would have been nice, but quite a bit more than what I got.

    Apparently, if you drop some change at the SC facility, they elevate the level of charm.

    But, that is just my experience and opinion.
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    BMW Pilot runnr548's Avatar
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    Cool

    They are snotty about not having reservations. I have been on two tours none the less. It is an awesome facility and the tours we had were very informative. It would be nice if the southern charm of South Carolina were more readily applied there.

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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    It's changed, then, or it depends on the day as there were no hassles getting right into a tour for us.

    When we toured they were building the Z4 and the X5 only, but since then it's all X-vehicles and the Z4 production has gone to Germany ... so they can fit Karmann retractable hardtops.

    In our group I won an impromptu contest as I was the only one that could identify a diesel engine going down the line since at that time it was the only engine with a turbo.

    I've recently read that this is the largest automobile manufacturing plant in the USA. This of course because GM and others have lots and lots of smaller plants. I want to get to Alabama to see them build Mercedes.
    Kent Christensen
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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's changed, then, or it depends on the day as there were no hassles getting right into a tour for us.

    When we toured they were building the Z4 and the X5 only, but since then it's all X-vehicles and the Z4 production has gone to Germany ... so they can fit Karmann retractable hardtops.

    In our group I won an impromptu contest as I was the only one that could identify a diesel engine going down the line since at that time it was the only engine with a turbo.

    I've recently read that this is the largest automobile manufacturing plant in the USA. This of course because GM and others have lots and lots of smaller plants. I want to get to Alabama to see them build Mercedes.
    Kent,

    Not to be argumentative, but it is an assembly plant. Part/component fabrication is typically more interesting.

    Have a good holiday
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I've been to the Munich museum twice and felt it was a great experience. Especially, that nice little sign that apologizes for not guaranteeing plant tours without advance notice, but asks you to inquire in case of an opening. I've been to the SC facility once, ridiculed for even asking about tours and had an attendant slam the visitor center door in my face with an announcement that they were closing to the general public for a private function. A "I'm sorry, but please come again" would have been nice, but quite a bit more than what I got.

    Apparently, if you drop some change at the SC facility, they elevate the level of charm.

    But, that is just my experience and opinion.
    I've toured the plant twice and they have been great to me both times. The first time was shortly after they started tours and the other time was last year.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Quote Originally Posted by runnr548 View Post
    They are snotty about not having reservations. I have been on two tours none the less. It is an awesome facility and the tours we had were very informative. It would be nice if the southern charm of South Carolina were more readily applied there.
    I can think of no way in which they could have done a better job with our time there! The lack of a factory tour was due to plants holiday closure which is a no brainer. The people that worked with us were genuinely friendly & not about spending money. The museum is small but has some nice machines, so more of a great stop than a mega destination.
    For us, and we are on the "cannot stand the lot lizard experience for certain list", it is the best car delivery, bar none that I've been a part of. Arnold , from Culman,AL did our off road thing & is fun and knowledgeable;Ray that did our car features rundown is beyond great at his job & for a plus he's a rider too. As I said the food is really good & we are used to true good food fixed at home so don't say that easily! You pay the same $895 delivery/destination charge in USA for a BMW car, no matter if what continent built it, nor where you live in USA. With this SC delivery you get the Marriott & 2 meals there, the Performance Center program & a meal there & choose to drive your car home or pay more for shipping home. A simple choice for us in SE USA, as it allows choosing any dealer to do the paperwork then get your car in SC. Certainly no complaints here!!!!
    While I would have enjoyed the factory tour(there are many buildings there-not just one big factory- I've worked in factories & been in several car plants before. You are going to get a canned version thats designed for the public anywhere you tour a factory so not many details of fabrication. Some companies "shroud" such activities to prevent espionage.

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