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Discussion Starter #1
Ferman BMW of Tampa Bay had an open house today at their new MINI dealership and had a silver/black cooper there - I finally got to see the real thing and it was worth the 3 hour drive!!! There were no test drives so I had to imagine one from sitting in it! Their dealership looks just about ready - they only need some cars to sell us! They had new MINI brochures - a 8x8 square booklet expanding on the theme of the original small Motoring booklet. There was nothing new in it that has not already been covered in this site. In fact it may already be out of date as it has the Cooper S weight at 2513 lbs.

The open house was at the same time as the Florida Mini club's show in St. Petersburg so I also got to see 100 classics on the same trip. Some really cool cars were there!
 

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Has anyone who's actually bought at Ferman lately? Seems odd that no responses on this board (not even one?!?)

mag
 

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Someone must!

I'm #2 out the door @ Ferman. I just got an email from #50! I don't think a lot of MINI owners have become familiar with the websites & message boards yet. May be too busy enjoying their car instead of at a keyboard? Ferman's cars are spread all over hell's half acre too. Some are down in Naples & Punta Gorda. They're the only dealer on the west coast. I just saw my first local MINI on the road today but didn't have time to stop!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had been on the list at Ferman since august and had been told they would sell me a car at MSRP. When it came time to order I was told that I had to buy $2,500 in extras so I bought through Braman in Miami.

Anyone know if Ferman still has that policy?
 

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I don't know for sure. I know that was their method to discourage speculators. How it works for them remains to be seen.

Where are you located? Are you interested in FLAME (Florida Mini Enthusiasts)? If so EM to be put on the list. [email protected]
 

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Hey guys! I am in South Florida and will be purchasing my S through Lauderdale Imports/Lauderdale MINI. They have been awesome. I will be expecting my car in August. Maybe we can have a Florida owners meet somewhere late this year or even meet at the FLAME meet in March??
Thanks,
Aimee
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lugnutz said:
I don't know for sure. I know that was their method to discourage speculators. How it works for them remains to be seen.

Where are you located? Are you interested in FLAME (Florida Mini Enthusiasts)? If so EM to be put on the list. [email protected]
That was the justification they gave me. I had been on their list since August so clearly was not a speculator and I had been told many times that they would sell at MSRP. I think they just got greedy and are now discouraging customers as much as speculators. It seems more important to them to make as much as possible than to hold to the commitments they had made to their customers.

I have been happy with Braman in Miami and expect to pick up my S within two weeks.

I am on Sanibel Island and have sent in my e-mail address to FLAME.
 

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Re the comments about the dealer in the Tampa area. We are on the road with our S, 2200 miles on the fun meter as of today, 4 June. I stopped by the dealership just to see, we stayed over nite in Tampa. Nice and friendly, no S on the lot but about 10 Coopers. HOWEVER a $17,500 stickered Cooper will set you back $21,500. Sorry guys, I paid that for my S in St Louis. $200, 300, 500 may be ok, $4000 is not. Make your best deal.
We get to play until Friday here in south Florida then back to Iowa. I have not seen any other MINI on the road yet, come on, get out and play!!
having a blast
Mike
ps...the sport suspension WILL enable your butt to feel ALL of the poor roads our country has to offer!!! :D :D :D
 

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Well interesting, interesting.

I am in the "still thinking" stages, but here's my experiences so far. Maybe this will be of interest to other Fla/USA buyers:

Downtown Mini/Orlando - MSRP offered, mandatory $1500 ($1000 for Cooper) which must be spent on dealer options at list price. Quoted "10 months" delivery originally, later quoted August delivery for order now. Want $1000 deposit.

Ferman Mini/Tampa Bay - Sell at MSRP, no dealer mandatory options. Accept a refundable deposit when they "match" you to a particular car. Quoted "at least 1 1/2 year wait" but could be "less" if purchaser had some "flexibility".

Tom Bush Mini/Jax - 7/9 months order time. Quoted MSRP plus mandatory "value guard plus factory floor guard group" at $1695. I was offered this package at $1395 because I was interested in other options (e.g. CD changer).

Holman Mini/Miami - wait list for S approx 1 year, sale at MSRP plus $299 dealer fee. $500 refundable deposit to get on list. Did not mention any mandatory fees, ADP, etc over the Monroney.

For each of these, I called/emailed/stopped by in early to mid-May expressing interest in the same car: 2002 (or 2003) Cooper S in Chili Red / White Roof and Mirrors / Bonnet Stripes. Combo #1: Premium Package, Combo #2: Sport Package. Panther Black Gravity Leather Upholstery. Plus the following dealer installed accesories: CD Changer, 2*Sunshade, Rubber Floor Mats (front and rear), Map Light, Sports Seat Covers (front and rear).

Thoughts anyone?

mag
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FiremanMike said:
Re the comments about the dealer in the Tampa area. We are on the road with our S, 2200 miles on the fun meter as of today, 4 June. I stopped by the dealership just to see, we stayed over nite in Tampa. Nice and friendly, no S on the lot but about 10 Coopers. HOWEVER a $17,500 stickered Cooper will set you back $21,500.
....
10 cars at the dealership sounds a lot to me unless they had just had a truck arrive. It is consistent with them jacking up the prices and looking for the few who are willing to be ripped off.

How many cars do dealerships typically have?
 

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Keith - question about Braman

I went to Braman (W. Palm Bch though, not Miami) and they had mandatory $3k dealer "packages" - did Braman in Miami not have that? They required $1k "Total Vehicle Protection", $1k CD Changer, $400 pin stripes, $300 bonnet stripes, etc...

I bought from South Motors MINI in Miami and paid MSRP plus floor mats. I have a friend that bought his BMW 330 from Braman and he swears by them but I was put off by the mandatory "options"...
 

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Amigos I have my vehicle ordered thru Tom Bush and they came to me with the so called MANDATORY options, ok heres the scoop:mad: I told them I was buying the car or should I say Placing an order thru them and not BUYING from them, I also told them that I was NOT paying any other extras or I would go to Atlanta and purchase from the other MINI place.My order was placed w/o me being there and I got VERY upset and they told me that they would NOT charge me any extras or MAKE me buy extras. Amigos if you buy from them then you will pay but if you ORDER from them then its a different BALL GAME!!!! Frankly I prefer to lose my $500 deposit then to lose a $25,00 MISTAKE!!!:eek: read this site www.carbuyingtips.com and you wont regret it;) I just bought my wife a Hyundai with a $2000 deficit(trade in) against me for $15000 and the MSRP was $14,148 on the car. Get a whif of that. I just haggled with them. Please read the site I get NO commssion of this OK!!! I will keep you posted on this in the future ok. By the way I was down in Palm Harbor the weekend of that storm and yes I saw the mini first hand thats when I made my decision to go ahead and BUY it;)
 

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Chopo

Chopo - I have to take slight exception to your statement about Tom Bush Motors. Here is a portion of the email I received from Mr Greg Filzen/Tom Bush Motors on May 27th:

QUOTE

"Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx,

Yes, we can take your customized order for a MINI Cooper S. We would be delighted to do so. At this point in time our waiting list is 7-9 months from now for delivery.

The deposit is $500. It is refundable up until the time the car goes into production. Currently there is a slowdown on cars with Xenon lights, but that will be rectified in a couple weeks.

Your car would be a 2003 model.

The price is MSRP plus a ValuGuard (Paint Sealant, Leather/Vinyl sealant clear lacquer treatment/Fabric Guard) and factory floor mat accessory group which is priced at $1695. Because you are buying additional accessories, I
would be willing to lower the price of that accessory group to $1395."

END QUOTE

As you can see, the price they are quoting me is for a car that I order, not one on the lot. So the evidence suggests they are charging a mandatory fee for what amounts to a couple of cans of ScotchGuard and a set of floor mats.

I don't have any problem with a dealer who chooses to price their product at whatever they would like. If I were selling a used car, I would not want to leave any money on the table, either, supply and demand being what it is. The thing is, luckily here in Florida, we have a number of choices within driving distance. So I've chosen to not deal with Tom Bush Motors at this time.

I also don't have a problem buying the car outside of my area and taking it to my local dealer for service. Shoot, a major part of dealer profits is parts and service anyway. Why a dealer would frown on servicing a car from another dealer is beyond me in this day and age...

mag
 

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Amigo Im sorru that greg threw you that CURVEBALL, now it has me wondering but anyway If they decide to RUN me over I guess I would consider the ALTIMA my second choice, no dealer can MANDATE what you want to pay for the car yes if they have already instaled the features then I guess you wpould be screwed:( But again I will keep you posted call me @ 904-514-2810 my cellular and we can discuss this I have already spoken to other memebers of the site and one has laso refrained from purchasing the vehicle in TBush. Good luck in your endevours amigo!!;)
 

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I got my MINI from Lauderdale imports. They were great. They charged MSRP and that was it. It was the best car buying experience I have ever had. They even delived 2 weeks before promised. I took the car in to get the bonnet stripes last week and paid half of what other dealers are charging for the same stripes!!

I would highly reccomend them.
 

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Update on Ferman / Tom Bush

Chopo - Thanks for the info, I hope things work out for you at Tom Bush. Greg treated me very respectfully, no problems there, it was just the price that I had a problem with. But, as I said, they can charge what they like for the product. We agreed to disagree as they say. I hope you get a price you can live with!

Re: Ferman Mini, I have an update on their pricing policy: I just got off the phone with Mary, the sales manager, and she seems to have "forgot" to tell me of a couple of things about the price of the car over MSRP:

1) you must spend a mandatory $2500 in dealer options
2) you must purchase a $695 "autobond" (some sort of plastic bra/sealer for the front end I gather)
3) you must pay $395 as a dealer fee for the transaction.

I asked what the $395 covered; the intriguing answer was "nothing; its just customary in Tampa Bay". Curious indeed.

One other thing that I found strange, she could not/would not talk about placing an order for a car. From the way she described it, the factory "gave" them their allocations in the form of tracking numbers, from which they eventualy assigned VIN numbers. At this point I gathered a car was "assigned" to you, but, from what she said, she would not take a deposit until that point. I got the impression she had a more or less complete list of "interested" parties who would be asked whether they were willing to pay that kind of money to buy a car "now" vs in the future; sort of a dealership "auction" in a way.

She also said one other odd thing, in that "nice" people got to the top of the list. I did not ask what "nice" meant; I presume it must relate the amount of cash you bring to the transaction. I guess I was not nice enough.

I have to say, I have no problem with the price itself, I kind of just wish she'd said it from the beginning so that I would not waste any of either her, or my, time discussing what, to me, is an absurd deal. As to the ordering policy, I found it strange indeed that in the context of multiple dealers across the US taking orders, filling them in order etc etc that Ferman seems to have this policy.

I am curious if anyone on mini2 who has actually concluded a transation with Ferman would care to confirm this impression I have of their ordering process?

mag
 

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Ill stick to my boys in TBush, if they stiff me Ill go ballistic:p on them I drove the S last evening and the Automatic Shifttronic it impressed me very much the S with 17 to harsh for me and the Lapis Blue beautiful but no Thanks!!:( I had the AC on 72 degrees and I was sweating in the seats:eek: Cloth is my way sorry amigos!!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
As you can tell from my message that started this thread, I was relatively early on the Ferman list and was enthusiastic about buying from them... that was until Mary took over! Their program was originally set up by Ron Evers who I spoke to regularly and gave me assurances that Ferman would sell at MSRP to customers on the list. I found Ron to be very straightforward and genuinely interested in creating a program that worked for everyone. Mary seemed to take over from Ron shortly before they took for orders and completely changed the rules. She was the one who introduced the various mandatory extras and she told me that Ron should not have said they would sell at MSRP. Sorry guys, but an internal organization change does not cancel any commitments made to customers. I know this was just verbal so was not binding but it says volumes about how she treats her customers.

Mary did not see a difference between telling customers she would sell at MSRP and having mandatory extras (at MSRP). This definition of MSRP is different from the window sticker that clearly gives a price labelled "Manufacturers suggested retail price".

I had intended to buy from Ferman and was comfortable working with Ron but was also realistic about only having verbal commitments, so I also got on the list at Braman in Miami. I told Mary that I would buy from Braman if she insisted on her new "rules". Her reply was that she would never have allowed me to be on their list if she knew I was talking to another dealer. This tells us more about how she works with her customers. I guess being on two lists means you are not "nice".

I am expecting delivery of my S from Braman in Miami within two weeks. Things have gone pretty well although details of trade-in are not yet resolved. I will post an update when I get the car. I get the impression that their backlog for S orders is much shorter than some I have been hearing about.
 

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Keith,

Happy to see that you're not dealing with the "no so nice" dealer.

At some point down the road, the "grab as much profit as possible" approach will come back to BITE THEM!! :p

Good luck with your dealer in Miami!!

:D
 
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