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Bertha is due to arrive soon and I made a book for her new owner!
I’ll be writing a lot of posts about specific parts of my European Delivery Experience. This is a general overview that my instagram friend Marc Christiensen is also sharing on his automotive blog – fünfkommasechs. You can read the same post in German there. Ab sofort schreibe ich auch in deutsch! I totally wrote that. No, I didn’t.
Mercedes-Benz European Delivery Program – 2015 S550 for the US
The European Delivery Program through Mercedes-Benz USA is an opportunity for American customers to go to Germany, pick up their new car and drive it around Europe for up to two weeks. The vehicle is then reprogrammed for the US and shipped home, arriving at the selling dealership 6-8 weeks later. As a salesperson, I have been arranging these trips for my clients for more than 10 years.
MBUSA also offers dealerships the chance to pick up 4 cars per year through the European Delivery program that will then come back to the dealership and be for sale as demos.
I was planning to visit family in Italy this year so I requested a company European Delivery and got a slot! We were allowed an extra 2015 S550 if someone could pick it up in June…that someone was me! I booked the trip, along with the Black Forest Alps Package through Mercedes-Benz, and hit the road!
We arrived in Stuttgart and took a taxi directly to the delivery center in Sindelfingen. This is where we completed the paperwork, insurance forms and took delivery of the car. While we were there we toured the factory (and saw the new S-Class Coupe which is not for sale in the US yet!), had a wonderful lunch and shopped in the boutique. When the car was ready we were introduced to Bertha. Bertha is a 2015 S550 in Diamond White. I named her in honor of Bertha Benz, wife of Karl, who is credited with taking the first road trip! The delivery center folks helped me program a few addresses into the navigation center and off we went!
Road Trip! The original plan was to visit the 5 hotels booked through Germany and Austria as a part of the Black Forest Alps Package and then stay with family in Italy for a week. However, that plan went out the window! We decided to see everything we could see in 2 weeks!
The hotels that we booked through this package were exactly what you would expect from Mercedes-Benz! The Best! It was also fun to run into other people who were participating in European Delivery and get their impressions of their new cars and the trip. We stayed at two hotels in Stuttgart – the Schlossgarten and the Graf Zepplin. Both were very convenient to the city and took good care of Bertha.
We stayed at the Traube Tonbach in the Black Forest and it was breathtaking! It is a resort hotel off in a little town and had wonderful pools, grounds and access to hiking.
The Interalpen Hotel in Telfs, Austria was certainly a highlight. From the lobby-like garage to the mountain views it could not have been more impressive.
We also stayed in Salzberg, Austria at the Goldener Hirsch in the heart of the city. They took Bertha far away for safe parking and we were able to explore the city on foot.
The Stelvio Pass – This road from Davos, Switzerland to Stelvio, Italy was featured on Top Gear and was a must see! It is the second highest paved road in Europe and a mecca for cars, motorcycles and bicyclists. We suctioned on the GoPro and drove carefully. Bertha is perhaps not the most maneuverable car out there but the electromechanical steering made the sharp turns a breeze.
Triglav National Park in Slovenia- We entered Slovenia from the north and went to Lake Bled. From there we could have taken the highway to Italy…but there was this really curvy road that cut through the forest so we went that way instead. It was very much like the Stelvio Pass but with less traffic and more forest. I would say it was about 150 kilometers of fun! Well worth the detour!
The Amalfi Coast – What could be more beautiful than cruising along the coast from Italy to France? We took a variety of coastal roads and highway and both were gorgeous!
Monaco – As an F1 fan I could not be that close to Monaco without visiting the track. It was like stepping into a race broadcast! The swimming pool! The tunnel! The hairpin! We drove the route several times and took in all of the sights.
Museums – When we weren’t driving we had to get some European culture so we visited quite a few museums. The Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums in Stuttgart, the BMW museum in Munich, Ferrari, Ducati and Lamborghini in the Maranello area and even looked through the gates and the Pagani factory! Here are my rankings:
I spend a lot of time around Mercedes-Benz vehicles. I have delivered many S550s to my clients but I have never spent an extended period of time driving an S550 myself. There really is nothing like it! Bertha was state of the art! Just sitting in the seats was a joy! But the driving…at autobahn speeds she was steady, strong and fast as lighting. On challenging roads the electromechanical steering made it easy to take sharp hairpins and switchbacks.
The surround view cameras made it possible to park in tiny European spots. The Distronic Plus with Steering Assist was the star of the show! Under 50 km/hr it uses the cameras to watch the lane lines and the car in front of you to maintain position and speed without a hand on the wheel! Of course, it does need to be corrected from time to time and you do have to push the gas to restart the system after fully stopping but it was mind blowing. Over 50 km/hr it required a hand on the wheel at all times. It makes city driving much less stressful and autobahn driving a breeze. It is a deal at twice the price!
This was an amazing opportunity for me to experience Europe in the best vehicle in the world. I would wholeheartedly recommend the European Delivery Program, the S550 and every site I visited. The Best or Nothing!
This is Bertha! She is a 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 that I picked up in Germany and took on an epic European Road Trip! She will be for sale when she arrives back in the US and is looking for a good home. Let me tell you about her.
She has the speed! With 449 horsepower and 519 lb/ft of torque you will love the power! I even took her by the AMG factory in case there was any extra horsepower in the air.
She is very maneuverable. With the help of the Surround View Cameras I was able to park her in some interesting places to get good pictures. Look at those LED headlamps sparkle!
Bertha has visited many Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Europe and made quite an impression! I was inside this little dealership looking at the A-Class and when I came outside their employees were all looking at her!
She can handle anything! She conquered those mountains easily. Great suspension, electromechanical steering and comfortable seats make it a breeze!
She has seen more snow than 90% of the cars in Georgia and never flinched! Her 4matic system is top notch!
She looks right at home in front of the Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich. This is a car meant for a palace. The 20″ multi-spoke wheels are like a crown on the ground!
Even cats love her!
The Silk Beige interior is very photogenic but it is the Distronic Plus with Steering Assist that really impresses! At under 30 mph you don’t even have to have a hand on the wheel as she tracks the car in front of you!
Perhaps she is a bit of a Big Bertha for European parking garages but I am sure there is more room at your house.
Bertha looks her best in flowered courtyards. The Diamond White paint really glows in the sunshine!
She was a champion on mountain roads, coastal cruises and simply parking at a scenic overlook. She will arrive in the US in 6-8 weeks with 2400 miles and a photo album that no other 2015 S550 can claim! I would keep her if I could but since I can’t it is my mission to find her a good home! Get in touch if Bertha is your next Mercedes-Benz!
You are now getting my Euro Delivery Experience all out of order! This was day 3. We drove from Switzerland to northern Italy to experience the Stelvio Pass! This road is world famous for the twists and turns through the Alps. As you’ll see it is full of motorcycles, bicycles, cars and the occasional tractor. This is a 6 minute video but we really did this type of driving for 3 hours! It was shockingly well mapped by the navigation system. Worth the detour if you find yourself in the area. Just follow the herds of bikes!
Sorry to go dark on you for two weeks but I was up to something very exciting! I was able to travel to Germany and pick up a 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 through the European Delivery Program and then go on an amazing road trip through Europe! I was gone for 2 weeks and I will now fill you in on my adventure!
I flew into Stuttgart, Germany and took a taxi to the Delivery Center in Sindelfingen. Took the factory tour, had lunch, and took delivery of a gorgeous 2015 S550 named Bertha. (This is not my personal car. She will arrive at the dealership in 6-8 weeks and be for sale as a demo.)
The Delivery Center is where people from all over the world come to pick up their vehicles. I heard this 6X6 was headed to Australia!
It was a busy afternoon and we still had to get to our AMG factory tour…
Mindy Green, proprietor of Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro in Highlands, North Carolina, wanted to share her good experience with Atlanta Classic Cars, the European Delivery Program and her wagon named Lizzie!
I bought my first Mercedes from another dealership. My husband bought his from Atlanta Classic so I started to bring my in for service there. They did such an incredible job that when I got my new Mercedes I bought from Atlanta Classic. We did not even go to any other dealership to look. My husband did a European delivery and we liked it so much we did it with my car. Jesse is our sales rep and she has been incredible to work with. Not only did she keep us up to date while buying, I can still call her with questions and she helps me. My service rep Kim is also incredible. She knows what she is doing!!!! I highly recommend this dealership for all you car needs!!!
*Two nights accommodation provided if you take delivery in Germany between May 1 and June 30, 2011.
Visit the European Delivery site for more details about the program. I have had several clients take the trip to Germany over the last few years and every one of them have been thrilled with the experience!
Mercedes-Benz European Delivery is always a popular option for taking delivery of a new vehicle! There are so many benefits!
The European Delivery Program Spring Special Promotion has begun. For a limited time customers who take delivery between May 1 and June 30, 2010 will receive a 2nd night hotel accommodation, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. There is also available 2-for-1 airfare from Lufthansa through the Mercedes-Benz travel department.
Model Year 2011 European Delivery Launch Dates:*
E350 & E550 Cabriolet May 17, 2010
CLS and SLK-Class June 21, 2010
C, GLK and E-Class July 19, 2010
SL550, SL63 AMG February 22, 2010
S-Class November 15, 2010
*Launch dates are subject to change should there be a delay in the US retail release dates.
The European Delivery Program would like 90-120 days notice but there are ways to speed up the process! Please get in touch if you are interested in the program. You should also read my European Delivery customer testimonial to get another take on the benefits of this program.