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The Robb Report asked MBUSA President Dietmar Exler for some S-Class road trip suggestions. I would be happy to test them all out! Read the full article here.
I had forgotten to make a photobook for Bertie after our European Adventure! I finished it last night and ordered it from Shutterfly.com. For $30 I uploaded 30 pictures, picked the layout and they’ll send me a lovely softcover book of my road trip. Makes a great holiday gift!
Are you a member of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America? I have a great reason for you to join! You could win a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 and a trip to Germany!
Once you are a member of the MBCA you simply log on and buy as many $50 tickets as you want! I bought two. I didn’t win the AMG GT S last year so I am probably due for a win this time.
If you happen to win instead of me, you can order your GLC from me and I will help you plan an awesome European Delivery Adventure!
If you decide to join the Club use my reference number and I get a free month of membership. C119523
On my most recent European Delivery adventure I picked up a 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 coupe. This vehicle is just one of a handful of vehicles (AMG and S-Class) that qualifies for a special Center of Excellence Delivery experience! The CoE is in the same building as the standard pick-up but offers a few extras…
First, your new car is unveiled to you by your personal guide in a secluded section of the building! This guide will spend as much time as you would like going over the features of the vehicle and helping you prepare for your trip. He helped us enter several navigation destinations, arrange the luggage and then personally pulled the vehicle outside for departure!
Second, amazing food! The Center of Excellence service a gorgeous four course lunch in one of the showrooms while you take in the beauty of the surrounding vehicles. There were several other couples and families taking delivery at the same time but it felt like we had the place to ourselves. They were also able to quickly provide a vegetarian option even though it was not on the menu.
Finally, because it is in the same building as the standard deliveries you can still take pictures with the giant star, take the factory tour and shop in the gift shop. It is special, but not entirely separate from the standard experience.
When arranging your European Delivery of an AMG or S-Class your salesperson must make a special request for the Center of Excellence. There are a limited number available each day so requesting early is important.
I can personally handle your European Delivery experience wherever you live in the country. Call me!
I am back from another European Delivery adventure! In early April I picked up this 2015 S550 coupe from the factory in Sindelfingen and embarked on my second European Delivery adventure. I call this S550 coupe Bertie and he will be available for sale when he arrives back at Atlanta Classic Cars in 6-8 weeks. I intend to write more detailed reviews and trip notes later but I wanted to include some highlights ASAP!
I took advantage of the Black Forest Alps Package through Mercedes-Benz and we stayed at some gorgeous hotels around Germany. The above photo is Bertie in front of the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof in Frankfurt.
We visited the famed Nurburgring, and while we could not drive Bertie on the track we experienced quite a bit of amateur racing!
Bertie could not take a bad picture, but the scenic countryside in The Netherlands was like being in a postcard! The Kuekenhof Gardens are a must-see in April/May.
We also visited a lot of big cities, including Brussels, Belgium.
There just wasn’t a bad stop! As always, everything with Mercedes-Benz was top-notch. I cannot say enough great things about the drive, comfort and speed of the S550. The Black Forest hotels were perfect in every way. Feel free to call or e-mail with any specific questions. I will post more as I go through my pictures and get settled back in!
Please visit the Mercedes-Benz European Delivery website and watch the EDP video! Placement highlighted above.
They just happened to be filming while I was there picking up Bertha and I made the final cut!
Thinking about taking a European Delivery Adventure? Call me! I’m a verifiable expert!
If you carefully read through the insurance documents for the Mercedes-Benz European Delivery program you will find that the car has coverage for Marten damage.
Damage caused by martens chewing through or biting cables, tubes, leads and wires of vehicles licensed as private motor vehicles with the exception of rental vehicles, taxis and self-driven rental vehicles.
Ummm, what kind of monsters do they have in Europe!? Here is a video from Audi addressing the issue. It made me grateful to only have mice.
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!