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Zchild
12-19-2008, 08:17 AM
:icon_blah I had a conversation with Bogdan during the MoCo social and it appears that Passport wants to become the NCC central for our club. They are currently offering to host two DIY's, Board of Director's meetings and become a starting point for any tours we would like to begin from their location. Lastly, their planning an Octoberfest this year at their location as well as a Party to celibrate the roll out of the new 7 series. My number one concern would be is Suitland MD to much off the beaten path for the Board of Director's crowd. Input is desired and appreicated. :icon_poke

1996 328ti
12-19-2008, 08:24 AM
If Joern Esser is still there, he might want to explain the European Delivery program to members. Maybe do it the same day as a DIY?

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 08:59 AM
Hi Zach and the rest of the bimmer family,
Suitlant or Marlo Heights is a bit out of the way but not that far vs manassas. I bought my first Ford (back in the day) next door to passport. The good thing is it is right off I 95 and Branch Ave. It is also around the corner of Andrews Air Base which has many military personnel coming in and out of the base. Good source for new members. So I am fine with the location as an alternate. Bob Stern had tried to get another DIY spot near Baltimore without success. It takes me a good Hour to get from Pikesville, MD to Marlo Heights were the dealer is. I am sure that Passport wants to build long lasting and deep relationship with bimmer owners so when the economy improves you have good customer base for repeat business. For social meetings it is a bit far for travel but board meetings good alternative. I am for it all the way around. http://forum.nccbmwcca.org/images/icons/icon7.gifhttp://forum.nccbmwcca.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

pseto
12-19-2008, 09:08 AM
I thought a lot more about this since last night and have a few thoughts. I'm all for Passport being our 'flagship' dealership; its been great working with them in the past and I'd like to broaden our relationship going forward. They have a fantastic facility/staff, especially for DIYs, and plenty of conference space if we hold our board meetings there.

However, IMO Tim set a great precedent of opening up our board meetings and incorporating a social beforehand. I thought that brought in some folks that wouldnt have shown up otherwise and that creates more opportunities for people to get more involved in the chapter (thats how I got sucked in :)).

If we keep this format going forward, then I'd rather have our meetings someplace else; preferably a place where we can just handle club business and not have to worry about bringing in food. I wouldnt be opposed to having a few board meetings there, but I'd prefer a bar/restaurant with a dedicated meeting place.

There are other opportunites we can use Passport, like charity events, car washes, tech sessions, etc. and that would be a great place to do those things. Its also a fairly central location to our chapter footprint since its probably equidistant from the outskirts of NoVA, the Baltimore area, and even MD Eastern Shore.

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 09:14 AM
Hi Paul, I have ditto your response. Good points.:)http://forum.nccbmwcca.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

mcoupemindy
12-19-2008, 09:23 AM
I think picking one dealer as a "flagship" is irresponsible. Unless Passport is going to donate a gross amount of money to us to be the "flagship", I'm completely against it. 100%.

Make one friend, create five enemies... but this seems to be the way the club is heading.

Am I saying that we shouldn't do events with Passport? Hell no. But should we show favortism to one business? Absolutely not.

pseto
12-19-2008, 09:37 AM
I think picking one dealer as a "flagship" is irresponsible. Unless Passport is going to donate a gross amount of money to us to be the "flagship", I'm completely against it. 100%.

Make one friend, create five enemies... but this seems to be the way the club is heading.

Am I saying that we shouldn't do events with Passport? Hell no. But should we show favortism to one business? Absolutely not.

In theory, I agree and that would be a concern we'd have to address if we did hold our board meetings there and/or 'publicize' them as being our flagship. I'd like to have a great working relationship with all local dealers, however, in hard times like these, they are the only dealer seeming to want to play ball.

I think we should limit our involvement with them to just hosting certain events and in no way say they are our flagship dealer.

1996 328ti
12-19-2008, 09:44 AM
I think picking one dealer as a "flagship" is irresponsible. Unless Passport is going to donate a gross amount of money to us to be the "flagship", I'm completely against it. 100%.

Make one friend, create five enemies... but this seems to be the way the club is heading.

Am I saying that we shouldn't do events with Passport? Hell no. But should we show favortism to one business? Absolutely not.I couldn't agree more. Times are pretty hard for BMW and the dealers right now and the NCC area is wide one.

Is Passport going to offer 20% off real MSRP on parts to their members like Tischer?

It's a slippery slope aligning with one dealer. And when that contact is no longer there then what?

Edit: This doesn't seem to be the same chapter I joined 11 years ago. :(

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 09:55 AM
All points are very good. We should have a good working relationship with all dealers. We are a large group, therefore, we should have some leverage. We should not be beholden to one dealer but share our resources with the ones who like to work with us.

Zchild
12-19-2008, 10:22 AM
:icon_pape You guys are bring up excellent points as well as great ideas which is why I posted this thread. I'm not suggesting in any way we jump completely into bed with one Dealership, but asking you guys to access both the Pros and the Cons of what a healthy relationship looks like between us and Passport BMW. One that doesn't compromise our values, goals or hinders our membership. Keep the comments flowing, because this is our club and should go in the direction that best suits the membership at large. Thanks folks. Just my two and a half cents worth.
:icon_poke

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 10:33 AM
yep. The more comments the better the discussion. By driving a bimmer we are making statements. We take an interest in the vehicles we drive and the care that goes with it. Each dealership is like any business which requires customers and foot traffic. No foot traffic no customers and no dealership. Again we have a large membership in MD, DC,VA region that stands for something. Whoever opens their door to us we should extend our hand too without full commitment.

pseto
12-19-2008, 10:39 AM
I believe we should just get Passport to signup for both DIYs and another event to be determined at a later date. They stepped up to the plate when we were looking to finalize our 09 calendar. If other dealers wanna play ball, then if we can fit them in, fine.

I'll always continue to ask my contacts at Tischer and Russel to become more involved since I'm there all the time and they've treated us well in the past.

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 10:48 AM
looking at past DIY comments and pic of Russell & Passport it seems that they were forthcoming in the hosting of DIY. Not sure if they have made repeated attempts to be on the calender for 2009? If they want our business then they need to make an extra effort to reach out to the club.

OwnedbyDuncan
12-19-2008, 11:11 AM
Passport for years has gone out its way for years to sponsor events for the chapter and allow us to use the dealership for events.

Having a flagship dealer in todays economy could be challenging. Will Passport be around next month or next year. Out of all the local dealerships they are the most likely to suffer the most because of the economic downturn/recession/Depression. Or maybe not.

Other problem is the neighborhood and location is dangerous and has a high crime rate.

Chapter should encourage and market itself to all the local dealerships.
Hey they need our business even in tough times we should be able to play one against the others to get the best deal for chapter members. And that should be the goal of board and club officers.

Now I applaud Passport for taking the initiative. But no they can be one of many. Unless they want to make us offers we cant refuse.

I guess we should be lucky it wasnt the crooks and rip off artists at BMW of Sterling who made the offer.

Dave Apker and the collies

bimmer325imt
12-19-2008, 11:41 AM
mmm.... I have to take issue about neighborhood perception and crime stats. Keep in mind you are at a major artery of highways. I 95 exit and Branch Ave are heavily traveled routes so you are not talking about certain areas of Capital Heights or DC that you should not be no matter what time of the day. You have Kaiser Permanente Heath facility and seafood restaurants around the corner from the dealership. I feel safe when I visit the area. Also you have green line metro stop(Branch Ave) close by. So its safe.

pseto
12-19-2008, 01:42 PM
hopefully, we'll get more opinions than the few who already posted.

woodym3
12-19-2008, 02:01 PM
While not nearly as close to me as the Virginia locations for our board meetings the last 3 years, I don't think any of us should complain about a spot within a couple of minutes of the DC Beltway. Okay, Baltimore people can complain.

I think the collie guy's perception of Passport being in an unsafe neighborhood is totally unfounded.

I completely agree we should not refer to Passport, or any other dealer, as our "flagship". At one time or another they have all supported our chapter in one way or another. This will always be in a state of flux.

tenfifteen
12-19-2008, 02:21 PM
I'm all for helping dealers who help the club, and I appreciate Passport's willingness to go the extra mile. On the other hand, I think it's a bad idea to confer any elevated status upon a dealer, as I feel it would almost certainly damage our relationships with others. I can really only echo Jonathan's sentiments there. Good stuff.

Also seems most of the area crime is of the theft/break-in variety (link here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/local-explorer/map?address=4730%20Auth%20Place%20Marlow%20Heights,%20MD&search=crime&sm=1&sb=0&ss=1&sr=0&of=json&nczl=-1&mcs=-1&cgs=-1&sid=1229714180681)). Certainly better than a little further north up Branch Ave (although that Metro stop is consistently in the top ten for crime).

setpole
12-19-2008, 03:23 PM
I think the boardmeetings/socials are great are just fine the way they are now.

Also I don't agree with making one dealer our flagship even if they were throwing more support our way because one dealer will never be everything to everybody at least in this area.

Marlon

OwnedbyDuncan
12-19-2008, 05:52 PM
While not nearly as close to me as the Virginia locations for our board meetings the last 3 years, I don't think any of us should complain about a spot within a couple of minutes of the DC Beltway. Okay, Baltimore people can complain.

I think the collie guy's perception of Passport being in an unsafe neighborhood is totally unfounded.

I completely agree we should not refer to Passport, or any other dealer, as our "flagship". At one time or another they have all supported our chapter in one way or another. This will always be in a state of flux.

Iverson Mall is around the corner multiple robberies, shootings, carjackings
have occurred within a 2 mile radius of Passport. Back a couple years ago
2 ladies in there 70's were murdered in their flower shop in broad daylight in a robbery. Area has always been high crime because is just over the border with DC.

Used to hit a great steak and cheese shop in that area when I worked at the Washington Navy Yard and I grew up not to far from there in PG Cty.
My uncle a retired PG Circuit Court judge lives about three miles as the crow flies from Passport.

Dave Apker and the collies

TMB_540i
12-20-2008, 09:02 PM
Passport BMW could be a sponsor for our NCC driving schools and maybe bring out vehicles to show off at our driving school events. That would be a great way for them to foster new relationships. DIYs and BBQs are also a great way to become active as a club sponsor. I am all for fostering new relationships in these tough economic times. Who is the point of contact at Passport BMW?

billw
12-20-2008, 09:38 PM
way off my beaten path. I go past Passport on my way to somewhere south in VA where the past years meetings have been. I spent 2 - 3 hours getting to and from past meetings.

onboost
12-21-2008, 10:02 AM
Passport has supported NCC over the years during both good and bad times. As a former sales person and service manager for them, I worked hard to promote the value of NCC enrolment with the dealership and they were very receptive.

In the current economy I would think having the support of a "flagship dealer", or any other dealer for that matter would be challenging. I think the real challenge here is to give the appearance that the club aligns itself or favors one dealer over the others.

The club, and/or it's ambassadors have always worked to encourage and market itself to all the local dealerships. However, many area dealers have not always readily stepped up to the plate where-as Passport has. Therefore, if another dealer feels slighted, it's up to them to get involved and up to those in the club to help them do so.

Keep in mind also, that some dealers see the club as only being concerned with discounts and the use of their equipment and are thus less inclined to open their bay doors to support things such as DIY. This is further exasperated when members show-up, bringing their own parts, and buy nothing from the dealers parts dept.. which in some cases is open that day to support the club activity being hosted. Don't get me wrong..bringing your own parts is clearly understood when we're talking about items not normally supplied by the dealer..etc. However, if you're changing stock brake pads, oil filters, wipers etc.. it may go a long way to purchase these items from the hosting dealer at the club discount.

As far as distance.. oh well, so those in VA will have to come across Woodrow Wilson. It beats going to Sterling or Manassas in my opinion. For many I'm sure. Passport is right off the beltway.. and very accessible.

Some complain about the neighborhood and/or the high crime rate, and issues related to the area of Iverson mall. Well, those issues and that crime is primarily isolated to that area and those people involved. Passport is located within an autopark that is both monitored and patrolled. Think about the investment sitting there! Further, the Metro Green line is nearby as well as several Federal facilities.. in essence, although you may not see it, there is a presence of law enforcement in the area. I would agree also that it's safe.


Not a sermon, just a thought...

Paul

pseto
12-21-2008, 10:08 AM
Keep in mind also, that some dealers see the club as only being concerned with discounts and the use of their equipment and are thus less inclined to open their bay doors to support things such as DIY. This is further exasperated when members show-up, bringing their own parts, and buy nothing from the dealers parts dept.. which in some cases is open that day to support the club activity being hosted. Don't get me wrong..bringing your own parts is clearly understood when we're talking about items not normally supplied by the dealer..etc. However, if you're changing stock brake pads, oil filters, wipers etc.. it may go a long way to purchase these items from the hosting dealer at the club discount.



Its my understanding that when we hold DIYs at BMW dealerships, buying parts from them is mandatory. obviously, with the exception of non-OEM, aftermarket parts.

onboost
12-21-2008, 10:19 AM
Its my understanding that when we hold DIYs at BMW dealerships, buying parts from them is mandatory. obviously, with the exception of non-OEM, aftermarket parts.

This is true, however I believe that there are some dealers/management out there that have been slow to forgive past faults.

In moving forward the club should probably leverage the purchasing power that it brings to negotiate with some of these dealers to hopefully get them back on board.

dbonner
12-21-2008, 02:02 PM
I believe we should just get Passport to signup for both DIYs and another event to be determined at a later date. They stepped up to the plate when we were looking to finalize our 09 calendar. If other dealers wanna play ball, then if we can fit them in, fine.

I'll always continue to ask my contacts at Tischer and Russel to become more involved since I'm there all the time and they've treated us well in the past.

I agree with comments by Paul, Woody and Steven. I think doing DIY or a social event at Passport is great. The prior owner of my M5 did his mechanical work at Passport and really like their shop. But I don't think we need to run all road tours from Passport, or to have any kind of an exclusive or "flagship" relationship with them. As has been pointed out, other BMW dealers actively support the Club through advertising and pricing promotions (as in Tischer's 20% discount off MSRP for parts for all NCC Members), and it would be foolish not to encourage the continued support of all dealers in the NCC area given the geographic distribution of our members throughout the metropolitan DC area, including Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, MD. We have the largest membership of any BMW Club in the country with some 5000 members (plus or minus) in one of the most affluent regions of the country, and a half dozen dealers serving our region. That creates powerful incentives for multiple BMW dealers to support our Chapter. :biggrin: Don't let us make the mistake of putting our eggs in one basket. Bonbahn

///MARINE
12-22-2008, 08:01 AM
I, like many other members have travelled over two hours to get to tour starts, DIYs, Socials and other events. There are 5000 of us and we don't all live in the same area. 10 out of 10 times I drive right past Passport BMW and hop on the beltway enroute to whatever event I'm attending. I visited Passport as recently as Friday to pick up some parts. I chatted with a mechanic who had just installed a Dinan exhaust on a 2009 M3 and showed me how mean it sounded. Another tech gave me advice on installing the parts I had just purchased. These people are enthusiasts and the facility is beautiful.

Should we make them our flagship? No. Should we foster a greater relationship with them and utilize the central location to get more of the people not willing to drive as far as I am to come out? Definetly. The reason I love going to DIYs at Convenience Car Care and Martin Motorsport is that the owners and mechanics actually LOVE BMWs and WANT TO HELP US. That is not the experience at every venue or every dealership. When we find people who are willing to work with us; like the guys who Paul got to bring out the new 1 series and X6 to our social and concours events, we should reciprocate.

ase2dais
12-22-2008, 09:12 AM
I think picking one dealer as a "flagship" is irresponsible. Unless Passport is going to donate a gross amount of money to us to be the "flagship", I'm completely against it. 100%.

Make one friend, create five enemies... but this seems to be the way the club is heading.

Am I saying that we shouldn't do events with Passport? Hell no. But should we show favortism to one business? Absolutely not.

100% on target

Wildcats64
12-22-2008, 09:47 AM
Guys:

I agree with some of the earlier comments that we shouldn't allow Passport to be our flagship dealer. I also feel that we should not have Board meetings at their location, but am not adverse to DIYs, social events, etc. being held there.

In addition, the only two BMW dealers currently advertising in the Club magazine are BMW of Sterling and Passport BMW. I have contacted BMW of Fairfax about advertising in 2009 without success. I plan to contact BMW of Arlington to see if there is any interest or not. I guess what I am trying to communicate is that we should be dealing with those dealers, who are concerned with the Club's best interests rather than those who ignore us.

Dennis Follett

bimmernupe
12-23-2008, 08:58 PM
Ok, I'm biased b/c I travel from NOVA to use Passport for my service and Joern did my ED for me. At the last Board Meeting Bob was talking about how he tried contacting dealers for the upcoming DIY season and a few did not have the common decency to call him back to say no they were not interested. Instead they gave hime the run around playing cat and mouse. So all the arguments of other dealers being club friendly is BS IMHO. The two that are the most friendly is Tischer and Passport.
As far as the neighborhood around Passport is concerned it is safe. Hell crime is everywhere day and night. It is in G'town, Bethesda, Potomac, Burke, Upper NW. It is not like you are travelling through the neighborhoods when you go there. You are on and off the Beltway w/i 60 secs.
I must applaud Tischer and Passport for taking the initiative to be as loyal to us as we are to them.
Nothwithstanding my above, I think it may be a bit irresponsible to show allengiance to one dealer. Some people are loyal to Fairfax, VOB, Sterling, and the other dealers. We are after all the National Capital Chapter of the BMWCCA, not the Passport BMW National Capital Chapter of the BMWCCA.

OwnedbyDuncan
12-24-2008, 09:37 AM
As far as the neighborhood around Passport is concerned it is safe. Hell crime is everywhere day and night. It is in G'town, Bethesda, Potomac, Burke, Upper NW. It is not like you are travelling through the neighborhoods when you go there. You are on and off the Beltway w/i 60 secs.

Not sure where you get your info but according to the most recent crime reports in the WP in District 4 Oxon Hill for Pg Cty(where Passport is located) there were approx 40 car thefts for the reporting period and for the West Springfield and Fair Oaks Police districts which include Burke, Fairfax, Springfield, Clifton, parts of Centerville, and Chantilly there were two car thefts. Other reported crimes have about the same ratio between the two jurisdictions.

We should negotiate with Passport and other dealers. I would suggest
visitng in person to set up meeting with the various dealers. Let them all bid for club member's business and play them agaisnt each other for the best deal.

Dave Apker and collies

Zchild
12-24-2008, 10:19 AM
:icon_blah The main reason for this thread was to solicit comments or what a healthy realationship looks like and or feels like between our club and Passport BMW. I listed the options or menu of things they have offered us. We're not planning on changing the social Board Meeting format nor are we seriously comtemplating moving all of our meetings to Passport. I just really want to know with the coming year and the economy what the club's thoughts are on the dealerships and their association with our club. Thanks for all of the valuable input. I would say I learned that we don't need or want a Flagship dealership for the club and that our relationship should be no different with the exception of using their facility for club events much the same as we have in the past. Appreciate all of your viewpoints.
:icon_pape

bimmernupe
12-24-2008, 01:53 PM
Not sure where you get your info but according to the most recent crime reports in the WP in District 4 Oxon Hill for Pg Cty(where Passport is located) there were approx 40 car thefts for the reporting period and for the West Springfield and Fair Oaks Police districts which include Burke, Fairfax, Springfield, Clifton, parts of Centerville, and Chantilly there were two car thefts. Other reported crimes have about the same ratio between the two jurisdictions.

We should negotiate with Passport and other dealers. I would suggest
visitng in person to set up meeting with the various dealers. Let them all bid for club member's business and play them agaisnt each other for the best deal.

Dave Apker and collies
I am not arguing stats. For the time of day we would be in that area we are safe. I have not heard of Passport having issues w/ cars going missing off their lots. When we had our DIY and Fall Drives there we had not issues. When the Susan G. Komen had their cars parked there overnight, they had no issues.
Our cars for the times we are there are safe. From Passport's lot to the Beltway we are safe.

mcoupemindy
12-24-2008, 02:19 PM
The NCCBMWCCA board fully appreciates all the program support received from our many vendor relationships. Further, we believe that to single out any one vendor is unfair to the many who support our activities in equally many ways. We value everyone's comments and appreciate the diverse responses of everyone here.