August 16, 2010
Yesterday was a great day. The Friday before we fly down to NYC three important things came together. Most importantly I received the insurance documents for the new bike – which will make getting the temp-permit from the NYS DMV viable. If it hadn’t showed up I would be rallying a friend to overnight it to Manhattan – either way we’d have found a way.
The last package of items for the bike arrived on time – which means that everything that we’ve ordered is in NYC and ready for installation.
The final item was a surprise. Michael managed to secure a recall clearance letter which will make crossing the border much easier – and the whole process much cheaper. BMW is charging $500 for these letters in Canada, with a wait of two weeks and will only process them once the vehicle is across the border. This eats up a third of the total amount of time an importer has process their vehicle. There are two reasons for BMW to do this:
- It’s an easy way to make $500
- More importantly, it makes it more difficult to for people to import into Canada from the US
Unfortunately, BMW Canada seems to miss the point – people import from the states because there’s a ridiculous price discrepancy which BMW Canada seems unwilling to address. The overall brand impression generated with this blocking move is one of contempt for it’s own customer base – an interesting move by one of the historically strongest brands in automotive. The other point they miss is the money spent by these people on aftermarket items – gear, parts and maintenance – and this experience creates zero brand loyalty with us. For instance, rather than buying BMW adventure riding gear I purchased the REV’IT! gear – equally well manufactured and equally expensive.
Still, corporate maneuvering aside, the bike is amazing and I’m looking forward to many adventures on it :)