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An Orphan BMW 530i

5-series | September 21st, 2008 by 9
BMW 530i

I would like to welcome Mike Duggan as an official contributor for our blog. With an amazing passion for BMWs, he will delight us with …

I would like to welcome Mike Duggan as an official contributor for our blog. With an amazing passion for BMWs, he will delight us with an unique take on our most favorite brand.


There’s a car I’ve been watching.
Our local BMW dealer is just three turns from our house, on a two-lane road I travel often. The lot is well positioned along the road to allow passers-by like me to gawk at its cars as we scoot past. During the week, when traffic moves at a pace slower than I like to drive, I have plenty of time to give gawking its due.

The car I’ve been watching is a 530i, Mystic Blue metallic, sand beige interior. I don’t know if it first caught my attention because of the color (unusual for a 530i, at least where I live), or if it was the big 18-inch Sport Package upgrade wheels. In any case, I looked.

An Orphan BMW 530i
This particular 530i is a 2004, and has been in the front row of the BMW lot off and on for approaching five years. It proudly held on to its window-stickered “new”status for well over two years, it might have been three, before someone connected to the dealership removed the window sticker ($52770), and started driving the car.


When the car first started being driven, I was a little shaken by it. “Did you see that 5-Series finally sold?” was the only line in an e-mail that traveled between my BMW-loving friends. The funny thing was, without explanation, we all knew what car we were talking about. We’d all been watching it.

Then it was back.

With a few thousand miles on the odometer, the 530i returned. Save for a few short-term disappearing acts in the intervening years, it’s remained parked in the dealership’s front row, still technically a new, untitled car. It’s still there today.

A car languishing on a dealer lot well past its sell-by date isn’t unusual. With numerous auto industry issues, and ever-more-dire sales predictions running rampant, lots of unsold, unsaleable cars and SUVs are becoming relatively commonplace. Off the top of my head, I know where there are brand new two- and almost three-year old Buick’s sitting. Old, but still new, Chrysler’s, Fords and Mercedes R-Classes are out there. Aging, still “new,” still-on-the-lot Saabs are a dime-a-dozen and easy to find.

But a BMW 530i? An unsold, orphaned, 2004? Weird. After all these years, the car seems like a friend I wave hello to in the hall at work. I pass him every day and give a friendly wave, but never really know what his story is. I look forward to crossing paths with him, and if he moves on, I’ll be sad to see him go.

  • Gragop

    funny – I look at the used lot of my local BMW dealer and I’ve seen a lot of the same cars sitting too. I’m surprised they haven’t moved a 5er after that long. My family just got $5,000 off of a 528i, brand new…makes me wonder what the dealer is doing wrong?

  • Hantra

    $53 GRAND for a 530i in 2004!? No wonder it never sold. Some guys just don’t know how to order inventory. That’s what makes cars sit for so long on the lot.

  • Mike D

    Did I mention it’s $52k sticker doesn’t include heated seats?

  • Tim H

    If memory serves, BMW sent all dealers this color combo in 2004 as Center Demos.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Mike D: That’s crazy, I wonder why the keep the price so high.

  • Mike D

    The $52k+ is just the sticker price … I think they’re actually asking a pretty typical used price at this point … low-to-mid $30k’s I believe.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Mike D: ohh ok, it makes sense now. Well, go for it Mike :) Beautiful color, let me tell ya

  • Arthur Karagiannis

    Ive got one exactly like you all talk about, here in Australia.
    I bought it as a second had car, off a consulate in Sydney.

    It is a real eye catcher and many people comment of its good looks.
    I bought it in Sept 07, 27K km on the clock, Im surprised that it
    just sits there without any takers.
    I wish I had only paid US$35K for it here, we are in the $50K range here in Australia for a 2nd hand car ( 3yr old), and US$85+K for a new one.

    Keep looking, I know I do every day I pull up the roller door to drive to work.

  • Jennifer

    Bmw530i at sbrforum is up over $200,000. Check out his spreadsheet!

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