Bimmer superfans who had the European delivery experience on their bucket list might want to step on the gas.
BMW is discontinuing the European Delivery program for U.S. customers starting in the fall, citing a lack of interest and growing demand for U.S.-made crossovers. The Bavarian automaker follows Audi, which discontinued its European delivery program last year.
Under the BMW European Delivery program, a customer picks a dealership, places an order, completes paperwork and travels to BMW’s Welt delivery center in Munich. The program includes 14 days of free insurance and registration, a tour of the automaker’s Munich factory and admission to the BMW Museum.
Once the customer is ready to return home, the vehicle is dropped off at one of 12 points throughout the continent for shipping to North America.
European delivery, which is also offered by Mercedes, Volvo and Porsche, has been around since the 1950s, when American troops wanted to import sporty European cars back to the U.S.
For BMW customers, the program is an opportunity to take a vacation, combined with a 5 percent discount on the base price of their vehicle. For automakers, it’s an opportunity to immerse customers in brand culture and build loyalty. And for dealers, it’s an opportunity to make some money without having to carry the vehicle in inventory.
In the U.S., BMW offers the Ultimate Delivery Experience at its Spartanburg, S.C., factory, BMW’s largest in the world. The U.S. factory builds the popular X line of crossovers, with about 70 percent of volume exported around the world.
The BMW Ultimate Delivery Experience includes classroom and on-track car control instruction at the BMW Performance Center, a plant tour and a visit to the BMW Zentrum Museum.