BMW is ending its European Delivery Program for North American customers, the company has confirmed to Autoblog. The news first broke on the Bimmerpost online forum via an employee of a BWM dealership in the U.S.
“After carefully evaluating the changing BMW U.S. customer preferences towards U.S.-built X vehicles and the declining interest in the European Delivery Program, BMW has made the decision to bring the U.S. market European Delivery Program to a close in the fall of 2020,” spokesman Oleg Satanovsky tells Autoblog.
European Delivery is a special purchase program that allows customers to order any BMW vehicle and have it delivered at the BMW Welt building, right next door to the company’s headquarters in Munich. The program gives buyers discounts of up to 5% off the base price of their vehicle, plus perks like a tour of the plant in Munich, a visit to the BMW Museum, free shuttle to the Munich airport and all shipping issues, including U.S. customs, port processing and wharf handling fees, taken care of.
The last day to submit a pre-reservation form for European Delivery is May 18, while September will be the last month to take advantage of the program. BMW will also reportedly honor deposits for 2021 model-year vehicles under the program by accepting pre-reservation forms without a production number.
The news follows a report in BMG Blog that picking up vehicles at BMW Welt just got more expensive for European customers, with the elimination of the Basic Starter Package pickup option. The BMW Welt was scheduled to reopen Monday after being closed since March 17 because of the coronavirus.
It’s a sad end to a neat set of perks for car-buying. It reflects changing interests among U.S. car-buyers, and it’s not difficult to imagine that rising costs and complications from the global coronavirus pandemic also may have influenced the decision.
“While fewer customers have been taking advantage of driving their new BMW’s in Europe prior to having their cars shipped to the U.S., we have seen a marked increase in interest in the BMW Ultimate Delivery Experience at our Greenville-Spartanburg facility, which is available for any production BMW vehicle, not just for those built in South Carolina,” Satanovsky added.
“The BMW Ultimate Delivery Experience includes classroom and on-track car control instruction at the BMW Performance Center, a tour of Plant Spartanburg, a visit to the BMW Zentrum Museum and finally, a personalized vehicle handover of your new BMW followed by a drive home from the scenic Carolinas.”