Much like the i8 successor we reported on earlier this week, BMW is axing its European delivery program for U.S. customers starting this fall—and its death can’t entirely be blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the program, folks who bought a new BMW had the option of traveling to the company’s headquarters in Munich and taking delivery of their shiny Bimmer there. Like similar programs offered by other European, luxury manufacturers, it included a guided tour of the plant and the option of sticking around for a road trip before shipping the car back home. For many customers, we’re sure it made becoming a BMW owner that much more memorable but, sadly, it’ll soon become a thing of the past.
With COVID-19 wiping out all non-essential air travel, it’d be easy to pin this on the pandemic but according to BMW, it sounds like the program was already on its way out. The reason? Most of the BMWs this country buys (read: crossovers) aren’t actually built in Europe at all. They’re built in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
“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,” a company spokesperson told The Drive.
The BMW spokesperson goes on to say that there’s been a demand increase, however, for the Ultimate Delivery Experience it holds at the Spartanburg plant which is responsible for building the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. The Experience includes in-class and on-track instruction from the BMW Performance Center and a tour of the factory.
The Spartanburg delivery program is available for any BMW model purchased in the U.S.—not just crossovers—and sounds like a swell time but “South Carolinian delivery” just doesn’t have the same ring as “European delivery,” y’know?
If you’re really adamant about experiencing BMW European delivery once in your life and are willing to bet that this whole coronavirus thing subsides sooner rather than later, the last day to submit a pre-reservation is May 18 and September 2020 will be the final month European deliveries will happen.
Correction: Thursday, May 7, 2018, 9:57 a.m. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that BMW European Delivery took place in “Welt, Germany.” The program actually happens at BMW Welt which is located in Munich, Germany and this story has been corrected accordingly.
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