Inside BMW’s Vehicle Distribution Center

By Jonathan Spira on 4 February 2010
  • Share

The BMW Vehicle Distribution Center (VDC) is the point of entry for all BMWs, Minis, and Rolls-Royces arriving in the United States.  Join The Diesel Driver on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour.

The final chapter of our BMW 335d’s voyage to the States has now been written.  DSC_0945The 335d left Bremerhaven, Germany, on 14 January aboard the MV Manon and arrived at  the Port of New York (which, in this case, is in New Jersey) on 31 January, a 17-day voyage across the Atlantic.  The Manon’s first stop was at the pier adjacent to the BMW Vehicle Distribution Center in Bayonne, where the 335d, along with its shipmates, was offloaded by stevedores.  The BMW Vehicle Distribution Center, or VDC (previously called the VPC, or Vehicle Processing Center) is, for all intents and purposes, an extension of the BMW factory in Germany.

The 335d was  driven directly to a segregated area at the VDC, where it remained until it was cleared by U.S. Customs inspectors, who physically inspect each car.  New cars are cleared through Customs electronically before the ship reaches port.  The 335d cleared customs in record time – within 48 hours of arrival.  Customs clearance for tourist delivery cars can occasionally take up to two weeks.DSC_1064 (Large)

After the 335d was released by customs, it was checked for any damage by Automotive Visual Inspections (AVI), a private company hired by BMW.  Once AVI finished its inspection, the 335d continued its journey through the VDC.

BMW currently has three VDCs in the United States.  The New Jersey VDC processes ca. 100,000 cars per year and supports 12 states.  The West Coast VDC in Port Hueneme, California receives cars for the West Coast, and Brunswick, Georgia VDC receives cars destined for the southeastern United States.  Another VDC is planned for the Baltimore area, which will process cars destined for Mid-Atlantic states and the Central region.DSC_0882

The New Jersey VDC sits on 26 acres.  Over 87 BMW employees work at the VDC and their day typically runs from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The New Jersey VDC  processes an average of 300 cars per day (and, at times, up to 600)  including new and European Delivery BMWs, Minis, and Rolls-Royces, which arrive from Austria, Germany, South Africa, Spartanburg, and the United Kingdom.  The facility holds 3000 cars, and a recent 10-acre expansion can hold an additional thousand vehicles.

Click here to continue to page 2

Pages: 1 2