BMW Factory Delivery at the Spartanburg Performance Center: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d

By Jonathan Spira on 7 July 2012
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It’s been a tradition in my family that we go to the factory to take delivery of our cars.  Even when I was a lad, I remember going to the local Mercedes-Benz car dealership for my parents to arrange picking up our next car in Germany.

So when it came to picking out a car – even a car for The Diesel Driver’s long-term fleet – one important criterion was the availability of Factory Delivery.

While this usually translates into European Delivery, that doesn’t always have to be the case.  Two automakers offer factory delivery in the U.S.:  Chevrolet, for the Corvette, and BMW, for all models sold.

BMW manufactures the X5 sport activity vehicle (SAV) in Spartanburg, South Carolina and it’s one of several models (the others are the X3 and X6) for which European Delivery simply isn’t an option.

But the X5 is available for delivery at the Spartanburg factory (as are the X3 and X6) and BMW offers its customers a unique experience that goes beyond what the typical European factory delivery program provides.


Upon arrival at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, TDD European Editor Christian Stampfer and I were picked up in a BMW X5 diesel and driven to the Greenville Marriott, where overnight accommodations are provided, courtesy of BMW, to those taking delivery the following day.  A special dinner menu is available for BMW customers (again, compliments of BMW) and, in the morning of the delivery, breakfast was served at the hotel as well.

At 7:45 a.m., we left the hotel via a shuttle bus that transported about half of that day’s group of customers to the BMW Performance Center, a 15-minute drive.  (The rest followed a few minutes later in another shuttle.)

Delivery is an all-day affair and our day started with classroom instruction for the entire group where we met the instructors. Matt Mullins, Mike Renner, and Paul Mazzacane introduced themselves, and their enthusiasm for driving, not to mention the skill and knowledge, soon became clear.

One of the most important things the instructors covered was that drivers should look in the direction they want to go, which isn’t necessarily in the direction they are headed (think of an impending rear-end collision where you definitely don’t want to go into the car in front of you and you’ll understand what I mean).  The instructors walked us through the technology in today’s BMWs, including the ones we would be leaving with.

We were set up into groups and Christian and I were in the group that would do the car control clinic.  Each customer and the person accompanying the customer (this ranged from spouse/partner to friend to child old enough to drive) drove a vehicle similar to the one being delivered.  In our case, this was a BMW X5 diesel.

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