BMW to End European Delivery Program

By Kurt Stolz on 6 May 2020
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Jonathan Spira’s 2014 BMW 535d outside the BMW Welt in Munich

BMW of North America announced it will end its European Delivery program in the fall of 2020.

European Delivery, which has existed since the 1960s, allows a car buyer in the United States to take delivery of the vehicle at the manufacturer’s factory delivery location. The program is, of course, only available for cars manufactured in Europe.

Buyers not only received a discount – it was 7% until recently from BMW – but also received a variety of benefits and amenities from a factory tour to lunch to special gifts.

All programs include inland shipping to the port, wharfage, shipping to the United States, customs duties and brokerage fees, and transportation to your local dealership.

Since the 1960s, several hundred thousand Americans have visited Gothenburg, Ingolstadt, Munich, and Stuttgart with that goal in mind.  The program allowed the buyer to combine a driving experience while taking in the local food, world-famous museums and art galleries, and the Gemütlichkeit of Western Europe.

In 2007, BMW opened the BMW Welt, a brand experience and vehicle delivery center built at a cost of €500 million. FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira was the first customer to take delivery of a new BMW there, on October 23, 2007.  Spira has purchased vehicles under the European Delivery program over a dozen times.

As BMW’s sales tilted towards vehicles such as the X3 and X5 SUVs, which are built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where factory delivery – minus the discount – is also available, fewer and fewer customers availed themselves of the Munich delivery program. 

“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,” BMW said in a statement.

Meanwhile, while Audi ended its European Delivery program in 2018, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo continue to offer theirs.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)