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Getting the Most from your BMW Performance Center Delivery!

The New BMW X4 on the Road

Think of BMW Performance Center Delivery almost like a U.S. version of European Delivery Program.  However, instead of traveling to Munich, you travel to the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina to collect your new BMW and also spend a day participating in driving events, a visit to the BMW Zentrum museum, and a factory tour. 

  • You can order ANY current BMW model to be delivered (BMW X-vehicles are possible since they are made in Spartanburg)
     
  • You will participate in an exhilarating track driving experience on the day you collect your new BMW. BMW has you drive one of their vehicles (as opposed to your own) that is usually a model similar to the one that you purchased.
     
  • You will visit the BMW Zentrum Museum and take a Factory Tour when you come to collect your vehicle.
     
  • You will drive your new BMW away after delivery – it does not get shipped beyond Spartanburg. This could mean a cross-country road adventure depending on where you live.

 

BMW Spartanburg Performance Driving CenterIt is possible to do both a BMW European Delivery and then a BMW Performance Center DeliveryYou are able to order a vehicle for BMW European Delivery and then request to have your BMW shipped to Spartanburg as the final destination instead of your local dealer.  You can then participate in the European and Spartanburg experience including track time!  There is no added cost to do a Performance Center Delivery – you just have to drive home (wherever that is) after you collect your BMW.  Note that it is not possible to do European Delivery with a US-built X-series models or the i3.

Additional information is available about the Spartanburg Factory Tour, and the Performance Driving courses which may sway your decision to opt for a Performance Center Delivery.  

This Planning Guide is a companion to the BMW North America website and has practical planning tips for having the best experience with BMW Performance Center Delivery.  Topics Include:

  • Advance Planning / When to Order
  • Selecting the right BMW Dealer to work with
  • Creating your BMW Performance Center Delivery Order
  • Financing and Leasing a Performance Center Delivery Vehicle
  • Tracking your BMW during Production and transport to Spartanburg
  • Planning your trip to Spartanburg and beyond (logistics)
  • Delivery Day! – What to Expect at the BMW Performance Delivery Center

Can’t a Dealer do all of this for You?

The New BMW 840i

Well, yes.  It is completely possible to have your dealer handle the entire process, however most factory delivery customers are also huge BMW fans who want up close participation in every step of the process.  You also have a trip to South Carolina to coordinate which is outside the scope of your Dealer.  With a good dealer and awareness of steps requiring advance planning, you will have an awesome BMW experience including a real behind the scenes look inside the world of BMW. 

Can you save Money on a BMW Performance Center Delivery?

Unlike the European Delivery Program where vehicles have a published 5% discount off of list price, there is no prescribed special pricing for Performance Center Delivery vehicles.  It will be up to you to negotiate a purchase price with your selected dealer.  It is quite possible to purchase your car at the same price/discount that you would be paying for taking delivery off of the dealer’s lot, however this can vary from dealer to dealer.  

One reason to take advantage of BMW Performance Center Delivery is to get a car ordered to your exact specification, expose you to the heritage of the brand and BMW Culture, experience a great North American journey at basically no additional cost.  Regardless, do your “homework” and you should be able to get your desired model at a competitive price.

Depending on the trip you are pairing with your BMW Performance Center Delivery, this guide is meant to help you with the pre-plan and review what you should keep in mind as you prepare to navigate through the process and plan your trip to Spartanburg.  This guide is intended to get your creative ideas flowing!

Let’s get started!

List Below of Performance Center Delivery Topics:

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Planning for your BMW Performance Center Delivery

BMW X6M on the Road

You will have the best experience if you plan your Performance Center Delivery and surrounding trip several months in advance.  A trip with a newly minted car is a special experience and you have different opportunities when you have your own car to take on a U.S. journey depending on where your home state is.  Here are some of the initial considerations:

 Start by imagining your road trip in the U.S. and plan your calendar looking back to when your order should be placed.

  • Cars may be booked in w/ BMW production up to 5 months in advance – early is essential if you wish to coordinate your pickup for busy times of year, summer holidays, etc. 
     
  • The minimum amount of lead time for a German built order is typically 10 weeks (before your desired pickup date as the vehicle must be produced and shipped to Spartanburg)
     
  • The minimum amount of lead time for a US-built order is typically 60 days prior to desired pickup date. 
     
  • The minimum amount of time for a BMW Individual order is typically 90 days prior to desired pickup date (plus overseas transport for German built models)
     
  • Be aware of all BMW corporate and Factory holidays, you cannot take delivery on holidays or weekends.  Spartanburg generally has a factory closure in July and over the Christmas holidays.
     
  • BMW Dealer allocation may affect how soon your order can be placed (depending on model, see section below on dealer selection and allocation). 
     
  • Vehicle Production Cycle. The next model year can begin production as early as June of the preceding year while other models may commence in July, August, or September.  You may want to time your order for production according to the model year you want to receive. 
     
  • Remember that you must drive your new BMW home from Spartanburg –  A journey from South Carolina to the East Coast, or across the Midwest may be a wonderful adventure depending on the time of year. You’ll want to consider this in your planning.
     BMW M340i
  • Having an idea about your desired model, travel dates, and rough idea of your road trip is your starting point. From there you begin with dealer selection and placing your order.
     
  • Note that you may only bring one guest with you to participate in your BMW Performance Center Delivery.  If you are traveling with family, you will need to make arrangements for other family members on the day.

Selecting the right BMW Dealer for your Order

Mid adult couple looking at car color brochures

 

After you’ve built your ideal car in the BMW configurator, you will take that information to a BMW dealer – you can also request to be contacted by a local dealer directly through the BMW USA website.  Just as all dealers may not be equal when it comes to purchasing a car on site, the same holds true (and becomes more important) if you are considering Performance Center Delivery as your purchase relationship with the Dealer will last anywhere from 2 to 6 months (or more).  In this section, we’ll discuss a few tips on selecting the right dealer for a BMW Performance Center Delivery – and you should probably talk to more than one initially.

Some dealers may be less experienced and knowledgeable in the process, which, if done haphazardly may add a lot of frustration since there are key timing elements and steps to follow in order to have your car ready – with the color and options you wanted – exactly on time for your delivery date in Spartanburg.

Qualities to consider for Selecting a dealer

You want to select a dealer that will keep you in the loop on all phases of your order and make you feel like a participant rather than a nuisance as there are several questions and steps during the process.

    • Customer reviews color and optionsKnowledge. A dealer or sales advisor who specializes in, or is deeply experienced in Performance Center and/or European Delivery orders is recommended as you want somebody who knows the steps and is keeping an internal eye on the car as it moves through the production stages and the calendar to be sure you get information in on time to line up with your travel plans. 
       
    • Dealer has a model allocation available for production in the month before you want to collect (mostly an issue for the higher-end, lower production volume models). 
       
    • Dealer Pricing – BMW does not have pre-set pricing for Performance Center Delivery vehicles similar to published European Delivery pricing reflecting an approximate 5% discount off the MSRP, so it will be up to you to establish pricing with your dealer.  It will be in your best interest to use Internet research tools to determine fair pricing for your desired model and be realistic especially if you seek a high-demand model as model popularity may also affect dealer willingness to offer discounts.  
       
    • Car Buying Services – It may even make sense to use a popular service like the Costco Auto Program where a pre-established Invoice+markup pricing for customers has been pre-established and pricing will be more transparent to you.  This type of service can generally be applied to ordered cars as well as inventory cars.  Other more traditional car buying services may not work if they rely on existing inventory in order to structure a deal.
        
    • Location – Depending on where you live, you may have multiple or a single option for selecting a dealer. If you only have a single dealer option, be sure to do as much advance “homework” as possible.  All the usual “shopping skills” of researching options and pricing in advance would apply to your Performance Center Delivery order.  Try to know what you want before you walk in the door.

What is dealer allocation and why does it matter?

Display of BMW Models at BMW HQEvery BMW dealer is given an allotment of cars to order each month based on their size and sales volume which contains a variety of models to populate their inventory.  Generally, it will be one of these allocated cars will be re-assigned to you for your Performance Center Delivery order and you can only order from what the dealer had been allocated.  BMW of North America has a separate allocation available for European Delivery cars, however it does not include Performance Center Delivery nor does it include every model.  Those models not in the BMW special programs allocation must still come from the dealer’s own allocation.  Cars subject to this are generally high-demand or limited production vehicles like the M4 or other coveted models.

If other customers are waiting “in line” to buy one of these Dealer allocated models, you may not be able to place your Performance Center Delivery order until an allocation slot becomes available for you.  This is a factor to investigate when selecting your dealer and/or coordinating a delivery with your travel timeframe.  It may only be necessary to “dealer shop” based on allocation if the car you want to order is a limited availability model.

Creating your Performance Center Delivery Order

Once you have selected a dealer, you’ll arrange a time to come in and create your order.  Expect the process to take an hour or so.

  • BMW Configurator Exterior ScreenBring a printout of your desired build and options from the BMW Website.  Make a list of your desired options, packages and any option codes if you know them.  Sometimes option ABC is part of Package XYZ – this can be helpful for you do double check the dealers work, but this is their area of expertise and if you selected a good dealer, you’ll be fine.
  • If you have no idea about color or interior selection, have look at the brochure and advertising.  BMW will always showcase popular color combinations and that can be helpful to you.  It is also sometimes helpful to visit as many dealerships as practical to view color combinations or interiors in person.  Some folks know exactly what they want, while others may need inspiration.  For some choosing a color can be annoyingly angst creating.  You can have whatever you want – you just have to decide what that will be!
  • Build the car that YOU want.  Don’t calculate what color or options will be good for resale. A BMW Performance Center Delivery car is one of those “Dream Come True” bucket-list items and you shouldn’t scrimp if you don’t have to.  If you’re concerned about resale, then consider leasing your car.
  • Your order must be in the name of the person who will pick up the vehicle in Spartanburg.  You cannot buy the car in a company name or pick up a car on behalf of someone else.
  • Your dealer may require a deposit.  It is up to you to ask if your deposit is refundable or not should you cancel.  This can vary by dealer and state according to law.
  • You may be required to complete a credit application.  This is not to begin financing, but rather allows the dealer to run your credit to ensure that you should be able to finance/afford the purchase.  This may be done even if you intend to pay cash – again, varies by dealer policy.  Unless you are on a short timeline and need to finance soon, you will re-do this step closer to your delivery date when it is time to finance.
  • You should request that the dealer print out your order from the system.  This will allow you and your sales advisor to review the entered color, wheels, and options to double check that nothing was missed. It will also provide you with a production number which is how you track the order through the BMW system as a VIN number is not assigned until the vehicle is actually in production.
  • You should ask your dealer how long before your order becomes locked in the system.  It may be possible to make changes in your order on longer lead-time orders.  However, there becomes a point 6 to 8 weeks before production where changes will no longer possible as manufacturing and parts must be arranged specific to your build.  If you are on the fence about a color or adding an option, you often have a small window of opportunity for making a change.  However, don’t leave this to chance.  Knowing when your order is going to be locked is helpful.  Sometimes you’re ordering a color and you’ve never seen it in person – expect a little angst and anticipation but know that changes are possible until the order is locked.
  • Next Model year options may be different.  If you are placing an order that will be built later in the year as the next year’s model, you may not have the exact same set of options or colors to select from – your dealer will advise you if this applies and re-connect with you as soon as the next model year specifics hit the system.  This is also why orders don’t lock down until a certain point in the process. Again, you want a dealer who keeps an eye on things!
  • Couple meeting Salesman at car DealershipYou should have your dealer review the upcoming steps and timing so that you are aware.  If you completed your order, the next step may be Finance – which is usually required 45 days or less before your pickup date.

  • You may opt for Performance Center Delivery even after you have placed your order provided there is sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.  You should contact your dealer as soon as you know that you want to request Performance Center Delivery.

Financing

While you buy the car from a BMW Dealer, your Dealer first buys the car from BMW of North America.  BMW wants payment from the dealer no less than 15 days before delivery to you in Spartanburg.  Therefore, your dealer may ask you to arrange your financing 30 or to 45 days in advance so that things will be ready when needed. 

You basically have 3 options to pay for your BMW Performance Center Delivery car:Customer working with Sales Manager Financing new car order

If you are not paying cash outright, the easy option is BMW F/S because all timing elements will be handled internally and correctly.  If you plan on financing through an outside lender, be sure to let them know that you will be collecting the car in Spartanburg, in the event that they have geographic restrictions of any type.  In general, you will complete the financing step with your local dealer just before you travel to Spartanburg, so you will be provided temporary registration and plates applicable to your local state regulations.

Rates and Terms are generally competitive, but you may want to explore financing in advance of starting your BMW Performance Center Delivery order.

How is Leasing handled for BMW Performance Center Delivery?

You would lease your BMW Performance Center Delivery Program car much as you would a regular vehicle purchase with terms, fees, residuals and such.  Your lease term will commence on the day that the car is registered in your state which is generally just before you travel to pick the car up in Spartanburg.  Keep in mind that different leasing terms have mileage limitations and you should add your factory to home road trip when considering mileage/lease options.

Cash payment is always an option

Miniature car. Vintage label with written word for sale.You can always purchase the car outright either with cash or funds from other sources such as a home equity line, etc.  Just be prepared for the dealer request payment up to a month before your delivery day to make full payment.  You should pre-arrange insurance with your Insurance Agent as road insurance must be effective on the day you collect your vehicle in Spartanburg.  Your dealer may require proof of insurance at the time you handle your financing transaction, so be prepared for this step.  Lastly, when I say “cash” payment I mean writing a check or transferring funds.  Dealers are required to report actual green cash payments that exceed $10,000 to the IRS.  Be sure to consult your tax advisor, BMW dealer, yada yada…

 

What comes next?

Once your order is in, you will begin receiving communication from BMW of North America regarding your upcoming delivery.  Note that BMW Performance Center Delivery Group will book your pre-delivery free night at the Greenville Marriott.  If you wish to add additional nights before or after your delivery day, you can contact the Greenville Marriott and mention your reservation/affiliation with BMW Performance Center and they will offer you a special rate for your additional nights.  A few weeks before your scheduled delivery, BMW will send you a collection packet containing detailed instructions, and paperwork that you will bring with you when you come to collect your new BMW.  The BMW North America Performance Center Delivery Group is knowledgeable and helpful and can answer almost all of your questions on the spot.  They can be reached directly at (864) 968-3037, or email to performancecenterdelivery@bmwmc.com.

Tracking Your Order

You can track the production steps of your BMW through the entire process.  Using the Production number that has been assigned to your order, you can create an account on the BMW “Owner’s Garage” and use this number to track every step along the way.  Your car will not have a VIN number assigned until the actual beginning of vehicle production. 

Worker performs Final checks on completed BMW

You can also track the status of your BMW by calling 800-831-1117. When prompted say “vehicle production status.” Have your production number or last 7 characters of your VIN Number ready for the latest update.  

Trackable Production Steps:

  • Order Received
  • Scheduled for Production
  • Production Begins
  • Exterior Body Assembly Begins
  • In the Paint Booth
  • Entering Assembly Line
  • Assembly in Progress
  • Quality Check
  • Final Assembly
  • Ready for Transit
  • Awaiting Carrier Assignment
  • Dispatched from Factory
  • At the Port
  • In Transit
  • At the Dealership

Transport ship on water

It is also possible to track your vehicle once it gets onto a ship (“In Transit” stage).  You can most easily find this out via BMW vehicle production status, or have your dealer make the inquiry to help you pinpoint the exact name of the cargo ship your vehicle is traveling on.  From there you can go online and use one of the maritime shipping trackers to watch the ship as it makes the journey to the US.  This can be more fun than you might think!

Once your vehicle reaches the US port – it is delivered to the BMW Performance Delivery Center where it is inspected and prepared for delivery.  

If you ordered a BMW X-Series vehicle that is manufactured in Spartanburg, you can still track the steps of the production phase, however the final steps will be skipped as your car will already be a the destination.

Planning for your Trip to Spartanburg and beyond

BMW X5M on Road Trip

The other half of the Performance Center Delivery experience is planning where to drive and what to do with your awesome BMW in the heartland of the U.S. of A after you collect your new car!  Depending on where your home destination is, you can consider travels to the sunny beaches of Florida, the fascination and History of Washington D.C., or travel across the U.S. visiting National Parks or other famous tourist spots that are best visited by car.  This is your chance to explore the U.S. in style while making your way home in your new BMW!

You can handle the trip planning, but here are some suggestions and factors to consider making your road trip go smoothly:

  • Make certain that your luggage will fit into your new car!  This seems so simple, but if you’re collecting that cute convertible, you’d better know that every piece of luggage you are planning to bring will fit in the space you will have – with the top down.  You don’t really want to leave any of your belongings in the back seat on view for passersby.  You can always take your suitcase(s) to your local BMW dealer and try them out in a similar car on the lot.  Your dealer will understand, but you will be glad that you thought this through!
  • The New BMW X6-MLook for hotels that have ample and secure parking available – for this particular road trip, you’ll want to pay a little extra attention to the available parking at any of your hotel stops.  Just know what parking to expect before you book!
  • Shy away from the parking valet if possible.  I had a young valet open the door of my new Porsche into a wall in a tight parking space and it was not a happy day for me or the hotel owner.  Minimize opportunity for things to happen.
  • Contact your insurance agent to determine if you need any additional property, or travel medial insurance coverage. While your BMW must be insured if you financed, you should check with your healthcare insurer to determine your coverage while out of state.  It may be possible that a gap policy may be appropriate depending on your circumstances, so just know where you stand before you travel.
  • Map out all of your stops and hotels with address and phone detail and create entries in your phone and/or take a listing printout with you.  You will need these to enter into your navigation system and can have the BMW Genius assist you entering them when you pick up your BMW in Spartanburg.  You may also be able to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto if you have these options on your vehicle.
     
  • Buy a Map. Go to Amazon or the local Auto Club and get an old-fashioned paper map of the US or any states that you plan to visit so that you can see the “big picture” to better help with your driving route for your trip.  Even if you rely on GPS while driving, it will be a good backup to have handy.

    Beautiful Scenery on Spectacular Drive

  • Double check your cell phone data plan to be sure that it will be adequate.   You will use a lot more data when on the road, just be sure you are on an appropriate nationwide plan.  It will be an invaluable tool since you are driving and will want to use maps and have a phone in case of emergency.  Also remember that cell phone coverage varies and you may not have 100% coverage everywhere that you go.
  • Driving in the Summer is much easier than in Winter for many reasons.
      • Beside the better weather, you have many more hours of daylight for driving each day.
      • In the summer, you can spend the bulk of a day in a city and still have daylight in the afternoon for your drive to your next destination.
      • Sundays can be a good day for longer road trip segment as many more things are closed, traffic will be lighter, and you can just focus on a fun driving day.
         
  • BMW X5M InteriorIf you go in the Fall or Winter, check the floor-mat situation. If your new BMW does not come with floor mats, or even if it does, I recommend going to the auto parts store (or good old Amazon) and getting a cheap set of floor mats to take with you to protect your new car as you may encounter rain, snow and mud.  You can toss or donate the mats when you get home.  This just keeps your interior as nice as possible once you have completed your journey.

Delivery Day / What to expect

BMW Delivery Customer with BMW Genius

When the big day arrives, you’ll want to take it all in! BMW Performance Center Delivery is a full day beginning at 8am sharp.  If you are staying at the local Marriott in Greenville, they have a complimentary shuttle leaving at 7:45am for the Delivery Center.  Your day at BMW will conclude at around 3pm.  Note that only 5 to 8 customers collect cars at the Performance Delivery Center on any given day, so you will only be sharing your experience with a small group of equally excited BMW fans!

Your day will consist of roughly 4 parts:

  1. BMW Performance Driving Center car on the skid padTrack Driving Experience – you will spend your first 2 hours with a professional instructor and have the opportunity to drive a vehicle model similar to the one you have ordered on a test track and skid pad.  Your instructor will teach you about Dynamic Stability Control and other safety features of your new BMW for an exhilarating start to your day.
  2. BMW Zentrum Museum – you will have an opportunity to visit the largest BMW Museum outside of Germany. 
  3. BMW Plant Tour – you will take a private tour of the factory reserved for Delivery customers and learn about and view the stages of the manufacturing process.
  4. BMW Delivery – in the afternoon, you will receive your new BMW and meet with a product specialist who will cover the features of your new car.

You are only allowed to bring 1 additional person to participate in your Performance Center Delivery experience.  If you have others in your group, they are not able to accompany you on your experience or exclusive tours and can only visit the BMW Museum and Plant (Factory) Tour with regular admission paying visitors.  If you have planned a family holiday with kids, you will want to make alternate plans during the daytime for the kids.  The minimum age to take the BMW factory tour in Spartanburg is 12 years old.

Bring your Questions!

You get an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with a BMW product specialist who will review all of the features of your new BMW.  This is the person to ask questions about your new car.  You will certainly learn a few things that you did not know, and the “bonding” process with your new BMW will begin!

New BMW Order - CarPlay Display

Sample topics to cover:

  • Review Break-in Procedures. Modern cars have far fewer restrictions when it comes to breaking in than the cars of yesteryear. You should add this question to your list to discuss with the BMW Specialist.  Brakes and new tires generally have a 500-mile break in where hard off-the-line acceleration or hard braking is discouraged, while the engine and transmission may have different best practices for the first 1200 miles.  Be sure to ask!
     
  • Be sure get assistance in pairing your phone, inputing maps into GPS, or setting up your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity to prepare for your driving adventure.
     
  • Roadside Assistance. BMW will provide you with a roadside assistance number to contact in case you need support or emergency service.

3-2-1 Go!

Couple reading map in car

At the conclusion of your delivery presentation, you will drive your car directly from the factory.  Your day at the Performance Center will conclude by 3pm.  Sometimes, just a journey back to the hotel will be enough to finish the event filled day.  You can head out first thing following morning for your ultimate journey.  You may want to consider missing peak traffic hours as you ease into your road trip.  Downtown Spartanburg is a quaint city and a great place to spend the day before or after your delivery.  The Biltmore Inn Resort at Asheville, North Carolina is about a one hour drive and could also be a great place to spend your first night after collecting your BMW.

You can also consider adding on one of the BMW Performance Driving Courses offered on site at the Performance Driving Center.  Courses include one and two day courses tailored to your driving interests.  Courses offered include a Drivers School, an M-School with a more performance focused agenda, and a Teen-School which teaches younger drivers about driving safety and how to properly handle a vehicle in different challenging driving situations.  Courses are offered on a rotating schedule.  If you are interested in a particular driving course, have your BMW Client Advisor note this with your Performance Center Delivery reservation request and they will work with you to coordinate your delivery to coincide with your desired driving course.

Summary

BMW X5M Journey on the Road
All photos courtesy of, and © Copyright BMW AG

In addition to getting a shiny new BMW, you can create any kind of wonderful road trip vacation you desire.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to see the United States on a cross country journey, and what better way to do that than in the comfort of your new BMW! 

Having your own car to drive on your adventure is a special feeling and gives you the opportunity to tailor a trip only limited by your imagination.  With a little planning, you will make the most out of your BMW Performance Center Delivery and have the trip of a lifetime!  – JK

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