The BMW Group opened a new Vehicle Distribution Center (VDC) to received new BMWs and MINIs for the Southern US. The VDC is actually owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, a name familiar with MINI enthusiasts who have tracked their new MINIs from Plant Oxford across the Pond to the US.
From the BMW Group press release:
The new port facility serves the growing business of BMW Group across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 20, 2016… Today, BMW Group celebrated the official opening of its newest Vehicle Distribution Center at the Port of Galveston. BMW’s Southern Region is growing rapidly and this new facility will better serve the 45 BMW and MINI dealers within four states (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas) that make up a part of the Region. Through the new facility, BMW Group will import and process approximately 32,500 vehicles annually, which represents an import value of nearly $1.3 Billion. The facility is fully staffed with a workforce of nearly 40 BMW Group and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) employees and already started receiving shipments of cars for processing this year. Craig Westbrook, Vice President, Customer Experience, BMW of North America, and Stephan Reiff, Vice President, Aftersales, BMW of North America, were in attendance and spoke at the opening.
“For us at BMW, there is nothing more important than the satisfaction and delight of our customers, and this Vehicle Distribution Center will play a critical role in keeping our customers happy,” said Craig Westbrook, Vice President, Customer Experience, BMW of North America. “We are very excited to be here, and be a part of Galveston’s economic vitality.”
Located at 1028 Harborside Drive in Galveston, the fully operational Galveston Vehicle Distribution Center includes more than 44,000 square feet of processing space in two buildings on approximately 20 acres of land. Vehicle inspection, accessory installation, vehicle programming, and vehicle maintenance and storage are performed there.
“Why Galveston? BMW’s Southern Region is growing faster than any other region in the US,” said Stephan Reiff, Vice President, Aftersales, BMW of North America. “Building this facility allows us to continue to deliver the highest quality vehicles while providing faster delivery times to our customers.”
The facility is owned and operated by WWL VSA under BMW Group on-site management. WWL VSA is a leading global provider of auto processing and outbound vehicle logistics services. BMW executives were joined onsite by Ray Fitzgerald, President of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Atlantic, and Michael J. Mierzwa, Port Director, Port of Galveston.
“WWL VSA is honored to serve as BMW’s choice logistics partner in Galveston, supporting its vehicle finishing needs in preparation for final distribution to dealers in the Gulf region,” says Raymond Fitzgerald, President – Atlantic at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL). “This Galveston port facility marks the 63rd processing facility in WWL’s global network – a newly constructed and specially designed state-of-the-art vehicle technical services and storage facility that is fully outfitted and customized to BMW’s processes, standards and requirements.”
“The Port of Galveston is pleased to welcome BMW Group and its partner Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics VSA for the opening of this state of the industry Vehicle Processing Center (VPC),” said Michael Mierzwa, Port of Galveston Port Director. “This VPC will have a substantial economic impact on the region and is in keeping with the Port’s strategic vision to attract new business that will promote jobs and economic prosperity for the community.”
A range of BMW vehicles were on display at the opening event, including the BMW X5. As a sign of the partnership between BMW and the Port of Galveston, BMW will equip the port with an X5 to use for official port business.