Many of you may know this already but with vehicles arriving at various ports i thought i would include this info.
This is specific to the Oxnard Vehicle Distribution Center at Port Huenme, Ca, USA, but process wise i would think it is similar at other major BMW processing centers.
The Oxnard Distribution center is the primary west coast distribution center for BMWs, in 2009 the management and operation was outsourced from BMW to Amports. The capacity seems to be from 400 to 500 cars a day for processing.
Before the ship docks, a harbor pilot is transported to the ship and entrusted with mooring the large roll-on/roll-off auto transporter within the port. Next, local longshoremen are tasked with driving the vehicles off the vessel and into a preliminary parking area on the docks.
After the vehicles are checked for damage, part-time workers drive them one mile to the Oxnard distribution center where they re washed, de-waxed and hooked to computers that download electronics into them.
A big part of this operation is the damage assessent, and where determination of responsibility for repair costs is made (shipper or?). There is a full body and paint shop at the distribution center that can do extensive repairs to BMW’s specs. If damage exceeds 3 % of the cars value, the dealer must be notified. (note: this is dated info so dunno if that is still the percent used, I also don’t know if the dealer is required to pass this on to a buyer….I would always ask a dealer if your specific car has received repairs at the distribution center…if in excess of 3 percent they would have been notified.)
Its not exactly unusual for a vehicle to receive damage in one form or another during transport. The BMW VDC is quipped with a fulland quite expansivebody shop and paint facility, extensive repairs can be carried out onsite. From full panel or bumper replacement to a respray of a scuffed area or entire panel.
BMW seems concerned about tire/wheel damage relative to a potential safety risk, as a result suspected damage means the tire and rim removed, the tire is cut up and rims also cut up and destroyed so any employee etc cannot have access.
Cars arrive in transport mode with battery disconnection, at the center the cars are then downloaded with the relevant electronics. Among the final steps before departing the facility are the coding and programming.
Some, but not all, of their protective film and other materials are removed, the cars receive the real work . Vehicles are given a brief but thorough inspection, while things like manuals, miscellaneous documentation, and simple accessories such as first-aid kits are loaded in their appropriate places. The process obviously differs for special-order cars, which have their so-called port- installed options fitted here. Things like splitters, carbon-fiber bits, and various other offerings of the BMW M Performance catalog are also installed, in addition to vinyl graphics and smaller additions like door-edge protection film.
And then finally the cars get loaded on to transport haulers to arrive at your dealer, and then to the patiently (?) awaiting individual that ordered it, or perhaps the car just lounges in the dealers lot/showroom.