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      01-10-2022, 08:32 PM   #1
danallxt
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Here's what happens at BMW vehicle processing centers, specifically Oxnard

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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.)

It’s not exactly unusual for a vehicle to receive damage in one form or another during transport. The BMW VDC is quipped with a full—and quite expansive—body 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.
      01-11-2022, 03:17 AM   #2
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That's pretty interesting. It would be cool if they documented in a video.
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      01-11-2022, 09:04 AM   #3
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Find it hard to believe they are shipped with the battery disconnected; never have seen this in any of the videos I've seen of cars rolling on and off the carrier ship.
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      01-11-2022, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpie View Post
Find it hard to believe they are shipped with the battery disconnected; never have seen this in any of the videos I've seen of cars rolling on and off the carrier ship.
Good point, i was wondering about that as well. To clarify, i hate to be a purveyor of misinformation, that info was not from first hand experience rather it was copied from an article on the Oxnard facility. It may not be correct. I suspect that the writer may have gotten it mixed up with the "transport mode" that often is used from factory for shipping.

Quote:
transport mode is:

- vehicle is limited to max-speed or max rpm (depending on manufacturer)
- spacers in suspension (or transport mode for air suspension)
- electric consumers are disabled (navi, radio, seat heater, remote control, interior lighting etc.)
- fluids on minimum (oil, cooling water etc.)

enable/disable only by on-board diagnostic system
The writer of the article i used for my original post may have confused the disabling of certain electronics with a battery disconnect...the disable is to keep battery drain to a minimum in case of long shipping/storage times. Parasitic drain on some of these cars can be substantial.

Also i am not sure if the recoding to turn off transport mode is done at a vehicle processing center or at the dealer during PDI. I have heard of it being done at dealer PDI.
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      01-11-2022, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the summary danallxt.

I remember seeing photos of the VDC from several years ago when the Los Angeles Chapter of the BMWCCA toured the facility. Here are a couple of links to some of those photos (not sure if a video exists).

https://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207104

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...on-center.html

For those of you not familiar with SoCal...if you happen to go to Port Hueneme be sure to let a local say the name first before you try and pronounce it.

Last edited by John Casey; 01-11-2022 at 02:40 PM..
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      01-11-2022, 05:28 PM   #6
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Photos are awesome.. other than the E46 vehicles the other BMWs look dated to me from these photos in 2004... already 17 years ago
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      01-12-2022, 12:55 AM   #7
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I'm surprised by so many cars needing repairs after transport. Anyone know what percentage of cars need fixing?
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      01-13-2022, 08:34 PM   #8
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You'd be surprised how many cars go directly from the end of the line to repair within the plant and most factories before ever leaving or going through shipping.
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      01-14-2022, 09:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Casey View Post
Thanks for the summary danallxt.

I remember seeing photos of the VDC from several years ago when the Los Angeles Chapter of the BMWCCA toured the facility. Here are a couple of links to some of those photos (not sure if a video exists).

https://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207104

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...on-center.html

For those of you not familiar with SoCal...if you happen to go to Port Hueneme be sure to let a local say the name first before you try and pronounce it.
“Why-knee-me”
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      01-14-2022, 09:52 AM   #10
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The article should be updated to include how BMW addresses the stop sales.

FYI I had stage II tune during my last ED for a F83, including catless dp installed. Car passed the VDC inspection.
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      01-14-2022, 10:20 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing.

Would be very interested in hearing what the process looks like today with all the various stop sales being out in place.
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      01-14-2022, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danallxt View Post
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.)

It’s not exactly unusual for a vehicle to receive damage in one form or another during transport. The BMW VDC is quipped with a full—and quite expansive—body 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.
Great info! Can confirm 3% is still the value used, and actually in my case bmw said they CAN'T sell me the car since it had more than 3% of the value if value if car in repairs needed. My first car is still at port, they deleted all the VIA options and it's been there since late November (recall was done mid November then I was notified id have to process a new order)
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      01-14-2022, 10:51 AM   #13
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This is awesome, thanks for the insight! Coincidentally my M4 Comp has been at the VDC in Oxnard for a week now waiting on some port installed options and some kind of amplifier issue (RAM related?). So I've been thinking about the VDC all week!!
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      01-14-2022, 10:59 AM   #14
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      01-14-2022, 11:00 AM   #15
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I stopped reading at "electronics downloaded".
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      01-14-2022, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danallxt View Post
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.
Great write-up! The local CCA chapter organized a tour of the VDC not too long ago and I was fortunate enough to attend. Hoping another opportunity comes up soon.

The cars all come from Germany fully assembled for the most part, so most port-installed components will be replacing a part that was previously installed on the car. The latter gets destroyed on the spot. We watched a tech swap out the stock kidney grills for the blacked out ones and they smashed the old ones right after the new ones were installed.

If I recall correctly from the tour, BMW also stopped using the cosmoline wax on the cars a few years back. There are some videos of cars being offloaded and driven that mile down the road from the port staging area:

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      01-14-2022, 11:24 AM   #17
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**edit** oops I see someone already mentioned the tour

Some of the SoCal BCCA chapters do tours of the Oxnard facility on occasion. Went with my Son a few years back - hundreds of members showed up and we were served lunch after taking a walking tour of the entire facility. A very enjoyable and interesting a couple hours

Highly recommend that anyone jumps at the chance should the opportunity come up again

Most interesting for me was the "port installed options" just a couple bays of cars with parts getting slapped on them (from stickers to aero etc...)
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      01-14-2022, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_slow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by danallxt View Post
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.
Great write-up! The local CCA chapter organized a tour of the VDC not too long ago and I was fortunate enough to attend. Hoping another opportunity comes up soon.

The cars all come from Germany fully assembled for the most part, so most port-installed components will be replacing a part that was previously installed on the car. The latter gets destroyed on the spot. We watched a tech swap out the stock kidney grills for the blacked out ones and they smashed the old ones right after the new ones were installed.

If I recall correctly from the tour, BMW also stopped using the cosmoline wax on the cars a few years back. There are some videos of cars being offloaded and driven that mile down the road from the port staging area:

Same thing happens with ALPINA - items from the base car get destroyed if you upgrade it with an ALPINA option. I was gutted when I found out.
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      01-14-2022, 11:51 AM   #19
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I think more damages occur during rail transport and NOT over seas vessel transport.

I have done European Delivery twice and no damage was sustained to my vehicles during the over seas shipping.
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      01-14-2022, 12:30 PM   #20
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Here you go .

Inside BMW UK Thorne reception centre (they have now moved to a much bigger facility at Immingham). These pictures are 6 years old. Real pictures inside these places are notoriously hard to get; maybe the below is why. They can do PLENTY to a 'new' car damaged in transit. I'm not sure if the 3% rule is a thing here.

BMW Reception Centre, 2015 UK




















Last edited by G21-M340i; 01-14-2022 at 01:47 PM..
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      01-14-2022, 01:40 PM   #21
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Great information.
Didn't know that to be honest













Last edited by midnofgriizmano; 01-15-2022 at 12:11 PM..
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      01-14-2022, 01:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpie View Post
Find it hard to believe they are shipped with the battery disconnected; never have seen this in any of the videos I've seen of cars rolling on and off the carrier ship.
Have you never seen the option

S818A - Batteriehauptschalter - Battery master switch

This is taken out after delivery at dealer and as it says, it’s to quickly disconnect and connect the battery.
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