I apologize for the delay but this took longer to complete than I anticipated. This is an in depth account of our delivery day at the BMW Welt in Munich.
The overall experience was amazing on many levels. Having completed several deliveries at the previous center this was a huge change. Above you will find many photos with descriptions easily viewed by placing the cursor over “notes “, for larger (though not full quality) photos click here. Most of the photos within the story below are included above but several are from past trips etc. and can be viewed larger by clicking on them. Complete delivery story below.
Freimann, the former delivery center, was a small cozy establishment that was not over-the-top or even easily identified as the BMW delivery center.
There were only a hand full of deliveries a day and was more like a small dealership attached to a manufacturing complex than anything else. It was an experience just to get there via public transport as you followed the provided directions from the train and made the right at the third tree (being a bit comical but you get the idea). If you took a taxi they often had no clue what you were talking about and when you arrived you had to be buzzed into the facility by security, like you were entering a top secret complex or something.
Delivery at the Welt is nothing at all like that. It is beyond over-the-top by the shear grandeur of the facility. You tell someone in Munich you need to go to the BMW Welt and they know what you are talking about. It is an easy trip from the Airport, the city center and everywhere else. Whether by taxi or public transportation (which is fabulous on all levels) they all lead to the Welt. By no accident the building is located next to BMW manufacturing, the museum and the former Olympic grounds; a prime piece of real estate.
We had the privilege of being picked up at the airport and returned there from Harms after drop off by renowned Euro Delivery driver Rolf Raffelsieper. Simply put: he is the best. He is cheaper than any taxi and provides a much greater service. We have used him several times in the past and always have been impressed; I consider him a friend at this point. We provided him our flight information and as usual he was there waiting as promised. He, as a former BMW AG employee, is very knowledgable and passionate about the brand. He goes out of his way for all of his customers and is a valuable source of knowledge and advice of things to do when in Germany. If you are interested in using him for your delivery he can be reached via phone: (011)49-89 3543636 (home) or via email:email@example.com it is best to book as soon as you have your dates to increase the likelihood of him being available.
Rolf drove us to our hotel the Munich Marriot to drop off our bags and to quickly freshen up after the red-eye flight from JFK on Lufthansa (really the only way to fly!). He then dropped us off and directed us to the counter so we could be escorted up to the private delivery area. We entered and sat down to confirm our identities and plan out our BMW day. Here they give you your individualized card which gives you access to all the attractions as well as 15 euro to be used at the Cafe, and 10 euro for the gift shop. You are also provided a free parking pass to the Welt garage (more on this later). We were then shown the Premium Lounge.
Even though there is money on your card to be used down in the Cafe just about everything you could want in the form of snacks, beverages and such can be found in the Premium Lounge. Coffee, Cappuccino, pretzel sandwiches, danishes, juices, soda and a whole lot more are available at no charge. After our flight this spread was a welcomed sight, though the only beer was alcohol free (smart move as beer and driving are a bad idea!). We sat down for a short wait with some food and drink and just gawked at the building and surroundings, quite spectacular.
Our Product Information Tour was about to begin and we made our way over to the flat panel with our name on it. This is where we met our delivery specialist(s). We received two, one apparently to keep me occupied and to see how things compared to our past deliveries and what my opinion of the Welt was (?). The other was to conduct the delivery as usual for my wife. We were confused at first by the two specialists, thinking maybe one was observing the other but as the questions kept coming we knew that was not the case. In no way did it take away from the experience, and maybe it heightened it a bit for me since the product info is something I am already familiar with and I instead learned a few things about how the Welt operates.
We hopped in the private elevator and went to the product information area. In this area the technology is very high and utilized to make the overall experience personalized and interactive. The following description of the technology may not make sense but it is the best way I can describe it. There are 8-10 tables with white touch sensitive tops, a projector is located above and it puts the image of the car (or whatever) on the table surface. The delivery specialist then explains the design, safety and technology of the car here. Next up was the driving simulator, basically a giant BMW video game. Its purpose is to show the features of DSC and xDrive, how they help and what life is like without them. It takes the tech mumbo jumbo out and just demonstrates the effectiveness of the systems.
After all of this was completed we were taken back up to the premium lounge where we began our journey down the stairs to the delivery area.This is where you see your car for the first time. At the first landing the specialist activates the turn table and lights via a WIFI remote control; the car begins to spin and the spots shine on it to emphasize the lines and accentuate YOUR car. In our case this was where we saw my wife ‘s Alpine White 328xi in its pristine .1 mile condition.
Those on the public side of the Welt stand and watch (or photograph) people taking deliveries of cars so it gives you a feeling of having an audience or fans; strange at first. Like at your dealer, though much more thorough, the specialist shows you the ins and outs of the car. While this is occurring a photographer gently interrupts to snap a few shots of you and your car which you are given as a memento prior to leaving the Welt. A nice touch which was lacking in the past; I had even mentioned this concept to BMW then since Range Rover was even doing it during owner events!
After learning all there is to know about the car and receiving a special surprise (which will remain a surprise) you get to take your “victory ” lap. This entails you driving around the entire delivery area prior to exiting down the ramp. This can make some feel nervous I am sure, all eyes are on you, as your take your car slowly around this loop and exit down the narrow ramp. For most it is no big deal and my wife fit into this category. To continue our day we first needed to park the car. We chose to valet the car (the ONLY time you should do this in Europe) with the Welt staff so we could use the free parking pass for the main garage at a later date since it has no cap and valid for a few months.
We picked up on a very slow day, only a total of about a dozen cars were being delivered I was told. This is a trend that is becoming more apparent: as sales decline so do the deliveries at the Welt. This is a bit disheartening to know since BMW has spent so much time and money on the facility and the overall execution is top notch. If times are tough financially for customers and sales are slow it is obvious that deliveries in Munich would also be down. Hopefully BMW can still offer this level of personalization and luxury to future deliveries but I can see the costs rising per delivery as numbers decline and that usually means something will be cut to keep it financially feasible.
On the other hand the public side was packed and people were all over the place taking in what the Welt has to offer.