The management of the west coast ‘s Oxnard Vehcile Preparation Center at Port Hueneme will be outsourced to Amports beginning on November 1, 2009.

BMW has stated this is not a cost cutting move but one for greater efficiency. The current employees may be retained by the new company but there are no guarantees.

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From AMPORTS News Release:
BMW to outsource vehicle processing at Port of Hueneme

BMW of North America plans to outsource its vehicle processing through the Port of Hueneme, a move that will require more than 100 workers to reapply for jobs with a Jacksonville, Fla., company.

Employees at the Oxnard Vehicle Preparation Center can interview for jobs until Nov. 1, when Amports will take over managing the facility, BMW spokeswoman Charlene King said Tuesday.

Amports operates auto processing centers in 11 ports, seven in the United States and four in Mexico, offering real time vehicle tracking and state-of-the-art technology, according to the company ‘s Web site.

BMW ‘s 70 employees and 40 temporary workers were told about the change Monday.

“Of course, it ‘s a difficult business decision and we ‘re working hard to minimize the impact on the staff so we ‘re holding workshops and doing all that we can,” King said.

She added that Amports ‘ salaries will be comparable with BMW, based on the information she has gathered.

Most BMWs purchased on the West Coast are unloaded at the Port of Hueneme, accounting for about 33 percent of all BMWs sold in the United States.

The change is not expected to affect the number of BMWs moving through the port, King said. BMW processed 90,612 vehicles in the 2007-08 fiscal year through the Port of Hueneme.

The decision to outsource was made “to increase our effectiveness and efficiencies,” King said.

Asked if it was a money-saving decision, she said: “No, I wouldn ‘t say that it ‘s a money saving move. It ‘s being more efficient and effective. It ‘s not all about the money. As a company you want to have the right fit in terms of your employees, process and protocol, and it ‘s just time that we take a look at all that.”

She said the employees who ‘ve been handling the processing have done a “great job.”

“It ‘s just we decided to move in a different direction,” she said.

BMW ‘s vehicle processing involves several steps. When a ship arrives, BMW has up to three days to move the vehicles out before fees kick in. 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 spokesperson for Amports could not be reached for comment, but Anthony Taormina, executive director of the Oxnard Harbor District, which oversees the port, said it ‘s an “excellent company.”

“We ‘ve had the opportunity of meeting with their CEO and will soon welcome them into the family of businesses that do business with the port,” he said.

BMW has a long-term agreement with the port and a new extension was just approved in July, Taormina said, adding another five years with two 5-year options.

“I think it goes all the way out to 2023, so we ‘re still bullish on BMW and see them as an important partner in our community,” he said. “We don ‘t see this in any way detracting away from their business at the port.

“That said, we ‘ve very hopeful to see many of the existing employees retained by Amports in this outsourcing process. We want all the BMW people to continue their jobs.”

Image: Ventura County Star