A recent report by Automotive News outlines a five-year deal signed between BMW and Mercedes-Benz USA regarding preparing vehicles coming through the Port of Baltimore.
The deal applies to MINI automobiles as well and BMW’s plan is to use the MB’s vehicle preparation center to inspect, process and repair all vehicle coming through the center. The deal goes in effect starting March 1st and both brands see this agreement as beneficial for them.
Jim O’Donnell, president of BMW of North America, told Automotive News the deal will save BMW time and money.
BMW currently has several Vehicle Distribution Centers in the U.S.:Port Hueneme in Oxnard, California (approximately one hour West of L.A., just off the Pacific Coast Highway) and a similar facility in New Jersey.
BMW anticipates about 50,000 cars destined for the central region, which includes Chicago, will be prepared by Mercedes-Benz.
At the moment, BMW vehicles come in through Charleston and are shipped to BMW’s factory in South Carolina for pre-delivery work.
As O’Donnell said, there will also be significant savings in shipping fees.
The shipping distance is also shorter from Baltimore. “Logistically, we will save a reasonable amount of money,” O’Donnell said.
A final quote from Automotive News:
Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, called the deal “a win-win-situation”.
Lieb said Mercedes-Benz has both the manpower and the space to service BMW vehicles. He said “there are other opportunities” for cooperation between the two German competitors. Lieb said the two companies are evaluating whether to use a joint shipping company to handle their brands once the cars are processed in Baltimore.