BMW of North America will offer customers and enthusiasts the opportunity to experience newly enhanced driver training courses for both the BMW and MINI Driving Experiences. The BMW Performance Center West in southern California and the BMW Performance Center East in Spartanburg, South Carolina now bear the seal of quality “BMW Driving Experience, Official Partner of BMW M.” The basis for this is the successful certification by a team of inspectors from the BMW and MINI Driving Experiences in Germany. The first international location to be awarded this status was the BMW and MINI Driving Experience in the Netherlands in 2015.
“We are pleased to present the second partner in the internationalisation of our successful driver safety program at the BMW and MINI Driving Experience,” said Frank van Meel, President of BMW M GmbH. “As with the pilot project in the Netherlands, the BMW Performance Centers in the USA fully comply with all the prerequisites for the certification. Because of this, our customers in North America can now look forward to training courses that meet the high standards of the BMW and MINI Driving Experience in Germany.”
“The BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg has been helping drivers improve their skills, become safer drivers and experience the Ultimate Driving Machine in a very dynamic way since 1999. Now with the completion of our new BMW Performance Center West, we are better able to serve our many west coast customers.” stated Ludwig Willisch President and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC.. “With this certification by BMW M, we can ensure consistency of our BMW and MINI Driving Experiences at both US locations and worldwide.” continued Willisch.
The BMW Performance Center West is the latest location for the BMW and MINI Driving Experience in North America. It is located a few miles outside La Quinta, about two hours’ drive southeast of Los Angeles and was the second of its type in the USA when it was opened in 2014. It covers an area of 32 acres and features a 1.4 mile circuit with a 6 acre paddock, a skid pad, and an 8,500 square foot performance facility. The BMW Performance Center West is located on the site of partner and premium automobile club “The Thermal Club”. 5.5 miles of racetrack and areas for maintenance and repairs are available here. The main building has a 70 foot control tower, while an outbuilding houses the fleet of track cars and safety cars.
The range of courses on offer at the BMW Performance Center West is extensive. Car Control Clinics and Teen Driving Schools are aimed at young drivers and beginners. Offerings such as the M School and Advanced M School cater for more advanced drivers and the field of racing. Tailored programs, such as those for business customers, are also available.
In 1999, BMW opened the BMW Performance Center East not far from the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This was the company’s first permanent performance driving center in the USA. Since its opening, more than 161,000 BMW customers have taken part in courses. More than 9,700 customers have attended courses at the BMW Performance Center West in the first two years since it was opened.
The international certification concept developed by the BMW and MINI Driving Experience in Germany is aimed at ensuring all locations meet or exceed uniform, premium global standards regarding the customer experience. Customers benefit from the specific know-how and experience of the BMW instructors in regions all over the world. After the Netherlands and the USA, further certifications are being prepared in South Korea, South Africa and Scandinavia.