During a ceremony in Galveston, the BMW Group broke ground on a vehicle distribution center that will serve the 45 BMW and MINI dealerships in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
"Rapid delivery to our customers and dealers is a key element to exceptional customer service," said Craig Westbrook, aftersales vice president of BMW North America. "Once fully operational, the new Port of Galveston Vehicle Distribution Center will enable us to receive, prepare and deliver vehicles to the Southern Region even more quickly than before."
WWL Vehicle Services Americas will own and operate the facility under BMW Group on-site management. WWL Vehicle Service Americas is a global provider of auto processing and outbound vehicle logistics services.
"WWL Vehicle Services Americas is proud to build a state-of-the-art vehicle distribution center to provide the highest quality processing and support the BMW Group's distribution in the Gulf region,” said John Felitto, president and chief executive officer of WWL Vehicle Services Americas.
"This project helps the Port achieve its mission of being the economic engine for the City of Galveston and the local region. With this new vehicle processing center, we are confident that the activity level of the port will continue to increase, including the creation of new livable wage jobs. We are pleased that our successful efforts to maintain existing world-class tenants and to attract additional ones continue," said Port of Galveston director Michael J. Mierzwa,
Westbrook, Felitto, Galveston Economic Development Partnership president Jeff Sjostrom, BMW of North America vehicle processing and distribution department head Jim Goldsmith, Port of Galveston Board of Trustee member Richard DeVries, Galveston Chamber of Commerce chair Albert Shannon and Port of Galveston chairman Benjamin Holland took part in the groundbreaking.
When the Galveston Vehicle Distribution Center is fully operational in 2016 as projected, the BMW Group will import and process more than 32,000 vehicles annually with a workforce of 40 BMW Group and WWL Vehicle Services Americas employees. The facility will include more than 44,000 square feet of processing space in two buildings on approximately 20 acres of land.
Functions to be performed at the facility will include vehicle inspection, repairs (mechanical and paint & body), accessory installation, vehicle programming and vehicle maintenance and storage will be performed there.
The first shipment of cars is projected to be processed at the facility in early 2016.