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BMW Welt: the Ultimate European Driving Experience

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Story by Tim Van Dyke

Have you ever tried to imagine the place where your BMW was born? Born in the sense of imagined, designed and physically built. Such a place exists and it is a world of its own—the BMW Welt embodies the ethos of all things BMW. Welt literally means world in German and BMW World is a fitting name to describe incredible place. Located in Munich, Germany, the Welt is not only a place, it is a total BMW experience. BMW’s new European Delivery Program is the perfect way to explore this magic world and what better way to get acquainted with your new vehicle than the autobahn and the road’s of Europe.

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“Why wouldn’t you get your new BMW delivered in Germany?” exclaimed Aaron Dale, a BMW enthusiast. Aaron ordered a 2009 328i coupé from Brian Jessel BMW and a few months later headed for Munich to pick up his new car. Little did he know he was about to embark on one of the most memorable trips ever. June 4, 2009 was Aaron’s big day. He headed to the BMW Welt at 8am. BMW asks you to be at the Welt an hour and a half before your scheduled appointment so you get ready for the experience ahead and soak in the atmosphere of the beautiful Welt complex.

The first thing you do is go to the Check-In in the Premium Lounge, where you will plan your day.There were lots of people from all over the world there picking up cars on that particular day but Aaron noted that he seemed to be the only Canadian. Before your car is delivered, a personal attendant picks you up at the Premium Lounge and takes you to the Product Info Centre where you get a personalised briefing. Using the latest multi-media technology, your attendant explains all of the important functions and features of your new BMW. Aaron noted that this was like a video game simulator:“It was loads of fun.” “Delivery is a dramatic experience.”

You go down a huge staircase to the Premiere area and when you get to the bottom your BMW is waiting for you all lit up and revolving on a turntable. It’s not all drama and lights: your personal attendant stays by your side to answer any questions you might have about your new vehicle. At this point a BMW staff member took Aaron’s picture with his new 328i Coupe to commemorate the moment. The atmosphere is festive: there is even a small reception with food. This is just the beginning of the experience because next you really have a chance to see what is under the hood.

Besides the incredible delivery moment, Aaron particularly enjoyed touring the plant and the Welt. If you really want to know what your BMW is made of, take a tour of BMW’s Munich plant. This gives you a chance to see how individual cars are manufactured and the precision mechanics that go into each BMW from sheet steel to test stands. Guided tours are available on weekdays every half hour. Allow approximately two and half hours for the tour. The BMW Welt took four years to build and was opened in October 2007.

Coop Himmelb(l)au is the group of architects that designed this multi-functional customer experience and exhibition facility for BMW. If you are curious about the stunning architecture of BMW’s corporate campus and the concept behind the building of the BMW Welt, there is a Welt tour on the hour every hour on weekdays. This experience takes approximately 80 minutes and is of particular interest to design buffs and BMW fanatics. Don’t forget to visit the BMW Museum, which is also housed at the Welt.

Here you will come to understand that your new BMW is one link in a long history of German automotive and aviation history. There are over 120 exhibits in this extensive museum and a thorough visit will take about two and half hours. All of this visiting can be rather tiring, but the Welt has several exclusive restaurants and cafés where you can rest up for more. You can make lunch or dinner reservations during the check-in process when you arrive in the morning. Be sure to visit the Welt shops where you can find BMW lifestyle products and original accessories. As you can see, it is easy to spend several days soaking in the atmosphere and learning all about BMW at the Welt in Munich.

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“Touring Europe in your new BMW is certainly a memorable experience whether you spend two weeks or two mon”

BMW recommends taking your time and even considering spending two days to explore the Welt. However, it seems like after a few hours most people are dying to get their new vehicles on the German roads. This was certainly the case with Aaron Dale, who headed out from the Welt in his new 328i in the early afternoon. Aaron explained that this was enough time to get thoroughly acquainted with his new car and get a tour of the Welt and neighbouring plant. Over the next two months and 9,500 kilometers, Aaron had a chance to enjoy his new BMW on some of Europe’s most exciting driving terrain. His tour took him from Germany to Austria, through Italy, France, Switzerland into Belgium through the Netherlands up to Sweden and Finland and then back to Germany by ferry. This epic voyage ended in Paris, where Aaron dropped off his 328i coupé to have it shipped back to Canada. Aaron loved seeing what his car could do on the German autobahn but warned those planning a similar trip to watch the speed limit when crossing into Austria. One of the highlights of Aaron’s European tour was driving his 328i on the famous Nürburgring. This is a 13-mile racetrack that Formula One driver Jackie Stewart nicknamed “The Green Hell”. Nürburgring is considered one the most demanding and toughest purpose-built race tracks in the world. Generally used for testing cars and professional racing, the Nürburgring is often open to the public in the evening and on the occasional weekend. Anybody and nearly any car can use the track at this time. After doing his research, Aaron arrived at Nürburg and paid his 75 euros for 4 laps of exhilarating driving.“It was thrilling to drive so fast” but what was most exciting and terrifying for Aaron was watching the other drivers in their souped up cars as they zoomed by at break-neck speeds.

Touring Europe in your new BMW is certainly a memorable experience whether you spend two weeks or two months. Aaron’s advice for those planning a European delivery is to try to go for as long as you can—there is much to see and a lot of roads to drive. Also, have alternative transportation available while waiting for your second delivery: BMW says that it takes 6-8 weeks to ship your car back to Canada. After such a wonderful driving experience in Europe you are sure to have a little separation anxiety. BMW Canada has made European delivery easier than ever. Now you can lease or finance your European delivery through BMW Financial Services using the same terms and MSRP as regular Canadian delivery at the dealership. Your new BMW will be delivered in Germany with tourist plates, which allow you to circulate freely throughout the European Union and several Scandinavian countries. Two weeks of insurance is included in the price of delivery. You can easily extend the length of your insurance policy when you order your vehicle. At the end of your trip, you can drop off your BMW at one of the 11 convenient locations in Europe. The cost of shipping, marine insurance, customs clearance and duty are included in purchase price for the European Delivery Program. Your BMW will be shipped back to Canada, where you will be able to pick up your freshly detailed vehicle at Brian Jessel BMW. What a wonderful souvenir of your trip to Europe! A few little details to keep in mind are that the X5 and X6 are not available for European delivery. If you want to have your car delivered in Germany in the winter months, you will need to arrange for winter tires (in accordance with German law). You may also need an International Driver’s License if traveling to countries such as Austria. BMW is not responsible for any speeding tickets. After his European delivery, Aaron Dale told us that there was no real downside to this experience, “I can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t do this.” Ask one of our sales consultants for more information about BMW’s European Delivery Program and sign up for what is perhaps the ultimate driving experience.

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