BMW To Expand Parts Distribution

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BMW says it will open two new parts distribution centers in the United States, one in eastern Pennsylvania and the other in suburban Chicago. Both will be dedicated to the storage and handling of motorcycle and automotive parts as well as accessory and lifestyle items.

BMW tapped ProLogis, a Denver-based owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, to develop the two sites. The Nazareth, Pa., location will encompass 870,000 sq. ft., and the Minooka, Ill., location will be 306,000 sq. ft.

BMW says it will use the facilities to store nearly 75,000 unique items. The company's total investment in the new facilities will approach $173 million, including inventory.

"We are ready to expand our parts logistics capabilities," says Alan Harris, vice president of aftersales for BMW of North America. "Our existing parts centers are operating near capacity now, and whenever possible we are committed to providing next-day parts delivery to BMW retailers."

Both facilities will be built according to standards issued by the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The facilities will incorporate a number of sustainable design and construction techniques, including extensive use of recycled and locally sourced construction materials, energy-efficient fluorescent lighting with advanced energy control, and low-maintenance landscaping, bioswales and water-efficient irrigation.

"Customer demand for sustainable warehouse facilities continues to grow markedly, particularly from large multinational companies that have prominent global brands," says Jack Rizzo, managing director of global construction for ProLogis. "Our new facilities for BMW underscore that trend in the market, and reinforce the business value of the investments we have made to build a core competency in sustainable development."

With operations in 105 markets across North America, Europe and Asia, ProLogis has 2,523 properties owned, managed and under development. ProLogis' customers include manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, third-party logistics providers and other enterprises with large-scale distribution needs.

As a part of the deal, ProLogis acquired a 252,000-sq. ft. distribution facility from BMW in Mt. Olive, N.J. BMW will continue to occupy the building, which serves as its northeast distribution center, under a lease agreement with ProLogis until completion of the Pennsylvania facility.

BMW's other regional distribution centers in the U.S. are located in Senatobia, Miss., Jacksonville, Fla., and Stockton and Ontario, Calif. —Guido Ebert