New Way of Dealing Cars: BMW Adapts the Apple Genius Model for Dealerships

BMW salesman 1 photo
Photo: BMW
BMW has always been a trend setter. In order to helps its customers understand new technologies they intend to create a new 'species' of employees. They will have to be young, tech-savvy almost geniuses, in order to handle questions from customers on the showroom floors.
The new program will be called "BMW Genius Everywhere" and will be put to work starting with 2014. Specially trained employees (most of the college students) will be going around dealerships equipped with iPads. They will inform the customers about the vehicles new features but not for the purpose of selling cars. They will have a purely informative role.

"The salesman has a complicated job, he has to understand product, he has to be trained and he has to understand financial services. And honestly, it has probably gotten a little too broad. One of the things we considered very carefully: Can we break the process up into bite-size chunks?" said Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing.

The BMW Geniuses will wear a white polo shirt that says "BMW Genius" and they will have a fixed salary, without any commission from the sales.

"He is not in the pressured environment to sell a car," Mr. Robertson said. "If the buyer says "I want to take the next step,' he is handled over to a salesman."

The main goal of this program will be to help with the launch of the i3 next year so it will have to be operation by the end of 2013.

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