BMW says Convenience 360 aims to make it easy and safe to buy a BMW in Singapore, even without going to the showroom
Showrooms are reopening tomorrow, and BMW has unveiled its ‘new normal’ car buying experience, which aims to serve those who are coming to the showroom, but also catering to those who want to stay at home as much as they can.
Safer car buying procedures and methods have proliferated over the past three months, and while none of the steps it’s taking are totally novel to the car industry, BMW today announced a new, five-step process it calls BMW Convenience 360, what it says is a ‘a safe retail experience every step of the way’.
“While we are prepared to safely welcome customers to our showrooms, we’re also ready to take care of our customers who still prefer to stay home during this period,” said Mr Arnt Bayer, the managing director of BMW distributors Performance Motors Limited and Performance Munich Automobiles.
It’s a move which reflects just how much COVID-19 has mutated the car buying experience by necessity.
The steps are:
1. Digital Showroom
2. QnA with representatives
3. Test drives at your door
4. Making a booking online
Besides the usual safety measures at the showroom itself, but the first step of 360 is the new Digital Showroom.
First going live in April 2020, CarBuyer reported on a secret BMW promo deal in May. At the Digital Showroom, you can find out more about each model, play with the configurator, and even pose any questions you have to sales reps via live chat. Customers can also contact them via Facebook Messenger or by calling 1800-2255-269.
As a corollary to Step One, BMW is currently having its online ‘carnival’ JoyFest 2020, which features special deals and new financing offers.
Step Three is a new one for BMW – what it calls the BMW Doorstep Test Drive programme – where the car is sent to a customer’s doorstep or location of their choosing so they can test drive the car. BMW says the car will be sanitised before and after the drive, while the customer will be also be offered a mask and sanitiser.
Step Four is easy – putting a S$500 deposit on the car you’ve chosen, via the online showroom.
Step Five is delivery. Remote deliveries here have already begun even during Circuit Breaker, and BMW says the customer can choose to have the car delivered to them, or do it in the showroom in the traditional manner.
As to when deliveries will actually begin, currently the situation is unclear because COE bidding has not resumed and the LTA has made no mention of when this will happen yet.
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But BMW’s also putting safety measures on servicing too – the service centres are operating on an appointment-only basis, customers can make bookings at the usual portals, and when arriving at the service centre they can self-register at a kiosk.
As mentioned, none of this is totally new. Kia and Lexus introduced concierge to-your-door drives in March this year and will likely resume them soon, while almost every brand has switched their focus to online sales events during the circuit breaker (just look at our News section in the past month), and some have even gone all out on the sanitising.
But BMW formalising all this into a new buying experience with a new name does reflect how COVID-19 has changed, and will continue to change the way we buy cars in Singapore.