If it were not for all the new cars, Elms BMW Cambridge’s state-of-the art showroom in Cambourne, England, would look more like a chic clothing store than a dealership. There are other noticeable differences once one steps inside. Salesmen do not approach customers as they enter, instead they are greeted by a so-called Product Genius. Using a tablet computer, these young, tech-savvy employees provide prospective buyers with a no-pressure explanation of the features available in BMW’s vehicles. The service is similar to that offered at Apple’s Genius Bars.
If a customer decides to buy a new car, he or she meets with the salesman in a small private room where information about the purchase is projected onto a big screen. Gone are the days when the salesman sits across a desk from the buyer and only occasionally swings his computer screen around so that the customer can see what is being entered on the screen.
“Total transparency was the aim we had in mind when we decided to build this new dealership and we were lucky that BMW was planning its new Future Retail program at the same time,” said Steve Penman, dealer principal at Elms Cambridge BMW.