Did you know that every 13 seconds, a BMW, Mini or Rolls Royce car is sold somewhere in the world? It’s true. And according to Hendrik von Kuenheim, BMW Group Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, Australia is punching well above its weight in helping that figure rise.
Last year, BMW sold 26,645 (23,055 BMWs and 3,590 MINIs) in Australia with 48 percent snagged by Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas. It is for this reason that BMW was never going to hold back when it came to renovating its company-owned Sydney dealership.
The impeccably designed and state-of-the-art Rushcutter’s Bay space is penned by the lauded SJB Architects and has been almost three years in the making.
As Australia’s most expensive dealership renovation, created to the tune of $65million, the bright, multi-level space not only highlights BMW’s future-luxe aesthetic but is an impressive flex of the German luxury brand’s stance in Australia.
Think: the biggest display of M cars in the Southern Hemisphere (we have the second-highest share of total M-performance sales in the world, FYI); 13 EV charging stations and a dedicated area for BMW’s growing electrified sub-brand, BMW i; a separate Mini showroom with 26 models on display over two levels alongside pieces by Aboriginal artists Sarrita and Tarisse King; a café with world-class coffee; open atelier spaces for inspired curation of wheels, textiles, paint and more, and dedicated lifestyle and fashion spaces for both BMW and Mini brand lovers.
However, the pièce de résistance is the cool, clean and clinical-looking workshop that appears to have been airlifted straight out of Munich. As the largest BMW-specific workshop in Australia, the company has wasted no money here, building an innovative and highly efficient space, with water, oil and air systems integrated into each bay, 46 hoists and the technician’s name placed above every station.
In addition, BMW is also offering a ‘fast lane service’ capable of servicing 60 cars a day, in just 90 minutes per car. While they wait, customers are invited to meet, work, hang or dine in the showroom’s café area, which feels less like a ‘car dealership’ and more like a luxury hotel restaurant or trendy co-working space.
While other brands are shuttering their dealerships or moving online, it seems BMW has other ideas of what the future of automotive retail and aftersales might be, and that bricks and mortar is not yet dead.